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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
I found an image of the wall paintings to which I referred in the above quote. It is from the tomb of Khnum Hotep III at the magnificent necropolis at Beni Hassan, Egypt. Dated to the 19th century. If you look carefully you can see the throwsticks. They even seem to have handles similar to those of the Egyptian and Canaanite Khopesh.
Are you sure they're not actually khopeshes? I've seen other pictures and statues of wariors armed with khopeshes as well, or at least I thought they were.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Fohl wrote:
Kirk,


The guys in the tomb painting have rather non-Egyptian looking beards. Is there any information as to their origins?


Hi Tim...

You and David and Felix are exactly right... they are not Egyptian, but rather "Asiatic." apart from the distinctions of beards, dress, sandals, weapons, facial feature etc, the Egyptians used different colors for the different people groups. If I remember right, Asiatics (from the east) were brown; Egyptians were a reddish brown and Hittites (from the north) were yellow. Beyond all this the heirogyphic inscription identifies them as Asiatic traders of stibium (a black cosmetic used as eyeliner, which the Egyptians, both men and women, were very fond). The whole sequence: four women, a donkey with 2 children and a billows on its back and then a group of four men with throwsticks and bow, in front of them are two asiatic men sans sandals with a gift of a gazelle being led by an Egyptian huntsman into the presence of nome-arch, Khnum Hotep III. Who looms over them about four times their size.

Hey Jeroen...

I had the same thought, if they look so much like a Khopesh maybe they are! We know that the Canaanites had them. The only thing I can say, is that an archeologist in a written description of the painting said that they were "throwsticks." And that they were so common to these particular asiatic traders that it was the Egyptian heirglyph for these people. I saw a drawing of this painting once with the heirglyphic inscription and several places above the heads of the two leaders you can see the heirglyph that looks like the objects they are carrying... like a boomarang with a handle. The main difference, if you look at the picture closely you can see it is almost as if they have a handle at the other end also. This feature is much more obvious in the heirglyph. Also the way they are holding them, if they were Khopesh the cutting edge, on the outside of the curve, would be facing them and not their opponent.


The significance, or one of the significances, of this work of Egyptian art is that it is one of the few, if not the only, period depiction of the very people group we read about in the story of the patriarchs of the Old Testament and it was painted at exactly the time of the patriarchs. So if you ever wondered what Abraham, Issac or Jacob looked like this is a picture from the right time and place and of the same general people group and lifestyle.

take care

ks



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Two swords
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To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
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George H.





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PostPosted: Tue 13 Feb, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:

For instance the compilation of period depictions of the Falcata in use was taken from many figures in the original work and I even through in a few that I have collected from another source.


Did the original works provide accession numbers or bibliographical data on the period depictions? I think it would be interesting to check out photos or more detailed drawings of the figures.
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Feb, 2007 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George H. wrote:
Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:

For instance the compilation of period depictions of the Falcata in use was taken from many figures in the original work and I even through in a few that I have collected from another source.


Did the original works provide accession numbers or bibliographical data on the period depictions? I think it would be interesting to check out photos or more detailed drawings of the figures.


Hey George...

The drawings were compiled from “El Armamento Iberico” by Fernando Quesada Sanz. There is probably source info in the book, however, it is in Spanish and Spanish "is Greek to me." Sad

If someone who can read Spanish would like to take a look and report the source data here that would be great.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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George H.





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PostPosted: Wed 14 Feb, 2007 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll try to lay hands on the book...
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Read Hill





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PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar, 2007 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Fohl wrote:
Those daggers and working knives with animal heads remind me of artifacts found in the region between the western mountains of China,(Altai and others) and the Black Sea. They would seem to come under the genre called the "animal style". Very interesting. Thanks.

Where are the items kept?

-------------------------------------------------------------

Some are kept in the Military Museum ,Beijing,China, some are kept in Anyang Yinxu(ruin of Yin dynasty) Museum,Henan Province,China, others are personal collection.




Here are two pictures form the book :OSPREY MILITARY ELITE SERIES THE PERSIAN ARMY 560-330BC,written by Nick Sekunda ,Simon Chew

These pictures are painted on vases by Athenians ,460BC,the description of the war against Persians.
We can take notice of the persons holding kopises,they are Persians not Greeks.Their clothes were decorated with Persian style stripes.

Alexandria maybe have used kopis,but he was later.I am still not sure about who use kopis first ,Persians or Greeks.



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Persian with kopis in hand

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Persian with kopis in hand
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Fernando Q.





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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am adding something -yes, I'm afraid it's in Spanish - on the uses of 'kopis' and 'machaira' in classical sources, and also about the origin of the word 'falcata'.

http://www.ffil.uam.es/equus/warmas/online/ma...alcata.pdf
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Kelly Powell




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is there any documentation of the middle ground between wood weapons and bronze? Could there be throwing stick/kopis looking wooden clubs grooved for pieces of shaped copper? Sort of a egyptian version of the new world weapons(Which had onyx,flint,sharks teeth, and some copper/bronze teeth for their blade)....A weight forward design like that would help maximize the small pieces of metal fitted into a grooved face.....my .02$ of conjecture.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fernando Q. wrote:
I am adding something -yes, I'm afraid it's in Spanish - on the uses of 'kopis' and 'machaira' in classical sources, and also about the origin of the word 'falcata'.

http://www.ffil.uam.es/equus/warmas/online/ma...alcata.pdf



Hi all...

Just wanted to point out, to those who may not know, that the Fernando Q. who just posted on this thread is the man who wrote the book "“El Armamento Iberico” which inspired this thread.

I have wanted to thank him publically for his hard work in this area and many others:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&a...26pwst%3D1

So thank-you Fernando Q for the research and for publishing it... and especially for taking time to participate in our community. It is a great honor!

I'm also glad that the thread has appeared again in this context because I have been wanting to add some "translated abstracts" I have compiled from two other Fernando Quesada Sanz publications. Both the above link and this link

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%...&tl=en

These works are in Spanish, however, they are digitized so I can cut and paste them into the Google translator and get a general idea of the content. I have taken notes and compiled them into a sort of abstract, of what I was able to glean from the google translations. I thought I would share it on this thread to give a facimili of this valuable information. I will present them in the future as separate posts.

take care

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is an abstract from:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%...&tl=en

The text in brackets is where I have added material or was unsure of the google translation.

..............................................................
[The Falcata Difference]
In Spain, there was such a deep Iberian transformation in the earliest kopis-like forms that a new weapon type appeared—the falcata:

1. It is on average, 20-30 cm shorter than the kopis. This allowed the weapon to be used more effectively in close hand to hand combat.

2. It has a sharpened edge on the blade spine near the tip almost completely lacking in other Mediterranean forms . This would both make the weapon more effective in the thrust and would also allow the upward cut from below the shield toward the belly.

3. It has increased lightness and resilience in the blade with a greater number and depth of narrow fullers.

[Falcata Symbolism]
Although these transformations may make the falcate blades more efficient than the longer Kopis, it is not significantly better adapted than the older straight double edged shorter swords, such as the xiphos and antenna forms. If these were equal in efficiency on the battle field, what precipitated the widespread adoption of the falcata in Spain? The added value in the eyes of the Iberians may have been simply tied up to the symbolism of the form and not its function. It has been proposed that its adoption was simply a matter of a new and attractive weapon gathering value as a prestige item. Easier to defend is the possibility that the falcata’s popularity arose from its association in the realm of sacrifice and funeral customs.

[Falcata Grave Finds]
It is difficult to know if the sword communicated justice and royalty in the Iron Age as it would do in more modern times. One thing is clear, the length and weight of the sword, very early came to symbolize war. [This is true in both the east and west. In the Bible most of the references to t he word sword is as a synonym for “war.”] In this context, the fact that there are more falcatas found in the Iberian necropolis than any other sword or dagger form may signify that once the falcata was adopted as a weapon of war, it quickly gained a symbolic association with the military elite. But the falcata’s association is more than a simple signifier of military office, for they appear in particular places and orientations suggesting a more complex symbolism. The blades are often bent double with notched edges produced by intentional hard blows against hard blunt objects such as a stone. They are also burned, indicating they were placed in the funeral pyre with the deceased, again giving it a higher symbolic significance. The bending and notching of the falcata could be for a more practical reason such as to make the weapon useless and thus discourage grave robbers. [However, the iron itself would be enough value to entice grave robbing.] More likely is the more symbolic practice of “ritual killing” of a weapon. The weapon is “killed” in its bending and notching so that it, also being killed, would be useful to its dead owner in the afterlife. There is literary evidence to support such a practice in the writings of Herodotus and Luciano.

[The Falcata as Oversized Sacrificial Knife]
When a war-lord went out arrayed in his prestige items as symbols of wealth and power it is more likely that he would carry a decorated dagger as opposed to a battle sword or fine spear. These larger weapons would be cumbersome. Likewise, they could not be taken to peace meetings without communicating threatening implications. In many areas, even today, fine decorated daggers are carried as symbols of lineage, freedom and wealth. [The diminutive size of knives and daggers would be less threatening than a sword, but would still communicate as a weapon and also offer itself in case of a need for self-defense. This connection in size and symbolic meaning is important in connection to the similarity of the form of the falcata to smaller sacrificial knives.]

There have even been found votive offerings in miniature (17cm in length) in the form of falcatas. Many of these found, not in graves but sanctuaries. This demonstrates that, it is not mere coincidence that the blade for of the falcata is very similar to that of sacrificial knives of the early iron age. These sacrificial knives were not simple objects but carried symbolic connections with the world of death and sacrifice. In Greece and Etruria, the kopis, from which the falcata developed, had become associated with sacrifice. The Greek term machaera could be used for both a weapon of war and a sacrificial knife.

In short, falcatas are to the tombs of the 5th century what knives are to the tombs of the seventh century. Rarity of iron in early tombs made small knives a prestige item. Silver rivets, instead of bronze, in some of the iron knives would suggest this. [As iron became more plentiful, it was no longer a prestige item in itself. However, it could be prestigious to have a larger version, such as a falcata.] The fine bone and ivory grips, along with the carved and inlayed hilts and blades would also identify it as a clear prestige item. The similarity in form adds support to this connection, suggesting the falcata was a larger reproduction of the primitive knives. The symbolic connection of swords and sacrifice is strengthened when we consider that, in terms of war, there is a natural ritualistic or symbolic ambivalence. The fighter is either victim and/or sacrifice, depending on the outcome of the battle.

The falcata has many symbolic meanings. As with all swords it can symbolize war. Its fine decoration can speak of wealth and prestige. Added to this, in the case of the falcata, is its sacrificial symbolism as a larger version of the sacrificial knife. [As the falcata is used in the larger slaughter of the battlefield it recalls the smaller sacrificial knives used in the ritual slaughter of animals scarified to the gods before or after the battle.]

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is an abstract from:

http://www.ffil.uam.es/equus/warmas/online/ma...alcata.pdf

The text in brackets is where I have added material or was unsure of the google translation.

..................


[“Falcata” as a Modern Term]
While it is true that the falcata was used in different variants by Greeks, Etruscans, Persians and Barbarian Tribes, because of its popularity with the Iberians, it is considered by investigators as a featured weapon of the Iberian people. The term “falcata” was first used in publication in 1872 by M. Fulgosio. The term caught on quickly in scientific literature.

[The Falcata to the Ancients]
In ancient literature, the term “falcatm” appears as an adjective and does not reference a specific type of weapon. This brings us the question of what term the ancients would have used in reference to the weapon that we now call a “falcata.” [Because of its size, the weapon we call a “falcata,” would have been called a “sword.”] In Greek, the most common terms used for “sword” are machaera, xiphos and kopis. [It would be simple to see the xiphos as the straight double edged sword and the machaera as the curved single edged sword.] This would suggest that when the ancients used the term machaera, they would be referring to the falcata or a falcata-like weapon. The problem is that when referring to swords, Greek authors would interchange all the different words for sword (machaera, kopis, xiphos). And while it is true that, in context, “xiphos” is usually associated with the shorter straight leaf-bladed sword of the hoplite, the two other common terms, machaera and kopis, were used in a much more elastic sense.

[Diverse Usage of Greek Words for “Sword”]
What works to complicate the picture is the fact that the ancients were more interested in a particular literary or poetic effect than communicating specific (or even general) sword typologies. Usage of the word “machaera” was so diverse that there was no distinction made between weapons of war and other edged cutting tools. Cutting utensils from swords to kitchen knives were called “machaera.” For instance in the Illiad, machaera is used for a sort of razor knife kept by the sword (xiphos) and used for battlefield tasks such as cutting an arrowhead from a wound. Herodotus also uses machaera to refer to a kitchen knife. In Herodotus, Euripides and Aristotle, machaera is not only used of kitchen utensils, but references sacrificial knives or knives used in sacrificial acts.

In the 4th century BC, machaera begins to be used in reference to swords. But it means “sword” in the most general sense. It is used for both curved single edge and straight bladed swords. Xenophon writes of the cavalry and recommends the machaera over the straight short sword (xiphos). In some instances the term machaera is used in reference to a weapon of Persian origin. Polybius does not make distinction between machaera, kopis and xiphos. He uses machaera and xiphos as synonym for a straight double edged sword. Because of this ambiguity, it is advisable to use what we know from the distribution of sword finds [along with any clues from the context. This is especially true of the word “machaera.” For instance it is possible that, in Iberia, a machaera in many cases may very well be the falcata. This would not be the case in reference to more northern areas.]

The word kopis can be used in reference to swords or to sacrificial knives. It too appears as an adjective. On occasion the word kopis is used of a weapon which delivers very powerful blows producing deep cuts, such as cutting the trunks off of elephants. [In this context it would appear to be referring to a large single edged blade such as the kopis or falcata.] It is usually in this context that Livy is brought into the discussion with his use of the term gladius hispaniensis to describe a weapon that produced terrible injuries and forced the Romans to reinforce their shields. However, this is clearly a reference to the straight sword used by the Celto-Iberians and not the falcata.

[Though there is a broad usage of the terms for sword in the ancient texts. Convention has lead to association of particular words and sword types. The association most supported by contextual evidence is the xiphos as a straight double edged leaf-blade of the Greek hoplite. The kopis is associated with the long single edged curved bladed weapon. Machaera is much too broad for any associations, though some may try to associate it with the falcata or a falcata-like weapon.] In the end, the ancient textual evidence referencing the weapon given the modern term “falcata” is almost non-existent.

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Kirk , I've never seen drawings of the cross-sectional properties of the Falcata. Do you happen, by chance, to have any information on the metalurgy or material usage for these weapons? Many of those blade properties are super complex, and I'm starting to become very interested in the constructional aspects related to the making of this sword: both in terms of tooling and methodology.



Fernando Q answered this question in this thread:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p...ht=#105388

His answer is as follows:

"There are falcata blades made with three different plates welded together when in the forge. Others were forged out of just one solid bar of iron. The quality vaires from indifferent to good, but few analysis have been made yet. But no traces of intentional carburation have been found. Experience and luck -a good ingot of raw iron with some carbon contents in it- probably made the difference.

IMHO there is no a direct relationship at all between falcata and kukri. They are essentially different artifacts. The falcata is a two-edged weapon (even if it looks a sabre it's got two edges in the distal part of the blade), apt for both thusrting and cutting. The small kukri is an altogether different instrument. And the big, two handed, sacrificial version is still another thing.

Also, I do not see more reasons to have the kukri derivate from the greek kopis than to believe that the kopis itself and the Bronze-Age khepesh are related. They only share a general shape, but differ in all important details: size, function, percussion centre, gravity center, hilt shape, fullers, etc..."


In the same thread he also added:

"Yes, the core material shows at the back edge in the falcata when there's a sandwich style construction.

As for size, perhaps this will be useful.
Out of a sample of 189 complete falcatas, the average lenght is 60.2 cm. THe longest is 71.5 cm. (from Cigarralejo, Murcia), and the smallest is 41 cm (grave 370 at La Osera, Avila).

But of course blade lenght is more useful. Out of a sample of 244 blades (more falcatas have at least a complete blade), the average blade lenght is 48.9 cm. The shortest blade comes from Osera (32,2 cm.); the longest is 61.2 cm.

Thus, there is a big range ofg dimensions, which is due both to geographical and chronological reasons. The oldest falcatas from the Southeast (Murcia, Alicante, dated do the 5th and early fourth c. BC) are the biggest, while the most recent from Celtiberia tend to be smaller. But of course this is only in general terms; you can still find a small falcata from Murcia in the first half of the 4th c. BC

Best Regards

Fernando Quesada-Sanz "

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kelly Powell wrote:
Is there any documentation of the middle ground between wood weapons and bronze? Could there be throwing stick/kopis looking wooden clubs grooved for pieces of shaped copper? Sort of a egyptian version of the new world weapons(Which had onyx,flint,sharks teeth, and some copper/bronze teeth for their blade)....A weight forward design like that would help maximize the small pieces of metal fitted into a grooved face.....my .02$ of conjecture.



Hi Kelly...

I have never heard of such a middle ground with the Khopesh. The closest thing that I have seen to the New World shark tooth embedded blades is something from northern Europe. If I remember correctly flint blades were uncovered during an excavation that indicated they were embedded into some kind of wooden club like object. It appears to be some sort of stone age replica of a bronze sword. Very curious to me. Maybe Jeroen could add something. Seems like I read one of his post dealing with these stone ("low budget") replicas of bronze technologies.

take care

ks



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Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kelly Powell wrote:
Is there any documentation of the middle ground between wood weapons and bronze? Could there be throwing stick/kopis looking wooden clubs grooved for pieces of shaped copper? Sort of a egyptian version of the new world weapons(Which had onyx,flint,sharks teeth, and some copper/bronze teeth for their blade)....A weight forward design like that would help maximize the small pieces of metal fitted into a grooved face.....my .02$ of conjecture.

Sir Richard burton the explorer talked about this quite a bit in his "book of the sword", a bit dated now but still has a lot of insteresting information and theories on the origins and early development of swords, as well as interesting drawings:




http://books.google.com/books?id=TMDSast-gBkC...;ct=result

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic


Last edited by Jean Henri Chandler on Tue 15 Jul, 2008 2:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also think you may want to consider the dacian falx, thracian rhomphaia as a possible antecedant, or cousin or distant relative of the falcata / kopis family.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d1/Rhomphaia.jpg
http://toknowasiamknown.files.wordpress.com/2...ncient.jpg

There is a myArmoury thread on the rhomphaia here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5972

EDIT: googling for falces, I found this image, purporting to be of "dacian" weapons, from a Museum in Romania?

Anyone know anything about these weapons or this museum?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Dacian_Weapons.jpg

There also seems to be an interesting curved spearhead and something like a long-sax.

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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Fernando Q.





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PostPosted: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I also think you may want to consider the dacian falx, thracian rhomphaia as a possible antecedant, or cousin or distant relative of the falcata / kopis family.


IMHO very distant relatives, at best. Forerunners of the falcata can be traced to the Late Bronze Age/Earl7y Iron Age in northern Illyria, but the prototypes of the machaira/kopis/falcata family are very different.

Best Regards
Fernando Q.

And BTW... Thank you very much, Kirk! Big Grin
You might be interested in a couple of new papers published in English I have now digitized and added to my web page at:
http://www.ffil.uam.es/equus/warmas/online/online.html
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Douglas G.





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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk,
The flint sword boggles me. Where in Northern Europe was it found, do you know? Has it been dated?
To my eye the sword shape it echo's looks to be Iron Age, spare and devoid of curlicue embellishment
ala Bronze Age antennae swords or bellied out like an Urnfield. This could easily be due to the organic
material into which the flints were mounted having turned to dust. Dunno. Great puzzle piece! I'm reminded
of Native American clubs shaped like rifle stocks.

Cool.

Doug Gentner
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Douglas G. wrote:
Kirk,
The flint sword boggles me. Where in Northern Europe was it found, do you know? Has it been dated?

It's from Denmark, and probably early bronze age (roughly 1700-1500BC).

Quote:
To my eye the sword shape it echo's looks to be Iron Age, spare and devoid of curlicue embellishment
ala Bronze Age antennae swords or bellied out like an Urnfield. This could easily be due to the organic
material into which the flints were mounted having turned to dust.
The shape is typically bronze age, particularly with the widened shoulders of the hilt (where the edge of blade widens to the hilt). Quite probably it's a flint representation of the early sogel-wohlde style swords, which are some of the earliest swords in northern Europe. There are also full flint versions of swords (not to be confused with the flint daggers):

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Tomas Mihalyi




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 3:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everybody,
I'd like to thank you all for the ideas that you shared here because I'm trying to write a study about falcata/kopis/machaira for my final work at the University. I really appreciate this information because for me it gets quite difficult to gather any information about this topic because I am from Slovakia and here almost nobody of local archeolofgical comunity takes any interest in this. I'd also like to thank prof. F. Quesada Sanz who promtly answered may email half a year ago and provided me with lots of useful info. I am working on this project only for several months but it would be a great honor to share any new material.

Best regards, Tomas Mihalyi.
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Boris R.





Joined: 15 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Khopesh you say?
i've got your khopesh right here (look at this marvelous piece of Belarus extravaganza)

http://www.kxo.ru/en/e-store/weapon/index.php...NT_ID=2403

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
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