Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/88

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the body they have penetrated. Other patterns have been furnished by the stones which the primitive men have had to use for crushing and cutting tools, and have been developed in working them out. Thus we have the axe, spear, lance, or dart, and arrow (Figs. 3, 4), of the palælithic men, the stabbing dagger made from reindeer-horn (Fig. 6), and the stone lance-heads (Fig. 5) of the cave-men. In the next stage, that of the "neolithic" men, the tools are a little better finished; the weapons

PSM V21 D088 Paleolithic neolithic and animal form weapons.jpg
Weapons from Animal Forms. Palæolithic. Neolithic.

cut better, the lance-heads are thinner, sharper, and finer, and provisions for fastening to handles appear (Figs. 7, 8, 9); and the dagger (Figs. 8 and 9) has developed the form from which all the other hand-weapons have come.

The bronze age, having the art of working in a more tractable material, gave an improved weapon. Its dagger is thinner, broader, more pointed, and more dangerous, but yet bears evidence, in peculiarities of shape, that memories of the stone age still survived in the fabricator's mind. The blades are still short, but the weapon is furnished with a handle of wood (Fig. 11) or bronze (Fig. 10) or ivory (Fig. 12), often richly decorated and quite small. The ancient nations furnish us longer daggers, or swords of bronze, of various patterns, as the Egyptian (Fig. 13), Assyrian (Fig. 14), and Grecian (Figs. 15, 16) swords.

The earlier swords were used exclusively for stabbing. Adaptation to cutting was begun after bronze was introduced, and was developed

PSM V21 D088 Swords and daggers of the ancient world.jpg
Irish. English. Egyptian. Assyrian. Grecian. Roman

as the art was learned of forging iron and steel into weapons. The first iron swords copied the shape of their bronze ancestors, and, while they were longer and more formidable stabbing instruments than those, were not much better for cutting. They were broad, two-