Swords are killing weapons. Thats the truth. However the history of these artistic killing weapons is relatively unknown. So to know how we came to the sword we all know and love lets look at everything we know.
A Replica Bronze Age Blade
The late bronze age is when "swords" truly arrived. little more than elongated daggers these blades were held in one hand with a shield in the other. This was due to the fact that bronze is such a soft metal. past a certain length the blades would bend when fighting. Even with these shorter blades bronze still had its problems as a metal. Not able to hold an edge well blades would have to be constantly cared for and re-sharpend. So it was no surprise that ancient metal workers tried to make bronze better.
Iron Age Blades and Accessories
The discovery of Iron rocked the known world. With this new metal blades became longer, thinner, and all around better. Along with the longer length new shapes were being forged. This was mainly due to the fact that new technology had been created in the times from the Bronze age to the mid Iron age. Now even with all of the skills of the blacksmiths of the time the blades could easily break and bend without proper care and use.
The Hilt of a replica Scottish Claymore
As time passed the known world became larger and humans settled in different areas. As these different peoples settled down they had to adapt to there new environments. along with changes in clothing, housing, and foods their weapons also changed. The Scottish clamor is just one of thousands of examples of this. a heavy cutting weapon it was most effective against non armored foes. Blades like the claymore were being forged all over Europe. These massive blades were hugely effective but had a single flaw. regular iron could not handle the length of the up to 5 ft blades. The answer to this problem was damascus or wootz steel. This type of metal had huge advantages to regular metal.
damascus ( wootz ) steal is made through lairing high and low carbon steal. The welding of the different carbon levels not only gives the blade a oil slick looking pattern it gives the blade immense strength and an almost unrivaled cutting edge. This is due to the fact that the folding of the metal makes small micro tubes in the cutting edge.
Sasaki Kojiro was a Japanese sword master of 16th century feudal japan. having won a nearly insurmountable amount of duels and tournaments he was renowned and loved all throughout Japan. In His later years he Was bested and killed by a younger sword master by the name of Miajamoto Musashi
A page from Fiorie dei Liberie's book