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contents : Bronze and Iron Ages : Craft & Industry

Summary: Tools and Weapons

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There are five times as many early axeheads found in Ireland as there are in Scotland or Northern England. The most primitive type had a thick butt and almost straight sides and were probably attached to a wooden club. Later finely decorated axeheads became fashionable; some have even been found in a leather pouch made for the purpose. Some hoards include halberds which had broad dagger like blades and were usually mounted at right angles to their shaft. Those which were made from copper and bronze were probably ceremonial rather than useful. Some daggers were long rapiers, as long as 12inches(30cms). It is likely that some fought with a rapier in one hand and a dirk (short dagger) in the other. Almost all rapier hoards were found in rivers or lakes and suggests that a ritual may have been involved. Socketed spearheads were developed and improved techniques of hollow casting meant that these hollow sockets could be extended giving extra strength to the blade.

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