This year, archaeologists discovered some amazing swords, daggers and other ancient weapons. These discoveries span hundreds of thousands of years of human history, from the Ice Age to the Middle Ages.
In particular, the most notable finds include the discovery of weapons used by our extinct ancestors Homo heidelbergensis, who lived during the Ice Age, some 300,000 years ago. In Germany, a throwing stick about 65 cm long has been found, which the species used as a tool for hunting small animals. The find was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Also this year, one of the oldest swords was found. It was mistakenly thought to be medieval, but it turned out to be 5,000 years old and was made in what is now Anatolia. The simple weapon was discovered in the monastery of San Lazaro degli Armeni by Vittoria Dall`Armellina, an archaeology student at the time. Although the sword was only a few hundred years old, Dall’Armellina proved it was made by Bronze Age craftsmen. The hilt and hilt of the cast bronze sword are intricately decorated with engraved circles and rows of crescent-shaped marks.
A mushroom hunter from Bohemia was in the woods this spring when he discovered a piece of metal sticking out of the ground. Roman Novak kicked it with his foot and realised it was a sword blade. He started digging and found not only the sword but also a bronze axe. The handle and tip of the sword are decorated with an openwork carving in the shape of a circle and a crescent moon. Archaeologists from the nearby Silesian Museum examined the artefacts and attributed them to the Bronze Age, some 3300 years ago. It was unclear why the sword ended up in the middle of the forest, although recent rain may have washed away enough soil to make it visible for the first time in thousands of years.
A man, two women and an infant were buried in a grave dug about 2,500 years ago in what is now Siberia. A cache of treasure was placed with them, and bronze daggers, knives and axes of the Tagar culture were added to it.
A bone knife hilt discovered on the Isle of Man in England attests to the ancient peoples’ creative weaponry skills. The artefact was found in a grave with the cremated bones of four people, including at least one teenager and one infant. Alongside the partially burnt bones, which had been collected in two urns, archaeologists found bone beads and the tip of a bone knife, probably made from the bone of a cow or horse.