Blade from Battle Ax
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
As early as the Predynastic Period, Egyptian foot soldiers relied on fearsome battle-axes and sharp daggers to crush their opponents in hand-to-hand combat, and employed the bow and arrow from a distance.
Originally there was no difference in design between the battle-axe and the woodworker’s axe; both featured a semicircular blade tied to a wooden handle by cords. In the Middle Kingdom, toolsmiths developed a more effective weapon that had a long blade with convex sides narrowing to a curved edge.
Most daggers, which resembled short swords, had double-edged blades riveted to ivory or bone handles and reinforced by a vertical rib.
The bow and arrow remained an Egyptian’s most effective weapon. (Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Museum does not have a complete example.) Archers shot from a stationary position or from the cab of a moving chariot as a skilled driver spurred on the horses. Reconstruction
ca. 1353-1329 B.C.
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
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Blade from Battle Ax, ca. 1353-1329 B.C. Bronze, 4 1/4 x 5 1/16 in. (10.8 x 12.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 27.957. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.282E_27.957_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/5/2007
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