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Blade from Battle-Axe

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art


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
  • Place Excavated: Tell el Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1353-1329 B.C.
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 1/4 x 5 1/16 in. (10.8 x 12.8 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Blade from Battle-Axe, 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.27.957_print_negA_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.27.957_print_negA_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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