Bronze spearhead

Period: Early Cypriot III

Date: ca. 2000–1900 B.C.

Culture: Cypriot

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: length 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76

Accession Number: 74.51.5283


This copper-based spearhead originally was attached to a wooden shaft. Such weapons have been found in tombs that date from the Early Bronze Age to the middle of the Late Bronze Age. Terracotta models of sheathed daggers with flat tangs inserted into a wooden handle—often held in place with rivets— have also been found in tombs. Although there are no indications that the Early Bronze Age was a period of conflict on Cyprus, spearheads are frequently associated with burial contexts. The larger pieces may have been status symbols, or simply standard weapons carried by males who had need to be prepared for the dangers of everyday life. In the Early Bronze Age and later, daggers and spearheads placed in tombs were bent, or "killed," intentionally to ensure that they could not be used as weapons after burial.