Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: Villanovan phase (900-680 B.C.)


Knives are occasionally provided with a moulded bronze handle. More often, the blade was inserted by means of a tang or fastened to a wooden handle by small nails clinched, or other perishable material, oxidized traces of which are found sometimes on the bronze surface.

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Knives could have been used for different purposes, on the basis of their shape and size. The larger ones could have been utilised to slice meat, whereas the smaller ones, which are discovered more frequently in women’s sepulchres, were probably employed to cut threads or other fibres. Small or medium-sized knives with sinuous and curved blade on the tip are by far predominant in Bologna. These are discovered exclusively in men’s sepulchres. Since there were no longer crescent-shaped razors in that time, it can be assumed that knives had acquired their function.

Provenance: Bologna, Cortesi Necropolis, tomb 12
Datation: 7th century BC
Material: bronze
Dimensions: length cm 17.8
Inventory #: 31275

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