The Ancient Egyptian Bronze Khopesh

Digital StillCamera

A typical khopesh is 50–60 cm (20–24 inches) in length, though smaller examples do also exist. This blade was designed for hooking an opponent’s shield or disarming them. These weapons changed from bronze to iron in the late period.

The khopesh evolved from the epsilon or similar crescent shaped axes that were used in warfare. Unlike an axe, the khopesh did not make push-cuts, but rather slashes, like a sabre. The khopesh went out of use around 1300 BC.

Although some examples are clearly sharpened, many examples have dull edges which apparently were never intended to be sharp. It may therefore be possible that some khopeshes found in high status graves were ceremonial variants.

Check out the above video of a guy who cast a bronze replica to see how it would react to actual cutting.

Using sugar cane as a test cutting substance is actually very clever, because the most popular material for ancient Egyptian shields was a latticework of reeds – way more effective than you might think, too.

Video is of a test cutting using a replica via Skallagrim on YouTube.
Quoted text and image via Wikipedia.

This entry was posted in Gadgets, History, Videos by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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