Length: 40.000 cm
Width: 7.500 cm
Bequeathed by James Woodhouse
GR 1868.1-10.342 (Bronze 2753)
Room 12b: Greece: Mycenaeans
Bronze dagger with an integral hilt and pommel
Mycenaean, 1300-1100 BC
Probably from the island of Ithaca, Greece
A sturdy weapon
Large numbers of weapons, many of them broken or damaged, were placed in the graves of Mycenaean warriors, probably as a sign of their prowess in battle. Many of the earlier swords and daggers had a narrow tang to which a hilt was rivetted: these had a tendency to break off in battle. The integral hilt and pommel of this dagger would have made it, in contrast, a very sturdy weapon. The unusual shape of the hilt and the down turned horns of the handgrip probably derive from Near Eastern examples.
This dagger probably came from the island of Ithaca, legendary home of the hero Odysseus, who fought at Troy and who gave his name to Homer's great epic poem, The Odyssey.
Lord William Taylour, The Mycenaeans (London, Thames and Hudson, 1983)