Friday, 3 April 2015

Bronze Age Weapons

Archaeologists excavating on land and divers exploring the riverbed of the River Tollense valley of north-east Germany have uncovered what may be the remains of the earliest Bronze Age battlefield ever found.

Evidence of human-on-human violence has been discovered as far back as the early Stone Age, but nothing indicating a large-scale battle between opposing factions. The finds on the River Tollense site include the remains of 100 bodies, most of them apparently young men, plus wooden bludgeoning weapons, an arrowhead embedded deep into an upper arm, and horse bones.
In late 2012 bronze weapons and hundreds of human bones were found in the Sahara desert. The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology's biggest outstanding mysteries.

The lost army of Persian King Cambyses II was said to be over 50,000 warriors who were buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C.

Short sword was made between 3200 and 1150BC. The decorated hilt and round pommel were later replacements.
Technology to refine, smelt and cast metal ores were first used during the Bronze Age (3500—700BC). Early civilizations began to combine bronze or copper alloys to produce spears, daggers, swords and axes. Later, swordsmiths started producing finely detailed swords with stronger iron blades. These techniques spread and had a profound influence on future warfare.
With the introduction of copper alloys (90% copper and 10% tin), the bronzesmith was able to produce a much harder metal. Its hardness and consequent durability were dependent on the temperature achieved during smelting. The higher the temperature, the harder the metal became. Iron ore was also discovered and soon became the material of choice for the production of bladed weapons. Iron ore was abundant and, like copper alloys, it could be heated to high temperatures by using charcoal. Immersion of the blade in water and continuous hammering to form a well-tempered blade developed a consistent surface that was far less prone to breakage than bronze or copper.

Most blades would have been cast in stone, metal or clay moulds.

Ancient Greece, 5th-2nd century BC. Bronze arrowhead. Bi-lobate and barbed type (leaf-shaped with 2 blades). Enlarged hole likely made a screeching-whistling sound when hurtled through the air to strike fear upon the enemy.
The crossbow was first developed by the Greeks in 5th Century BC and was used widely throughout the Bronze Age.