The spear is among the simplest and most universal of early weapons: a simple penetrating point secured to a shaft that adds either aerodynamic qualities or leverage and distance from the target.
The spear is among the simplest and most universal of early weapons: a simple penetrating point secured to a shaft that adds either aerodynamic qualities or leverage and distance from the target. Evidence for the manufacture and use of such weapons exists among every major population group in the world and stretches back to Paleolithic times. A basic spear consists of a long shaft of wood, bamboo, or iron with a sharpened head or point attached to one end. If the head is long and provided with a sharpened edge, the spear may be used as a slashing weapon. However, most spears were designed either to be hurled, as were javelins, or to be used as thrusting weapons held in one or both hands.
Used by infantry against other infantry or cavalry, pole arms encompass a range of weapons consisting of a long, sturdy pole, or haft, with a pointed, hooked, or edged blade attached to one end. The heads of these weapons–consisting of the blades plus the sockets and side braces used for attachment–varied in length and complexity. Hellenistic
Early humans created the first spears by sharpening and later hardening in fire the ends of long, straight, wooden shafts. At some time people began to attach pointed heads of sharpened bone or flaked flint by notching the shaft end, inserting the flange, or tang, on the head behind the point, and lashing the two together.
Copper, and later bronze,
Iron heads emerged in tenth century
From left to right, a pilum, with a leaf-shaped tip and an iron neck weakened to break on impact; a corseque, with a triangular blade and wings; a halberd, displaying a characteristically complex combination of thrusting points, blades, and hooks for unseating horsemen; a glaive, with a spike and a long, gently curving blade, like that of a knife or single-edged sword; and a bill, with a broad outward-curving blade for cutting or grabbing horsemen.
The standard Roman
Infantry spears evolved in two directions after about 1200
On the other hand, spears with short wings or lugs evolved into more complex thrusting weapons as the tips lengthened and the wings arced out from the base. The
Although ancient Egyptians had fought with axlike blades attached to long poles, most slashing
Axes came with short or long hafts, and long hafts were favorites with the Norse, Russians, and Anglo-Saxons.
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Clubs, Maces, and Slings
Picks, Axes, and War Hammers
Bows and Arrows
Spears and Pole Arms
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