ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 18th October 2018, 06:49 AM   #81
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,211
Well, the question definitely has merit, and is a good question to ask, but the thing is: most but not all. We have battle finds too.

E.g., see the Tollense find, a pretty large battle for northern Europe late 2nd millenium BCE. I recall three different sword types, plus a sword blade without the handle, in addition to clubs, spear heads, axes, etc. I suspect the reason we found so many is because it was a total slaughter, with so many corpses packed together that it might have been hard to scavenge every bit of metal there.

Anyway, those are battlefield finds, and they're riveted IIRC. I have no reason to believe that the corpses on the battlefield had their war weapons replaced with burial weapons, among other reasons being the fact that they didn't actually get a burial.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th October 2018 at 06:50 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 10:32 AM   #82
jimbob
Uncritical "thinker"
 
jimbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19,062
Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
Since most of these come from graves, how do we know they are even meant to be functioning battlefield articles? Might they not be symbolic - the Bronze age equivalent of "wall hangers" or ten dollar katanas. It's long been argued over by archaeologists whether a sword in a grave actually automatically means "warrior".
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, the question definitely has merit, and is a good question to ask, but the thing is: most but not all. We have battle finds too.

E.g., see the Tollense find, a pretty large battle for northern Europe late 2nd millenium BCE. I recall three different sword types, plus a sword blade without the handle, in addition to clubs, spear heads, axes, etc. I suspect the reason we found so many is because it was a total slaughter, with so many corpses packed together that it might have been hard to scavenge every bit of metal there.

Anyway, those are battlefield finds, and they're riveted IIRC. I have no reason to believe that the corpses on the battlefield had their war weapons replaced with burial weapons, among other reasons being the fact that they didn't actually get a burial.
There is also the stupendous expense of bronze at the time. I don't think anybody would be wealthy enough that they wouldn't be better spending their wealth turning that bronze into actual equipment for retainers.
__________________
OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
jimbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 10:34 AM   #83
jimbob
Uncritical "thinker"
 
jimbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19,062
meanwhile not Bronze age, but 1500 years ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...e-saga-vanecek

A real feelgood story

Quote:
I was crawling along the bottom of the lake on my arms and knees, looking for stones to skim, when my hand and knee felt something long and hard buried in the clay and sand. I pulled it out and saw that it was different from the sticks or rocks I usually find. One end had a point, and the other had a handle, so I pointed it up to the sky, put my other hand on my hip and called out, “Daddy, I’ve found a sword!”

I felt like a warrior, but Daddy said I looked like Pippi Longstocking. The sword felt rough and hard, and I got some sticky, icky brown rust on my hands. It started to bend and Daddy splashed up to me, and said I should let him hold it. It was my sword and now he was taking it away! I gave it to him in the end.

I ran to my mamma and my mormor – my grandma – and some other relatives who were all sitting outside having fika, which is Swedish for having a sit-down with coffee and cookies. I was yelling, “I found a sword, I found a sword!” Daddy went to show it to our neighbours, whose family has lived in the village for more than 100 years, and they said it looked like a Viking sword. Daddy didn’t get to watch the football in the end.

__________________
OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending

Last edited by jimbob; 19th October 2018 at 10:36 AM.
jimbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 10:50 AM   #84
Hellbound
Merchant of Doom
 
Hellbound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not in Hell, but I can see it from here on a clear day...
Posts: 12,643
Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
meanwhile not Bronze age, but 1500 years ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...e-saga-vanecek

A real feelgood story
He pulled a sword out of a lake?

Does that mean he's King now?

Hellbound is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 10:55 AM   #85
jimbob
Uncritical "thinker"
 
jimbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19,062
Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
He pulled a sword out of a lake?

Does that mean he's King now?

Well:

Quote:
People on the internet are saying I am the queen of Sweden, because in the legend of King Arthur, he was given a sword by a lady in a lake, and that meant he would become king. I am not a lady – I’m only eight – but it’s true I found a sword in the lake. I wouldn’t mind being queen for a day, but when I grow up I want to be a vet. Or an actor in Paris.

The rest of the story is great - an eight year old girl recounting her find and rightly excited by it.
__________________
OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
jimbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 12:29 PM   #86
Hellbound
Merchant of Doom
 
Hellbound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not in Hell, but I can see it from here on a clear day...
Posts: 12,643
Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Well:




The rest of the story is great - an eight year old girl recounting her find and rightly excited by it.
Doh! I should have read the article, instead of just your excerpt
Hellbound is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2018, 03:16 PM   #87
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,211
Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
There is also the stupendous expense of bronze at the time. I don't think anybody would be wealthy enough that they wouldn't be better spending their wealth turning that bronze into actual equipment for retainers.
Well... people were buried with those uber-expensive swords anyway. Some also with jewellery, bronze items, etc. Some were buried with the equivalent of military medals (e.g., that was in the shape of flies in Egypt) which were often made from precious metals or, again, bronze.

Thing is, though, far as we can tell, people actually believed that you CAN take it with you. Stuff put in a tomb wasn't wasted as we'd think about it now, but basically still in the possession of the deceased. At least in Egypt and Mesopotamia we KNOW that they actually believed that you could put stuff in a tomb (and in Egypt they even left an extra room or later temples by the pyramids where you could put MORE stuff) and the deceased would have those in the afterlife. In other places we don't have a written history at the time, but basically since the Neanderthals, grave goods tended to be fully functional and useful, So it seems to fit the same kind of thinking that the late grandpa could actually use his axe that he was buried with.

So think of your question the other way around. If you were still able to use a certain weapon, would you rather it stays with you, or that it's given to some retainer, leaving you defenseless? I mean, sure, you're dead at the time, but you still need a weapon.

And that brings us to the more important point. The weapons they put in graves had to be useful for the deceased in the afterlife, not just decorative. So they didn't just cast some fake sword from the cheapest low-tin bronze. It had to be a good and fitting weapon for the late king or chieftain to wear in the afterlife. It had a blade of the best weapon-grade bronze, work-hardened to a perfect hard edge, etc.

Which also tells me that actually we CAN take tomb weapons to be representative of actual war weapons from the same era. Think about it. If YOU actually believed that grandpa could use, say, a handgun in the afterlife, and in fact might NEED one, you'd bury him with a good and functional one. Maybe his old service M1911, or maybe you'd buy a good one, but you wouldn't give him a toy gun or some obsolete flintlock pistol. So basically that's my take on the grave swords from that era too.

Plus again, many show signs of battle damage and many of those show signs of repair. Like hammering a new edge to even out the nicks. So it's a fair guess that they actually had been used in some kind of fighting, and probably were actually the deceased's weapons.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:08 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.