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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Wanted: Smiths? Who wants to give making a Khopesh a go? Reply to topic
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Wanted: Smiths? Who wants to give making a Khopesh a go?         Reply with quote

We have a whole lot of excellent and skilled smithies who post and read here, and I would really like to have a Khopesh (something like 2nd Dynasty, Ramses II period...) custom-made from very good materials (steel, not bronze). Price, within reason, is not an issue. (But please remember that NZ $1.00 is US 80c, ok? Haha!)

Due to the unusual design request, I thought I would ask here in the Marketplace forum, and any of the great smithies who want to give it a try can reply to this thread, or PM me.

I understand that this sword type is probably quite outside what you would normally get requests for, but I recently had an epiphany as to the use of one, both alone and with a shield (this site has done wonders in terms of my attitude towards shields...), and I want one to match with (eventually...). For now I just want a well-made sharpie to practice with. I seem to be getting more ancient in preference as time goes on... I'll be tying rocks to tree branches next!

Khopeshes (is that the plural form?) seem to be very effective in most ways, even including, to a degree, in thrusting, which I did not expect, given the very distinctive shape. I'm going to have a lot of fun. I have no idea, however, how it should be balanced, what dimensions are ideal, etc.. I'm hoping one of you guys might be able to help me out with that.

Anyway, please advise me if you would like to create this wonderful sword for me, and we can get the ball rolling.

Thanks.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Uh oh... This counts as a "potential" sale, doesn't it?

My apologies... It seemed like a good idea...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison,
I've moved your post out of the Marketplace. The Marketplace, is its rules state, is only for people looking to buy items from other, non-business readers. Since you're looking for a custom smith that falls outside the purpose of that forum.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like a fun project.
We where planning on casting a bronze Kopesh once the last technical difficulties are sorted out, since we want to cast it in a traditional manner. I think it well at least be two years before something worth showing is actually produced.
If you need dimensions for the blade, I can get those for you. My wife is working in the wide field of egyptology.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arne,

Yeah, thanks mate. I'd really appreciate that.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, not that far from you, over in Australia, is a fellow named Craig Stich, who runs a place called Manning Imperial. He makes Khopesh (Khopeshes? Khopeshii?): http://www.manningimperial.com/list.php?categ...group_id=1
Of those illustrated, you'll be wanting the "Canaanite Sword". The "Decorated (Egyptian)" Khopesh is a freaking boat anchor in terms of weight.

Even better, though farther away, is Neil Burridge in the UK. He makes the absolute best bronze swords in the world, as good as the originals. The Canaanite Khopesh illustrated on his site seems to be a "base" model; he has made at least one much nicer version. This may be the guy you want to talk to: http://www.templeresearch.eclipse.co.uk/bronz...r_sale.htm

David K. Wilson, Jr.
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Drop Neil Burridge a mail.
He is about as authentic as it comes and the leading experimentor in bronze sword making. He has the khopesh in hit catalogue:

http://www.bronze-age-craft.com/swords_for_sale.htm

peter
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Wanted: Smiths? Who wants to give making a Khopesh a go?         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
We have a whole lot of excellent and skilled smithies who post and read here, and I would really like to have a Khopesh (something like 2nd Dynasty, Ramses II period...) custom-made from very good materials (steel, not bronze).
Ah, but bronze is far better then steel, as it's much prettier Wink

Quote:
Khopeshes (is that the plural form?) seem to be very effective in most ways, even including, to a degree, in thrusting, which I did not expect, given the very distinctive shape.
Actually, they're not that great, compared to swords that is. The balance is pretty poor (in sword terms, they handle like axes, which they are actually), the cross-sections very thick, giving a lot of resistance in a a cut and most were never even sharpened. The great majority of khopeshes that have been found (in royal tombs) were probably never intended to be used as weapons. The Canaanite khopesh I made with Neil (see http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=20), was IMO one of the likeliest candidates of a functional khopesh (aside from the earlier tanged khopeshes). However, if the drawings from the publications are accurate (though cross-sections generally aren't), the edge has a very large angle. I gave the edge on mine a bit smaller angle, but it has still a larger angle then a cloving axe, so it's not very sharp. But with these weapons you have to keep in mind though that there were no real swords when they were made, aside from short daggers. Then again, the khopeshes weren't very large either, with blades ranging from 20 to 50cm, most in the 40cm range, which includes the non-sharpened section in front of the hilt.
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here some data from four examples (all in cm):

A: end of the 2nd intermediate period.

48,5 x 2,3 x 0,5

B: beginning 2nd intermediate period.

47 (just the blade) x 3,4 x 0,6 to 0,7

C: new kingdom:

59 x sorry, no width x 0,7

D: new kingdom.

57,79 x 1,9 x 1

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, did they shear through, or just stick in the meat like a hatchet? The shape suggest a natural draw to the cut.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Fri 21 Mar, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm really looking for steel, because bronze damages easily by comparison. I have no experience with the use of a Khopesh, and that makes for an exciting and fun trial by experiment, but I would kick myself if I somehow managed to chip or break my bronze sword. Especially when the cutting power I suspect this shape allows for comes into proper, practiced effect. So I have finally decided upon a good steel for my first Khopesh... Just until I figure out how to use it, and then I will get a more authentic one.

The shape does suggest a natural draw to the cut, doesn't it? If indeed this sword is the predecessor to the Greek Kopis and Spanish Falcata, as is widely said, it will have a great deal of draw, and will cleave asunder, rather than hack and stick. This will, of course, be a technique thing to a degree as well.

I'm interested in Khopeshes because I love Kopises, and greatly admire the Machaira and Falcata as well. So I figure that if I want to be a reasonably skilled user of all these weapons, I should start with the Khopesh, and then move forward in history until I reach where they started to fade out of sight.

So my history understanding (feel free to correct me, I want the real story) of the Egyptian creation and use of the Khopesh is that they were adopted by Ramses II (AKA Ozymandias 1303 - 1213 BCE) to replace the stone mace standard in the Army of the time, after the Hittites gained Qadesh in a stunning victory. This defeat of the Egyptians proved to Ramses II that his army was obsolescent in weapons and strategies, particularly as the helmets worn by the enemy afforded great protection against mace hits, and the sickle-swords of the Hittites chopped and stabbed their way to hell and back against unarmoured Egyptian troops.

So he invented the speedy back-axle chariots, which rained arrows constantly (from the second man, the archer) as they sped back and forth around and between the early phalanx-like block formations used by Mutawalli II, the Hittite King. Hittite chariots were much slower and had three men. The compound bows used by Egypt were the most powerful known at the time, the chariots were the quickest. The sickle-swords were the best quality, and the shields involved a new treatment technology. Therefore, Ramses II brought battlefield equipment and strategy up to a whole new level of quality.

Now, I heard that the Khopesh can be used for thrusting, cutting and can move very fast. The shape does suggest a more axe-like usage, but just imagine getting stabbed by one. I also heard that Ramses II held inter-divisional tournaments (I understand he had four army divisions - Amon, Ra, Ptah and Sett) and was a master of Khopesh use himself. Apparently Egyptian skill with these swords was very highly developed during his time. I've even heard the word "fencing" applied. It's odd, then, that Ramses' infantry were smashed by the Hittite chariots at the Battle of The Plains of Qadesh, while the Hittite Infantry were not smashed by the Egyptian charioteers at the same battle. It was won by the Hittites having to retreat over a river, and being forced to leave their chariots behind and swim.

So Ramses II fought Mutawalli II, beat him, fought Mutawalli's successor, Hattusilli III, and came to a stalemate where they signed the first ever peace treaty. Then they teamed up to fight the Assyrians. Somewhere in this time, if the legends are to be believed, it is said Moses took the Israelites on a 40 year walk through the desert.

So the Khopesh is a very tried and true weapon, and I want one to see how these Egyptians and Canaanites fought on foot. Should be interesting... I'll (eventually... not for a while, though) be willing to take matches, if there is any takers...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Eric Meulemans
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Mar, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An excellent project to propose, but, if you may please allow me to indulge in a semantic note:

A "smithy" is the place in which a "smith" works. Referring to the latter as the former is, as has been written elsewhere, a bit like calling a mechanic a garage.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Fri 21 Mar, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I am aware of this. Hence the reason I use the "-ie", rather than the "-y", meaning the workshop.

I intend it as an mildly colloquial and affectionate term. A swordsmith is, after all, a swordsman's best friend, is he not?

I hope I didn't offend anyone by my usage of this term "Smithie".

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Sat 22 Mar, 2008 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
It was won by the Hittites having to retreat over a river, and being forced to leave their chariots behind and swim.

That is the popular version taken from the egyptian hieroglyphs yes.

There are some snags.
The hittite chariots were not all heavy and their chariotry was better than those of the egypts. Their assusani were HIGLY prized by the egypts. I have made an extensive study of Kikkuli, the Mitanni who trained the Hittite war horses just before the battle of quadesh.

The actual location combined with ALL availeable account tells a different story: the egyptians at best could claim a stale mate.

The treaties after the battle suggest a complete rout of the egyptians or otherwise at least the clear message that this corridor was best left to the Hittites.
The Hittites ruled the region for a surprisingly long and stable peacefull period afterwards. It is appearant that the match was decisive witout a doubt. Both parties knew exactly their limits: the Hittites controle the quadesh corridor but that was it. The egypts realised they would benefit more from stable Hittite control of the zone than by overextending themselves in battles they would not win.
The relations between the two super powers of their time stabelised and princess&princesses were intermarried.
The wife of the well known Toetankmon turned for HELP to the Hittite court when her husband was disposed of by court intriges. She actually agreed marriage and the throne wherupon a Hittite prince went underway. He was killed well beyond Quadesh which still was very much Hittite territory.

No, all in all the conclusion has to be that the Hitites had the better chariotry. This should be no surprise as the Mariannu, an ancient 'equine' upper class were home in their core territory. The Mittani assusani Kikkuli was a mariannu too. These horse masters are prized as princes in egyption hieroglyphs.
You can find souces about Kikkuli on my website and if you whish to chase those I have several studies on the subject so can look up the references. I have at present a doctorate about chariotry in that region/epoque for reading at home.

peter
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Kelly Powell




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PostPosted: Sat 22 Mar, 2008 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

about it thrusting....Their was a show on the discovery channel.....the bald headed british guy who is always beating up his students with weapons through the ages was stating that it was balanced for a thrust....but most of the pictures I've seen shows the point to be if not rounded at least almost squared.....a latter evolution of the weapon? I could see clipping the spine of the blade to make a swedge or chisel point.... and if the ...hell what terminology am I looking for?geometry of the blade? angle of force? whatever blade magic allows the motive power to drive the point in cleanly.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sat 22 Mar, 2008 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've thought the same thing. What I figure is that you could swing it to stab, cutting edge outwards, not unlike you would if you wanted to penetrate with a sickle or scythe. I've seen replicas with a slight angle on the square-ish end, which would make it better for thrusting, but this is not common to all Khopeshes I've seen.

I think we can pretty much agree that it is more effective as an axe... The Greek Kopis, though, which is apparently a descendant of the Khopesh, has a sharp point. The Iberian and Macedon Falcata, too, has a good enough point to thrust well, the shape seeming to pull the blade further into the penetration. And I have found that there are about eight possible forward thrusting angles for use of a Kopis, although the cuts are definitely the speciality of this weapon.

To add to this, I have looked into Neil Burridge's bronze Khopeshes and Canaanite Swords, and they seem to have quite a good point for thrusting. I could honestly see them being used just like a Kopis.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Bram Verbeek





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PostPosted: Sat 22 Mar, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have always thought that falcata and khopis were descendant of knives with an incurve, and that a khopesh is a wholly different family, basically extinct after the khopesh. This due to the existence of finds of incurved knives and the cross section of a khopesh, particularely the straight part
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sun 23 Mar, 2008 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2729

http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Kopis.htm

http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showtopic=8654

Haha! I found some others, but they said Kopises were around 3 feet in length! So I didn't add them...

The Fogg forum thread has a mention of Ewart Oakeshott as having said the Khopesh was the ancestor of Kopis, Machaira and Falcata. I'm interested in knowing if that's what Oakeshott really said.

economicexpert.com lists 1979's The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons by Tarrasuk and Blair as a reference. I don't know how reliable that book is.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The khopesh and kopis have no relation, other then that the name is similar, though with entire different meanings (khopesh is egyptian for "knee", kopis greek for "to cut"). There's nearly 1000 years between the last khopeshes and the first kopis/machaira/falcata examples, which are entirely different weapons in form and function. The khopesh evolved from (or parallel to) axes, while the kopis developed from iron age knives.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jeroen,

Please. if possible, give some form of reference or evidence for that statement.

If the Khopesh is not the ancestor of the Kopis, then my plan for learning use of the whole family is flawed.

A Khopesh is still a marvellous and powerful weapon (especially with modern materials), with potential to defeat a myriad of other weapons. I'm still going to develop use of one, even if it isn't the ancestor of the Kopis.

Meanwhile, my Kopis use is coming along very nicely, what a wonderful weapon...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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