Kingston on Thames

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Kingston on Thames, UK (type Rosnoën)

Weight: c.560 grams - Length: 53 cm - Material: bronze (Cu88Sn12).

Edge: hardened through cold hammering, ground - Original:Kingston on Thames, UK (Colquhoun & Burgess 1988: no. 4)

PRICE: 380 EUR fully hilted (shipping not included).

 

 

FROM RAPIER TO SWORD IN THE ATLANTIC BRONZE AGE TRADITION

 

The Atlantic Bronze Age tradition encompasses Iberia to Scotland, including Western France. In this region people for long favoured narrow blades known as dirks and rapiers (not that they are comparable to modern dirks and rapiers). This was still the situation around 1300 B.C. as Europe further east developed a new generation of swords, building already on 300 years of sword making experience.


After about 1250 B.C. this changed as a result partly of increased contact between Western France and the Central European Urnfield zone. The first true sword in the Atlantic tradition was developed in Western France, the type Rosnoën sword. It is considered by many to be a simplified copy of the type Rixheim swords of Southern Germany/Switzerland/Rhone valley (one might argue that the division between rapier and sword in Atlantic Bronze Age archaeology is somewhat unclear, and that the Rixheim sword itself was rather rapier-like). Anyway, the new type Rosnoën sword also reached Britain across the channel, probably as imports from France. In Britain these initiated British sword production, first with type Ballintober, a close reflection of the Rosnoën type. 


By 1200 B.C. an Atlantic sword tradition was established, and in the next centuries this was in closer dialogue with Central Europe than before. Urnfield full bronze hilt designs never gained popularity in the west, but the flange-hilted Naue II on the other hand, was to spur the later development of the unique Atlantic Ewart Park design.

The original sword from Kingston on Thames. From: Colquhoun & Burgess 1988: no. 4.

The Rosnoën type sword represents a thriving French bronze industry and an era of increased contact between the Atlantic and Central Europe. The replica is based on the sword from Kingston on Thames, United Kingdom, considered to be an import from France (Colquhoun & Burgess 1988: no. 4).

 

Litterature:
Briard, J. 1965: Les Depots Bretons et L’age du Bronze Atlantique. Rennes.  


Butler, J.J. 1987: Bronze Age Connections: France and the Netherlands. Palaeohistoria, 29, 9-34.


Colquhoun, I.A. & C. B. Burgess 1988:  The Swords of Britain. Prähistorische Bronzefunde IV,5. München.