Did the Hittites have iron weapons?

#12
There is no such thing as soft leather armour. Armour was designed to stop points - spears and arrows - not swords. You don't need armour to stop a sword cut. Winter clothing will stop a sword cut.
I think that's too narrow a definition for armour. Armour is designed to protect the wearer against enemy weapons, and comes in many forms: leather, felt, linen, quilting... as well as metal

armour | History, Types, Definition, & Facts
"Armour, also spelled armor, also called body armour, protective clothing with the ability to deflect or absorb the impact of projectiles or other weapons that may be used against its wearer. "
"Types of armour generally fall into one of three main categories: (1) armour made of leather, fabric, or mixed layers of both, sometimes reinforced by quilting or felt, (2) mail, made of interwoven rings of iron or steel, and (3) rigid armour made of metal, horn, wood, plastic, or some other similar tough and resistant material."
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,601
Australia
#14
I think that's too narrow a definition for armour. Armour is designed to protect the wearer against enemy weapons, and comes in many forms: leather, felt, linen, quilting... as well as metal

armour | History, Types, Definition, & Facts
"Armour, also spelled armor, also called body armour, protective clothing with the ability to deflect or absorb the impact of projectiles or other weapons that may be used against its wearer. "
"Types of armour generally fall into one of three main categories: (1) armour made of leather, fabric, or mixed layers of both, sometimes reinforced by quilting or felt, (2) mail, made of interwoven rings of iron or steel, and (3) rigid armour made of metal, horn, wood, plastic, or some other similar tough and resistant material."
What does any of that have to do with "soft leather"? There are plenty of examples of leather armour and none of it is "soft".
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,601
Australia
#15
Can you explain why? I'm not disagreeing per se - it's just that it's quite widely cited and referenced as plausibly Bronze Age.
Matt already told you. The only time you find a sword with that kind of patina is when it has been artificially aged.
 
#16
What does any of that have to do with "soft leather"? There are plenty of examples of leather armour and none of it is "soft".
Perhaps I'm not expressing my point clearly. By "soft" leather, I mean soft as in flexible - as opposed to weak. So, for example, a hide jerkin, which would offer a degree of protection.
 
Jan 2015
2,933
MD, USA
#18
Perhaps I'm not expressing my point clearly. By "soft" leather, I mean soft as in flexible - as opposed to weak. So, for example, a hide jerkin, which would offer a degree of protection.
If it's soft, it won't protect more than clothing, really. Leather, like linen, has to be layered or very thick to serve as armor. While it is generally accepted that organic armors were not quite as protective as metal, there doesn't seem to have been any desire for "just a little protection", meaning your soft leather jerkin or a couple tunics layered up. They wore armor, or they did not. There was no concept of "Well, it's better than nothing", because if they were at that stage they simply had the shield for their main protection and no armor. And there *were* men like slingers and archers and javelin-throwers in battle with neither armor nor shields, and that was never seen as suicidal or some great disadvantage. Most of them survived just fine!

Matthew
 
#19
If it's soft, it won't protect more than clothing, really. Leather, like linen, has to be layered or very thick to serve as armor. While it is generally accepted that organic armors were not quite as protective as metal, there doesn't seem to have been any desire for "just a little protection", meaning your soft leather jerkin or a couple tunics layered up. They wore armor, or they did not. There was no concept of "Well, it's better than nothing", because if they were at that stage they simply had the shield for their main protection and no armor. And there *were* men like slingers and archers and javelin-throwers in battle with neither armor nor shields, and that was never seen as suicidal or some great disadvantage. Most of them survived just fine!

Matthew
I don't think we're disagreeing here. There is a range of armour strengths as you say - if, say, clibanarius armour offered no more protection than leather or linen armour, then why on earth would they wear it?

Anyway, getting a bit off-topic. I've had a dig around regards the 'Hittite' sword's origins, and found the following on Academia:
"


METALS AND METALLURGY IN HITTITE ANATOLIA
297


89
Recently, Ünsal Yalçın analysed a ‘Hittite’ iron sword at the Ruhr Museum in Essen andconcluded that the ‘damast’ technique (making ‘Damascus Steel’ with lamination) was alreadyknown in the Hittite period (Yalçın 2005, 449, Abb. 7-8). This sword, however, was not exca-vated but bought from the art market. It seems to originate from north-western Iran (or easternAnatolia?) and to date a little later (about the turn of 2nd and 1st millennia BC) based on theshape of its haft (Medvedskaya’s Type V: Medvedskaya 1982, 73-74), ‘bimetallism’ and the‘casting-on’ technique (Maxwell-Hyslop and Hodges 1964)


"

So their is some wooliness around its exact origins, but it has been assessed first hand by museum experts who appear to believe it is at least as old as 1000 BC (fo if it is Hittite it would be neo-Hittite).
 
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