Sword with Gold Foil Wrapped Hilt

Accession No. R020080
Period Eastern Chou
Material Bronze, Gold
Findspot Tomb No. 60 Liu-li-ko Site
Geographic Location Chengguan Town, Hui County, Henan Province, China
Dimension L. 34.7cm; W. 4.2cm; T. 1cm


This sword wrapped in gold foil of the Spring and Autumn period was unearthed at the southeastern corner of the tomb M60 outer coffin in the Liu-li-ko cemetery. It was already broken into several sections when it was discovered, and was alongside with two swords (R020069, R020078) and a curved knife with ring pommel (R019720). The size and shape of the two swords are similar. The pattern and shape of this sword overlaid in gold foil combine the characteristics of the Central Plains and the Northern type bronze wares. For example, the square hollow pommel and the shape of the grip are common features of the Northern type bronze sword. However the coiled ch'ih dragon motif, animal-mask motif, and interlaced snake motif are common decorations on bronze wares of the Central Plains culture during the Spring and Autumn Period. Apparently, it is a product of cultural interaction.