Condition: New, Made in Greece. Material: Pure Bronze Length: 19,5 cm - 7,7 inches Weight: 270 g
Today, swords are viewed as ubiquitous military armaments. However, in Early Bronze Age Europe, these objects did not exist. Large-scale close-quarters conflict rarely occurred, and there is evidence that elsewhere in Europe ritualized duels involving halberds may have formed part of dispute-resolution. Other tools such as spears and axes could be pressed into service in a combat situation and had other uses. Swords used large amounts of valuable bronze and were useless for hunting due to a lack of reach. Their introduction as an object designed specifically for use against other humans marks the growth of conflict as a part of society. Three main sword forms are known from Mycenaean period Greece. Early variants had rounded tips and thin, long blades measuring around 130cm. These straight-edged swords initially arrived via Crete and were riveted to a wooden or ivory handle. Examples from Staphylos and Mycenae show handles were occasionally inlaid with gold leaf. Subsequent refinement of the weapon on the Greek peninsula led to the development of integral bronze handles. Grave Circle A in Mycenae contained several examples of gilded sword belts, used to suspend these weapons from the warrior’s waist. The second blade type to arrive in Greece was a single-edged weapon, more suited for close-quarters fighting. These pieces were again forged from a single piece of bronze for stability. Single-edged swords have a hooked handle suggesting they were hung directly from a belt. Greek weapons were revolutionized by the 1200 B.C. with the arrival of the slashing sword. This design originated in Italy but then spread north into Britain and Scandinavia, only reaching Mycenaean civilization centuries later. Known as the Naue II type, these swords were markedly different from their predecessors. The blades tapered gently to a point, which improved thrusting ability. More significantly, the blades were shorter and some had a heavier ‘leaf’ shape, allowing the weapons to be used in a wide-arcing slashing style to cut through both armor and flesh. In the Mycenaean armies, sword bearers were lightly armored infantry. Their maneuverability made them suitable for undulating terrain and for carrying out high-risk tactical movements. Such acumen earned sword-bearers the title of promachoi, or champions.