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Friday, March 13, 2009

Bronze Age Weapons

The Bronze age spans the years between 3300 to 1200 BCE. the time period is divided into three stages: early, middle and late. Bronze is an alloy of copper (90%) and tin (10%). The greatest ore sites are located in Britain and central Europe.

Copper and bronze weapons were superior to stone in strength, sharpnes and durability. Historians credit metal weapons with growth of urban civilizaitons by creating a class of skilled metal workers. There was greater contact with scattered people as traders traveled far abroad in search of copper and tin deposits.

With the rise of urban living came the need for armies to protect the area. Those cultures without metallurgy technology fell prey to those that did. The Bronze age covers the time of ancient Greeks, Troy, Assyrians and Egyptians, what we think of as Biblical times. Plagues and famine made some peoples vulnerable to the powerful armies that rose weilding advanced weapons.

Stone age weapons were still used but improved upon. Bows and arrows were widely used in hunting, but in many cultures, it was considered honorable to look into your enemies' eyes on the field of battle.

The sling was still popular for those who might not be able to afford a sword. This weapon worked very well for David when he went up against Goliath. The staff was popular for multiple uses, a bronze tip applied to make a spear.

Swords and daggers could be made to fit the individuals grasp. Arrow heads were now metal and the concept made a fine axe.

Clubs were made with wood, ivory or jade. Some clubs attached to the wrist by a cord threaded through a hole in the club handle. In Hawaii and the Fiji Islands, clubs were embedded with shark teeth or shaped with saw like teeth along the edge. The clubs may also be adorned with the teeth of slain enemies.

The Plains Indians of North America used a long, thin handled stick called a counting coup.

Any blow struck against the enemy counted as a coup, but the most prestigious acts included touching an enemy warrior, with the hand or with a coup stick, then escaping unharmed. It was considered more honorable to risk confronting an enemy without killing him. The coup stick might have notches along the handle so the warrior can keep count of how many enemy he confronted.

The Bronze Age yielded to the Iron age. As weapons became more brutal, its seems humans became more aggressive.


Mary Ricksen said...

Gimmie a club any day! I could use one right now. Ha!
I do enjoy learning these historical things, great informative post.
Thank yo!

Barbara said...

OMG, I love this blog!! So informative if you are a aspiring writer!

Jen Childers said...

Thanks ladies,
We aim to please!
I will be going into battles and armies.
hmmm a club. useful for unruly husbands and gossips. LOL
Take care,

footiemadjoefish said...

great information helped alot thanks(=

Lawrence Halter said...

Apart from bronze being used as weapons, this also shows how illustrious people were in that age. From intricately-designed cups and bowls to marvelously crafted ornaments, bronze has inspired a technological development, albeit an ancient one. To this day, bronze is still regarded as one of the many essentials of metallurgy. It is still used in construction, hardware and other implements.