A symbol — but of what? Iron Age daggers, Alessi corkscrews and anthropoid embellishment reconsidered
An ingenious derivation for the La Tène dagger with anthropoid hilt shows how craftsmen gave an agreeable character to a working weapon. The dagger remained every bit as effective, but the splayed person on the hilt added a touch of playful luxury to the serious business of stabbing. By way of a modern anthropoid corkscrew, the author lures us away from an obsession with symbolism and encourages us to look for a more down-to-earth ‘psychological functionality’ in decorated objects.
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- Peer review status:
- Peer reviewed
- Copyright holder:
- Antiquity Publications
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- Copyright 2011 Antiquity Publications. Images in this article appear courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum, the Prehistoric Society, iStockPhoto.com and Urban Attitude.
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