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Bronze Dagger, "K'O"

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

A ceremonial bronze dagger-axe. Apparently cast in one piece. The grip pistol-butt shaped. These ancient weapons were called a ko or ge. Its dagger shaped blade was attached to a long pole, or haft, allowing it to be swung and thrust in battle. The dagger-axe was used in ancient China from the Shang through the Han dynasties, when it was gradually replaced by the Chinese halberd, or ji.

Normally only the head of dagger-axes are excavated as the haft has decomposed or been removed. Jade ceremonial forms of the dagger-axe have been found in the tombs of nobility, where they possibly served as symbols of authority, power, or protection.

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  • Title: Bronze Dagger, "K'O"
  • Location: China, Asia
  • Type: Dagger
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • Medium: Bronze
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): A448085
  • Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Historic Period: Shang (Yin) Period (1523 B.C. To Ca. 1028 B.C.)
  • Field: Archaeology
  • Accession Date: 1966-01-19

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