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Ancient European Bronze Votive Spike Axe + End Cap

Central Europe, late Bronze Age to early Iron Age, ca. 8th to 6th century BCE. A cast bronze votive weapon, a spike-tipped axe with a wide, flat butt and a separate end cap. The body of the axe has striated lines cast into it, while the end cap is hollow and roughly hourglass-shaped. Earlier in the Bronze Age, warriors were heavily armored and often mounted on chariots, wielding large weapons. Chiefs were expected to ride into battle and did so at the frontline. In contrast, later warriors fought on horseback, wielding daggers and light axes like this one; meanwhile, the belt displaying these items because a central part of the wardrobe of chiefs, who began to employ fighters to take their place in the thick of action. Size of spike: 5.8" W x 1.5" H (14.7 cm x 3.8 cm); 7" H (17.8 cm) on included custom stand.

Bronze weapons like this one were made to resemble real weapons for fighting, but this one and similar would have been used as a form of offering. These were buried or thrown into lakes and rivers, reflecting a European religious practice that would persist until the final conversion of the Vikings ca. 1000 CE.

Condition: Grey-green patina on much of the surface. Some remains of old wooden handle are still in the socket.

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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