Archaeology Graduate Resesarch Seminar Series: Kate Leonard - Weapons, Warriors and Wetlands

The Hardiman Research Building G010 seminar room

Date & Time
4th February, 2014 @ 16:00:00

Discipline of Archaeology Invites You to a Lecture by

Kate Leonard

Successful Doctoral Candidate in Archaeology

Weapons, Warriors and Wetlands

Of all the categorical identities recognised by archaeologists for Bronze Age Europe, warriors are one of the most discussed. Our current understanding of the Bronze Age warrior has been mainly based on examinations of material culture, in particular the sword.

A sword may simultaneously be, or have the potential to be, a beautiful object, an efficient killing tool, a symbol of power and wealth, an implied or actual threat, a sacrifice, a gift, a reward, a pledge of loyalty and/or an embodiment of the idea of conflict.[1]

In Ireland, Bronze Age swords are most commonly recovered from contexts of deliberate deposition. It is proposed that the repeated visitation of a particular wetland or riverine zone like the river fords at Killaloe and Scarriff in Co. Clare to deposit martial equipment may signify a sense of shared identity by warriors (i.e. this is where our ancestors also deposited their swords). This paper will explore how archaeological evidence for the ritual deposition of swords in Bronze Age Ireland can further our understanding of the social role of the warrior.

All Welcome!

Department of Archaeology Research Seminar Series

[1] Bridgford, S. D. (1997) 'Mighter than the Pen? (an Edgewise Look at Irish Bronze Age Swords)' in Carman, J., ed. Material Harm, archaeological studies of war and violence, Glasgow: Cruithne Press, 95-115.