Sword with gold hilt from Guadalajara

Arround 1800 BC - 1500 BC

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

Bronze Age societies visually marked their differences in rank using objects intended to indicate the status they had acquired within the community. Weapons and ornaments made of copper and bronze played an essential role amongst these indicators of prestige, although the most prominent members of society also turned to precious metals such as gold and silver. Metal is a scarce material, and processing it requires technology that is more complex than was previously used by humans with other raw materials. Thus, during this whole period it was mainly used to create objects that could be used to identify social rank, rather than a technological advance applied to the necessities of daily life. In parallel, metal eventually became a symbol of value, and over time its accumulation it would acquire a use similar to money. This sword, unique in the peninsular Bronze Age, is an example of the development of prestigious weapons used as a representation of social rank. It is an object that has more symbolic than functional value – a real icon of power.


  • Title: Sword with gold hilt from Guadalajara
  • Date Created: Arround 1800 BC - 1500 BC
  • Location: Guadalajara, Spain
  • Provenance: Guadalajara
  • Type: Goldsmith
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Gold, copper
  • Cultural Context: Middle Bronze Age

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