During the Bronze Age, the deposition of metallic objects in areas filled with water or unearthed in the bed of the rivers were common. These offerings consisted in weapons, especially bronze swords that hided a symbolic meaning related to the warrior. In the Early Bronze Age tombs, the deposition of the sword with the deceased is rare. In this case, this weapon was voluntarily broken in order to link the warrior’s life with the one of the sword.

A Bronze Age (1200-1100 BC) sword had been unearthed in the riverbed (showcase n. 11, n.5) and currently found in the river Tanaro near Roddi. The shape of its grip shows the exigence to be resistant against blow weapons. This aspect connects with the diffusion of the fights from the horsebacks ad not only from the chariots.

As in the rest of Europe, also in Piedmont the swords deposited in the rivers don’t show any traces of exploitation, perceived as an offering to the deities or to the deceased. Therefore, the waters were seen as the doors form this world to the hell: an evidence of this is that the celt-ligurian name of the river Po, Bodynkos, was traduced by Plinius with the expression “without bottom” and so in connection with the underground waters. It is not casual the high number of mentions of special weapons given to the hero from a feminine deity in the Indo-European mitology (Thetis with Achilles, the Lady of the Lake with Lancelot and King Arthur…)

  • Bronze swords from Trana dated back to the Intermediate and Early Bronze Age (Archaoelogical Museum of Turin)
  • Sword, type Allerona, found during the drainage works in the Fucino lake
  • Localization of the main Piedmontese swords and rivers from the Intermediate Brone Age and Early Bronze Age