bronze short sword


Greek Bronze and Gold Short Sword and Dagger, C. 1450-1300 BC

The daggers and early swords of the Aegean Bronze Age represent some of the most striking artifacts of the period in terms of their opulence, craftsmanship and display of technical virtuosity. Whilst some were used solely for ceremonial use, many were functional instruments of war, attested by the clear developments in form, according to fighting preferences and practices. The short sword, which developed from the dagger, is one of the most interesting innovations of the Bronze Age, often signifying social status in societies in which hierarchy and one-on-one combat were primary concerns. The present dagger and short sword probably originate from Crete, in the locality of the great palaces at Knossos, or from Mycenae. The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were renowned for their wealth, richness of culture, technical sophistication, and strong influence across the Greek world for centuries to come. These are the weapons of the fabled heroes of Troy, the great treasures of powerful kings like Agamemnon, who ruled over the kingdom of Mycenae.

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In 1965, this amazing short sword was pulled from a scabbard in a coffin which was underwater in a tomb in Hubei, China for most of its 2,500 year life.
Whether by craftsmanship, metallurgical quality or the circumstances of preservation, this sword is still in phenomenal condition, and at time of discovery was untarnished and still sharp!

Central Asian Bronze Sword, 1200-800 BC

From the Caspian Sea region. A unique bronze short sword with double terminals that look like budding long-petaled flowers, a very rare style. This weapon does not bear marks of having been repeatedly sharpened for use so it was probably made specifically to accompany a warrior in death as grave goods.

The area around the Caspian Sea, particularly on its southeast coast, and into modern day Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (western Pakistan), was a cultural hotbed during this time period. The map of archaeological finds from there is studded with urban centers, large burial mounds, and technological and metallurgical innovation - especially in the production of amazing bronze artifacts, probably with influence from the innovative bronze (and later iron) artisans in Luristan (modern day northwestern Iran). People - both men and women - went to their graves with beautiful, well-made weapons like this one that were more than likely a sign of high status.


Marlik Bronze Short Sword, 14th-10th century BC

Marlik is an ancient site of a royal cemetery near Roudbar in Gilan, north of Iran, just south of the Caspian Sea. The people who buried their dead at Marlik remain something of a puzzle for historians. They seem not to have left any written records, and aside from the cemetery at Marlik there is not very much in the archaeological record to fill out their history. It is thought that the population around Marlik relocated to the central Iranian plateau near Sialk where they were eventually assimilated into the general Median population.