Star-shaped club head

DATE:
700–1400 CE
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Arsenical bronze
CLASSIFICATION:
Tools and Equipment
DIMENSIONS:
3/4 × 4 3/4 × 4 3/4 in. (1.91 × 12.07 × 12.07 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Americas
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison
OBJECT NUMBER:
1976.W.1771

General Description

Star-shaped mace heads were a common form for clubs and weapons from at least the Early Intermediate Period (200 BCE-600 CE). The first examples appear in stone, associated with Chavín and Salinar cultures. The succeeding Moche and Nasca developed copper mace heads, which they depict in painted scenes of hand-to-hand combat on ceramic vessels. The pointed metal maces would remain popular throughout Andean cultural history. This metal mace head is composed of arsenical copper (or arsenical bronze) with five long cast points. The copper alloy composition suggests that this mace head dates to at least the Middle Horizon (600-1000 CE) when such alloys appear within the central Andean regions.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text [1976.W.1793; 1976.W.1771; 1976.W.1772; 1976.W.1773; 1976.W.1774], 2015.

Fun Facts

  • In his 1976 report, Junius B. Bird, curator emeritus of South American archaeology at the American Museum of Natural History, notes: "Inca. K9a Cast copper or bronze club heads, (Last two may be earlier)."