Monday, April 3, 2017


Mesopotamia Bronze Short Sword


Hello everyone! How are you all? I pray well as can be. I thank all of you fine folks who prayed for my sister. Her operation turned out well and now she is in recovery. She still has lots of pain but is not complaining, bless her heart. She is such a trooper!

Speaking of troopers, wars and battles, in the old days people used swords to fight. And in the really ancient times they used bronze swords. So a question was posed to me recently about how sharp a bronze sword or dagger can get. This is an important question for me as in my newest novel, people were using bronze long daggers. A long dagger is
Courtney of How Stuff Works
another name for a short sword and ranged anywhere from 307 to 600 mm (one to two feet) long including the handle (tang).

The earliest Bronze Age (c. 33rd to 31st centuries[secular]; just after The Flood and the split at the Tower of Babel [unaltered history recorded in the scripture]), short swords are based on finds at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University. There he discovered nine swords and daggers composed of an arsenic-copper alloy. Among them, three swords were beautifully inlaid with silver. These weapons range from 450 to 600 mm and are described as either short swords or long daggers. In the same place twelve bronze spearheads were found.

Most ancient shorts swords have been unearthed around Mesopotamia, then spreading out from there to other places in the Middle-East, China, Japan, Europe, Egypt, The Moors and others. 
Edge of long dagger nicked in battle

“Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12% (or more) tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.”1

Most early Bronze Age short swords where made of a composite of 10 to 12 % tin, which is strong, but not brittle.This means the long dagger would most likely bend before it broke. To prevent bending slightly later blades were designed for maximum strength while still giving the blade great balance and thrusting/slicing ability. Designs cropped up such as the leaf-bladed sword that housed a thick but narrow blade near the hilt, and a broad but thin near the tip and folded metal started to become popular. In China they used 17 to 21% tin—breaking more easily under stress. In the Mesopotamia area long daggers were found with a high tin content for the cutting edge and bronze with low tin
Leaf Blade Short Sword
content for the spine. This resulted in a short sword with hard and durable cutting edges and a flexible spine to absorb shock. In some early period swords extensive use of copper sulphides were utilized as an anti-corrosion coating. 

So the answer for “Were ancient bronze swords sharp?” is yes. Sharp enough to cut through leather, skin and muscles. 

As an interesting side note, read the following short article:

Damascene nanotubes: Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest materials known. They consist of cylinders with walls that are just one atom thick. When used within composite materials they can massively enhance the strength of an object resulting in super strong and light components, some of which you can find in wind turbines, sports gear and vehicles. In 2006, researchers discovered
that the people of Damascus were making use of nanotubes in their steel hundreds of years ago. The result was beautiful blades covered in swirling patterns. And more importantly for the soldiers of the time was the exceptional durability and the razor-sharp edges the steel held. We now know the exact composition of Damascus steel, yet modern metallurgists have failed to reproduce it so far.”2

I know this article is about steel rather than bronze, but steel was utilized thousands of years ago too. And the secular scientists say we came from dumber apelike ancestors? This is one more proof that our ancient ancestors were so smart that we can’t, even in our modern age, duplicate what was produced thousands of years ago. 

Something to think about…Until next time, take care and may Jesus bless you all,
Willow Dressel



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