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Archaeology dig in Spain yields prehistoric ‘crystal weapons’

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posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: soficrow




But crystal tends to shatter

But ancient man also used flint and obsidian both of which have that same problem. Not saying they were for everyday use but it is not out of the realm of possibility.




posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:07 PM
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Crystal is 7th on the Moh's scale, Diamond is hardest at 10

Rainbows
Jane



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Knappers from iberia had a long tradition of using quartzite for blades and points, although the material was certainly chosen for its asthetic value, they were fully functional.

Solutrean arrow points in quartz 17kya ish




Quartz was aslo prized by the clovis, as a astheticaly pleasing material

This point is from northern mexico 12kya




not sure where this one is from



If you will notice, there is a marked difference in how these points were made as compared to the neolithic/mesolithic points from spain.
While the earlier pints are finished with pressure flaking, a bone/antler or wood tool is used to remove a flake with steady constant pressure, where the later lithics were ground to a final edge,like the one recently found.

The interesting part of all that is, there is a societal transition that is associated with the change from chipped lithics to ground lithics. It appears as though it is associated with the influx of very early indo-europeans. The ground edge celt(axe) becomes a symbol of status and authority as the stratified indo- e's overtook the very egalitarian early farmers.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:34 PM
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originally posted by: angelchemuel
Crystal is 7th on the Moh's scale, Diamond is hardest at 10

Rainbows
Jane

Moh, unlike myself, doesn't take cleavage into consideration.


Harte



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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originally posted by: hangedman13
a reply to: soficrow




But crystal tends to shatter

But ancient man also used flint and obsidian both of which have that same problem. Not saying they were for everyday use but it is not out of the realm of possibility.


Points of crystal(all stone points are technically crystal, most are polycrystaline) were in every day use for hundreds of thousands of years



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: hangedman13

Obsidian 5 to 5.5 on Mohs scale
Rock crystal 7 on Mohs scale
Flint 7 on Mohs scale

But more importantly than this, you have to take into account what is readily available, the Aztecs used obsidian swords because there was a readily available source of obsidian, Palaeolithic peoples used flint because it was everywhere, but they also used bone, which was readily available immediately after dinner.
Combined with that you need to take into account what was easy to work, it wouldn't be much good if it required a skill that few could master,

You know what they used as weapons before metal was discovered. Maces were the deadliest weapon around and were usually a big rock tied to the end of a stick. Famously the first major battle recorded in history was at Hamoukar, in northeastern Syria which was a centre for Obsidian production and the reason they know it was the first recorded urban warfare was because they found loads of clay bullets lying all over the place which were sling ammunition.
Before that a battle would have been a lot of men lined up holding sticks and hurling insults.
Still modern warfare is better because its on TV right ?





posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 05:56 PM
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Ohhhhh...Dragonglass?
Thanks for posting!



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: Marduk

Cherts and flints are the best over all working materials, but obsidian gives a sharper cutting edge.

Here's a thing, even though good materials were nearby many paleo/mesolithic knappers chose stone that came a great distance.

The Clovis are famous for this, there are sites in maryland that are chock full of Ramah chert, that came all the way from Newfoundland even though there are fine stones nearby, and here in cal indians from the coast that had access to the fantastic Franciscan cherts, they chose owens valley obsidian from 400 miles away.

There is a local native myth about the "first war" between the valley people(the yokuts/ the earliest people here) and the foothill people (the miwok/ later arrivals). In this battle/war Deer, chief of the valley people cannot defeat Turtle, chief of the foothill people, because his points keep breaking on turtle's shell. Finally Deer fashions a spear point out of his own femur and it splits Turtles shell and he is defeated.

There are interesting nuggets of info in that story.

The macuahuitl(aztec obsidian sword) was very effective weapon, but it was really a weapon of the "warrior" and not a weapon of the soldier, that would be the tlaximaltepoztl, or bronze axe, from about 900ish(pre aztec) to the conquest.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: Marduk




But more importantly than this, you have to take into account what is readily available, the Aztecs used obsidian swords because there was a readily available source of obsidian, Palaeolithic peoples used flint because it was everywhere, but they also used bone, which was readily available immediately after dinner. Combined with that you need to take into account what was easy to work, it wouldn't be much good if it required a skill that few could master,

True but we must also look at function. Obsidian was used for making extremely efficient cutting implements, better than steel actually. For a spear head obsidian was actually pretty good as it cut tissue better than other available materials but it has a weakness to stress. Remember ancient man was able to reason just as well as we modern folk. They would of course figure out pretty quick what materials they had available were most useful for what tools.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
Here's a thing, even though good materials were nearby many paleo/mesolithic knappers chose stone that came a great distance.



So did Brian's mother, "oh and a packet of gravel"
But that's the exception, not the rule
"they got them up there, lying around on the ground"

edit on 17-3-2017 by Marduk because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:03 PM
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originally posted by: Marduk

originally posted by: soficrow
Yes, as I noted, they disappear from the record completely. ...But your grounds for assuming said disappearance was for military reasons?

As you agree, the crystal stuff was never very functional and could not be re-used - as weapons. So why assume they were made primarily to be weapons?



They are made primarily to imitate weapons for some spiritual purpose.
Imagine you are a soldier during the start of the Bronze age, a tough guy, who spent his life killing, what would you rather take into the grave with you, the sword that you used your whole life, cared for, sharpened, repaired and loved
Or a bit of fancy crystal which by that point was worthless and more to the point, meaningless.

Grave goods are usually the things that were used in life. So that you could continue using them in the afterlife.
Additionally, these crystal weapons are not associated with individuals, they were left in the grave area, but not in the individuals grave itself. Kind of suggests its something that was not personal, but a tribal custom, which had some other meaning apart from militarily. It does suggest that the tribe had some serious beliefs about the structure of the afterlife. They weren't just burying bodies to keep predatory animals at bay, which iirc is the reason we started burying our dead in the first place

In ancient Mesopotamia, metals were regarded as a divine element, a gift from the Gods


Yes, exactly: "suggests its something that was not personal, but a tribal custom, which had some other meaning apart from militarily."







posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

WONDERFUL pics! Good info too.

Thanks.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:15 PM
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originally posted by: soficrow

Yes, exactly: "suggests its something that was not personal, but a tribal custom, which had some other meaning apart from militarily."



Quite a few ancient cultures regarded crystals as a form of protection. Maybe these were supposed to protect the dead from demonic entities they would encounter on their journey to heaven...
or something



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: Marduk

originally posted by: soficrow

Yes, exactly: "suggests its something that was not personal, but a tribal custom, which had some other meaning apart from militarily."



Quite a few ancient cultures regarded crystals as a form of protection. Maybe these were supposed to protect the dead from demonic entities they would encounter on their journey to heaven...
or something


I'm fairly certain they noticed quartz's other qualities too. Maybe they tuned them. To improve their efficacy.






posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:47 PM
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It would be interesting if some one carved quartz into replicas of these arrow heads and then tested them

to see how effective they would be in piercing their target.

Now I want a quartz dagger.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 07:52 PM
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originally posted by: soficrow


I'm fairly certain they noticed quartz's other qualities too. Maybe they tuned them. To improve their efficacy.


oh I see where you're going
Maybe they used them in a dilithium chamber
Quick someone check if the bodies were all wearing Cuban heels



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

By this point in time the skill needed to make these would have been an anachranism, and that blade is very special.
It is not ground to a final edge as i had first thought, but is ground, and then re-touched. Very small flakes are taken from the ground edge for the final sharpening. That takes a great deal of skill. It is certainly a offering or funerary gift, but it was not found with the body, but in an upper chamber,



So I think it is a remembernce type gift to the dead, from a crasftsman.



The quartzite is not native to the area, but comes from "several hundred Km away from Valencia", I have read that knappers in the region have a history of using quartzite for points, even when cherts and flints are nearby and more readily available. This preference goes all the way back to Solutrean times.



posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 11:30 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Cool find.



posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 06:31 AM
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Good quality crystals without too many imperfections, which lends itself to precise pressure flaking, is not something you would come across every day.

I've been at digs where we found chips of quartz chrystal, presumably discarded, after the manufacture of tools from it. But, sadly, never the finished tools themselves.

It is hard to imagine that something as aesthetically pleasing as these tools didn't carry more significance than say a bone or flint point. There are som very beautiful examples found around the world, and I don't think any archaeologist on a dig doesn't secretly dream about finding something as beautiful as this.

On the other hand, it is impossible to get inside the mind of the people who made them, so we can only project our own aesthetical values back in time. Maybe they thought much like us, and maybe they didn't, but I must admit that I find it hard to imagine that this was not something special even then.

People seems to have been pretty consistent with regards to the allure of shiny and pretty things through the ages.

Somewhat related, I believe there are ethnographical examples of people making tools out of scavenged glass shards in more recent times.

Beautiful tools at any rate.

BT
edit on 18-3-2017 by beetee because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2017 by beetee because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 06:41 AM
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a reply to: LSU0408

to be honest, going in to battle and having multiple weapons, some that break off inside you wouldn't be too bad.. but your theory is the best I've read. good find here and very interesting, could just be burial trinkets.




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