Did the Hittites have iron weapons?

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,932
Australia
What about Buff Coats of English Civil war? They often are described as part of armor, not sure if they can be called soft, but they weren't hard either.
It isn't. It is underarmour. The steel cuirass is the armour. Initially they wore undercoats of linen, cotton, and hemp but they were susceptible to powder burns so they replaced them with garments of leather and wool.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,932
Australia
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.
It is clothing, not armour. Just because a coat provides some incidental protection doesn't make it armour.

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?
Because it was lighter. Leather and cloth armour weighs MORE than metal armour. The whole point of going to the trouble and expense of using metal is that it was the lightest material available.
 

Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
2,990
MD, USA
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?
But my point was that metal armor offers *better* protection for the same weight of organic armor. Though we do know that organic armors were very popular in the Archaic and Classical eras, and there is still a lot of debate about why they were used, what they were made out of, etc.

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).
I'd still say they're wrong! Every museum has fakes in it, some of them blatant. One red flag in this quote is the confusion about what is or isn't "Damascus Steel"--if they're seeing "laminations", it could just be the normal "grain" structure common to wrought iron. It HAS to be folded and layered to remove the slag in the first place, even before forging a weapon out of it. "Damascus" is also used for much later "wootz" or crucible steel, which won't have that grain.

But bought in a *market*??? And they expect it to be real??? Not only is this highly unwise, it's a direct contradiction of academic dogma, which is to be utterly contemptuous and dismissive of ANY artifact in a private collection. Unless it's been given or loaned to a museum, at which point it's a holy relic. So I guess this one counts as a relic, and they'll declare it to be real even if it turns out to be plastic...

Sorry for splattering the sarcasm! It's not aimed at you, things like this just make me froth, sometimes.

Matthew
 
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Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
2,990
MD, USA
Iron was a poor mans weapon.
Not at first, it wasn't! The first iron weapons were reserved for *royalty*. It was only after generations of growth in technology and infrastructure, along with significant social and economic changes, that iron weapons are produced in large numbers for poor men. Iron *armor* went the same route, just a couple hundred years behind.

Matthew
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,561
Planet Nine, Oregon
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.
Also helps protect one from impacts and blunt force (trauma) aside from cuts.