Bronze Ko from China, Asia. Thought to have been collected by S. Wakefield. Given to the Museum in 1920.
Ko are unique to China. The name translates as 'dagger-halberd'. They were the principal weapons of war during the Shang period (1500-1027 BC) and this example dates to the end of this period. It would have been hafted onto a long, wooden shaft although these almost never survive in the archaeological record.
More ornate ko were placed in royal tombs and during the later Zhou period (1045-256 BC), they were used to perform official sacrifices to maintain the favour of the gods of war.