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Greek Bronze Spearhead
Geneva | Arms & Armor
 
Date:  7th Century BC 6th Century BC
Culture:  Greek
Category:  Arms & Armor
Medium:  Bronze
Dimension: H: 53 cm
Price: $2,000.00
Provenance: Ex- European private collection, acquired on the Swiss Art Market, 1993
Serial No: 1476

Spearhead cast in a single piece from bronze, a more expensive material than iron and therefore more rarely used for this type of
object. The general shape recalls a long willow leaf with a rounded base.
There are two small holes pierced at the base of the blade, one on either side of the central ridge that runs up three-quarters of
the blade. The ridge is semi-circular and gives the spearhead all its volume. The socket for the fi tting of a wooden shaft is conical in
shape; it forms the basis from which the central ridge stems and extends. The cutting edges of the blade are thin and sharp. The top
of the spearhead is not precisely pointed, but slightly rounded.
The considerable length of this spearhead is noteworthy and one may conclude that it would have been fi tted on a very long shaft,
for a total length that would have reached over two meters. The socket is also long and proportional to the length of the spearhead.
The two small holes would have been used to better attach the spearhead to the shaft, utilizing a fastening system. However,
one may not exclude the hypothesis that these holes allowed the addition of decorative elements, giving this weapon a somewhat
ostentatious character.
Our spearhead would have been a utilitarian tool that primarily had to be effi cient and eff ective. The shape is rather “classical” and
attested in later examples, which does not enable us to determine for sure where it was produced and in what context it was used.
Nevertheless, several features (the delicate workmanship, the large size, the central ridge, the pair of holes) enable us to defi ne it as
a Greek production, or a Western Greek colonies’ production, during the 7th-6th century B.C.
In contrast to the lighter spears designed for throwing, our example was used in the famous hoplite phalanx to slow the progress of
the enemy by thrusting in close combat.