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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The History of Weaponry - Ancient Weapons (part two) - #TidbitThursday #AncientWeapons #AncientWarfare


Welcome to Historical Tidbit Thursdays. For the next few weeks, we'll follow the timeline presented in the book, "A History of Weaponry" by John O'Bryan. Last week and this week I'll focus on the Ancient Weapons section.

Composite Bow - introduced around 2000 BC; bows for shooting arrows were in use before this time but what made this bow different was the composition of many layers of animal sinew and horn to make it very strong and flexible and projected arrows further.

Chariot - Originated with the Mesopotamians around 2500 BC. The book doesn't go into detail, but the Egyptians borrowed the design and improved it (making their chariots faster and more maneuverable). Persians had blades (scythes) built onto their wheels for some extra damage points. Also not mentioned in this book was the fact that chariots could only be used on certain types of terrain and they eventually were replaced with armored horses/cavalry soldiers.

Sword - Dating to 2000 BC, originally made of bronze, a normally softer metal but was tempered specially to allow the blade to be lengthened to about 3 feet; later, a pommel was added on the hilt. Hittites were the first people to smelt iron leading to some stronger weaponry. Assyrians took this technology and eventually became a dominant culture.

Battering Ram - Basic rams existed but the Assyrians added metal wheels and turned it into a siege weapon. To protect the men from arrows or projectiles, wicker canopies were added on top of it. The tip was covered with iron and the entire log was suspended from ropes to allow it to swing back and forth.

Siege Tower - Assyrians introduced these around 900 BC with the goal to provide cover for their infantry; however, they constantly had to put out fires started by flaming enemy projectiles and they were slow-moving and cumbersome.

A History of Weaponry by John O'Bryan; ISBN#978-1-4521-1054-7

Photo Credit: Composite Bow - https://hblg-apwh.weebly.com/iron-weapons-and-compound-bows.html
Photo Credit: Battering Ram - https://earlychurchhistory.org/military/the-battering-ram/
Photo Credit: Siege Tower - http://www.medievalchronicles.com/medieval-weapons/castle-siege-weapons/siege-towers/roman-siege-tower/

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