Weapons and Armor

Weapons and Armor

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Top Ten Daggers/Knives

Top Ten Daggers/Knives

        Daggers are one of the oldest weapons created by man and evolved out of prehistoric tools. In Neolithic times, daggers were made of materials such as flint, ivory or bone and were used as weapons since the earliest periods of human civilization. The earliest metal daggers appear in the Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BC, predating the sword, which essentially developed from oversized daggers. Although the standard dagger, in many cases, was not as effective as axes, spears, or even maces due to its limited reach, it was an important step towards the development to what is often seen as a more useful close-combat weapon, the sword. However, from pre-dynasticEgypt, daggers were adorned as ceremonial objects with golden hilts and later even more ornate and varied construction. Traditionally, some military and naval officers wore dress daggers as symbols of power, and modern soldiers are still equipped with combat knives and knife bayonets. Here are a few examples of the finest daggers created by man.

  1. King Tutankhamen’s Golden Burial Dagger

    Description:
    Links: Top 100 Egyptian Artifacts, Top 100 Gold Artifacts,
  2. Dagger from Ur, Mesopotamia

    Description:
    Links: Top 100 Sumerian Artifacts,
  3. The Topkapi Emerald Dagger

    Description:
    Links:
  4. Dagger of Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang

    Along with 7,000-some terracotta warriors, over 10,000 objects, including figures, weapons, incense burners, instruments, etc., this dagger was found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb.
    Links: Top Ten Asian Attractions, Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Tombs, Top Ten Necropolises, 
  5. Schweizerdolch

    Description:
    Links:
  6. Ceremonial Tibetan Dagger

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan/Nepali Artifacts,
  7. Gebel el-Arak Knife (3,300 – 3,200 BC)

    The Gebel el-Arak Knife is a 25.50 cm long knife dating from circa 3,300 to 3,200 BC, the late pre-dynastic period in Egypt, which when it was purchased in Cairo was said to have been found at the site of Gebel el-Arak, south of Abydos. The blade is made of ripple-flaked flintstone and the handle of the ivory of a hippopotamus canine tooth. The handle is richly carved in low relief with a scene of a battle on the side that would have faced a right-handed user and with mythological themes on the other surface. The opposite side of the handle shows Mesopotamian influence featuring the god El, wearing Mesopotamian clothing, flanked by two upright lions symbolizing the Morning and Evening Stars (now both identified with the planet Venus). Grimal refrains from speculating on the identity of the ambiguous figure, referring to it as a “warrior.” This side of the handle also contains a “knob,” a perforated suspension lug that would have supported the knife handle, keeping it level while resting on a level surface and also could have been used to thread a cord to hang it from the body as an ornament. The knife is on display at the Louvre. Another knife of similar materials but worn and battered, is conserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    Links: Top Ten Pre-Dynastic Egyptian Artifacts, Top Ten Louvre Artifacts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gebel_el-Arak_Knife,
  8. Aztec Sacrificial Knife (15th-16th Century)

           This is a sacrificial wooden handled knife  from Mexico. The handle of this knife is carved in wood and covered with mosaic of turquoise, shell and malachite, while the blade is made of chalcedony.
    Links: Top Ten Aztec Artifacts, http://www.precolumbianwood.com/aztec.htm,
  9. Chimu Gold Knife

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Chimu Artifacts,
  10. Mycenaean Dagger

           This ancient Mycenaean dagger shows illustrations depicting a lion hunt.
    Links:
  11. “Akinakes” Polylobed Decorated Daggers

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Treasure Troves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillya_Tepe,
  12. Hayagriva Phurbu Knife

           15th century Mongolian knife made with gilt steel. This knife is 23.5cm in length and…
    Link: Top Ten Mongolian Artifacts, http://mongolianantique.com/museum_one.php?vMenu=museum&vSubMenu=ritual&vImgID=22,
  13. Dagger of Boabdil El Chico

           This dagger, which belonged to Boabdil El Chico, who… It is currently located in the Museum of Artillery, in Madrid, Spain.
    Links: http://chestofbooks.com/arts/ancient/Older-Spain-Arts-And-Crafts/Arms-Part-7.html,
  14. Victorian Masonic Dagger

           This early dagger is covered with Masonic symbolism. It is almost 9 3/4 inches in overall length. The blade is 5 1/2 inches. The handle looks like it is made of buffalo horn. It is a high quality dagger and the leather washer between the pommel and the blade is still present and looks very old. The blade has been blued and there are many early Masonic emblems with the motto “Memento Mori” over the skull and crossbones, a Masonic device which is a reminder of mortality. Other emblems include the Sun and Stars, King Solomon’s Seal or the Star of David, an early Square, and a butterfly surrounded by a serpent biting his tail. As a symbol, the serpent obtained a prominent place in all the ancient initiations and religions. Among the Egyptians it was the symbol of Divine Wisdom when extended at length, and the serpent with his tail in his mouth was an emblem of eternity.
    Links: Top 100 Freemasons, Top 100 Secret Society Members, Top 100 People, Top 100 Symbolshttp://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/victorian_masonic_dagger.htm,
  15. Chimu Copper Ceremonial Knife (10th-15th Century)

    The Moche people of northern Peru (first–seventh century) were among the first to use copper, often with the addition of arsenic to harden the metal and improve the quality of the cast. Moche metalworkers hammered most of their precious metals, gold and silver, into objects of sheet metal, but many works in copper were cast by the lost-wax technique. The Chimú people, who made this ceremonial knife, inherited the rich cultural and artistic traditions developed by the earlier Moche. Clearly a ritual object, indicated by the delicate, projecting details and attractive silhouette, the knife has a semicircular blade. The flat undulating shaft is embellished with circles in relief; stylized birds project from its sides. At the top is a human head wearing a headdress with mushroom shapes. The detailed facial features, wide staring eyes and open mouth framed by age wrinkles, give the face a startled look. The holes in the earlobes once held ornaments. The object is cast of a copper/arsenic alloy; its surface is now covered with copper corrosion developed over many centuries of burial. This knife currently resides at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
    Links: Top Ten Chimu Artifacts, Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,
  16. Bonus: Akedah Knife

           Forged from a meteorite in Canaan, this ancient iron blade with a bone handle is said to be the knife that Abraham was going to used to sacrifice Isaac.
    Links: Top Ten Meteors,
  17. Bonus: Holbein Dagger

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