The bronze sword in Ireland
Citation:George Eogan, 'The bronze sword in Ireland', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History, 1961, pp 476
Eogan TCD THESIS 22.ff.2,3 The bronze sword.pdf (PDF) 246.4Mb
Of the three standard bronzes of the Late Bronze Age cut-and-thrust swords, plain leaf-shaped spearheads, and socketed axes, the swords were the latest to arrive, but it was their introduction that brought about the disruption of the Middle Bronze Age cultures. The Irish Bronze Age swords can be divided into six classes. The earlies swords to reach Ireland, Class 1, were contrived around 1,000 B.C. in the region of the Thames estuary and are the result of an attempt to copy the intrusive Erbenheim and Hemigkofen weapons by Middle Bronze Age trained smiths. Class 1 swords soon spread to Ireland but they may not have had a very long life, for before long the southern English smiths succeeded in producing more exact copies and at the same time a Late Bronze industry grew up. These round and straight shouldered swords extended to Ireland and are termed Class 2 and Class 5 respectively. These two Classes are contemporary and there is also evidence that the South British industry was established in Ireland. Class 3 swords may be the product of interaction between Classes 1 and 2. Towards the end of the eight century the structure of the Late Bronze cultures was altered. This alteration is clearly reflected in the sword development. There is no evidence that the earlier types continued, instead their place is taken by a truly naturalised weapon, Class 5, that also appears to have originated in Southern England or in peripheral regions. Perhaps around the middle of the seventh century a new sword with a different cultural background, the Hallstatt Iron Age, arrived. This is Class 6. The presence of the hybrid Class 6A sword indicates that Class 5 continued and may have remained in use until supplanted by weapons of the La Tene period.
Author: Eogan, George
Advisor:Mitchell, G. F.
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History
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Type of material:thesis
Availability:Full text available