Polished Jadeitite Axeheads (Avery Cok)

16 Sep

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My interest in the vast ancient weaponry in the museum was no surprise to me. However, my search for the most eye-catching piece of weaponry was the great challenge. While journeying through the museum, I stopped for a minute to just admire the beauty of it. It was perfect. There were multiple polished jadeitite axeheads (4000-3800 B.C.) placed adjacent to a regular piece of jadeitite. It glistened and shined at me. I felt as if I could wear the axeheads. It just looked so comfortable and appealing. It was so befuddling that something so smooth could be used as a weapon. It additionally looked crystallized. The coloring of it was an oxymoron to me because I saw inconsistent yet consistent coloring throughout the stone. It is inexplicable, but it resonates well in my mind. Nevertheless, it cannot be explained in words.

The axeheads represent the B.C. period very well. In essence, early settler in Ireland needed protection and were more than able to use brutal force to show that. With respect to the period, they were considered very barbaric-like. They also needed to fight to try to control more land. In addition, they used weapons to hunt animals for food and shelter. Back then, weapons were used as a form of territory negotiations. So, instead of talking with words, they talked through battle. These axeheads were more than successful in preserving Irish culture to this day. In those times, weapons were the top priority assets that any person could have. Consequently, the importance of axeheads is distinguished implicitly and explicitly through the quantity and variety of axeheads that the museum displays.

It would be quicker to mention the artifacts that aren’t similar to these axeheads than to mention the similar ones. That is representative to the grave importance of fine weaponry in ancient times. But, I’ll name a few of them like Bronze Age halberds, daggers (2500-2000 B.C.), dirks, iron spearheads, and spearheads (1400-900 B.C.). They are similar in shape, usage, and form. The great mastery that it took to make these weapons is immense for its time. For these various reasons, I was extremely impressed with the creation and final product of the polished jadeitite axeheads.

-Avery Cok

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