The Ancient Sword Of Goujian

Apr 2019
The sword is the persistent symbol of empires, fantasy, chivalry and knighthood. It's one of the world's most ancient technologies, connected with breakthroughs in metallurgy that would change the world.
The ancient sword of Goujian was found in 1965, this rare and unusual sword was found in a tomb in China. It was belonging to King Goujian who once ruled the ancient kingdom of Shanghai, China and Despite being well over 2,500 years old.
According to the leader of the archaeological team responsible for the excavation, this sword was discovered in a tomb, in a near sealed wooden box next to a skeleton. The team was amazed when the perfectly preserved bronze sword with scabbard was removed from the box. When they pull out, the blade was revealed to be untarnished despite being buried in damp conditions for over two millennia. Archaeologists conducted a test and it showed that the blade could easily cut a stack of twenty pieces of paper. It is an unusual sword.

Principally this sword is made from bronze, the metal also contains other elements that reinforce its structure and strength, such as sulfur, lead, copper and iron, while the razor-sharp edges were made from tin. Archaeologist discovered, untarnished despite spending over 2 millennia in a damp box, it is the higher concentration of copper and sulfur that have given the sword resilience against rusting.
The size of the sword is 55.6 centimeters in length, including an 8.4 centimeters hilt, the blade is 4.6 centimeters in wide at is base and the weight is 875 grams. It also has a decoration of blue crystals and turquoise. The haft of the sword is bound by silk and the pommel is composed of eleven concentric circles.

The sword of Gouijian was loaned as an expedition in Singapore in 1994. But a workman drawing it from the scabbard accidentally banged it against a hard surface. That’s why there’s a small crack in the blade that remains to this day. It is now against the law to remove the sword from the borders of China to avoid similar incidents.
Today, the sword of Goujian is now considered a national treasure of China and a priceless antique sword.
Likes: macon


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Excellent work , the sword fit perfectly in Chinese history
it demonstrate superlative control of bronze
the design is 100% Chinese
it reinforce the fact that Steel had not yet penetrated the yellow river basin
Oct 2013
Planet Nine, Oregon
The Chinese were top-notch bronze casters, they had a lot of metallurgical knowledge and interest in chemistry, alchemy. The weapons found with the Terracotta Soldiers had chrome and molybdenum, iirc.

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
A decent bronze sword would not crack if accidentally banged against a hard surface. The edge might dull and chip but the blade wouldn't crack.
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Likes: songtsen

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
Must be some kind of fault from delamination of the various alloys.
The Chinese had some wonderful swords but the sword of Goujian is not one of them. The high sulfur content is not a good thing because it increases brittleness. It tells us that the copper smelter was inefficient and not removing enough sulfur from the ore. The sulfur content is probably why it cracked in 1994, which tells us that it was never wielded in battle because it would have cracked the first time it was used.

The existence of trace elements like chrome and molybdenum tells us nothing about their metallurgical capability because those elements were present in the original ore. All they did was realise that some ores produce better swords than others and used those instead; they had no clue about the metallurgical content of those ores.
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