Skip to main content
13 votes
Accepted

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

TL;DR: We don't know, but at least ~170 swords bearing - in whole or in part - some variation of "VLFBERHT" are known to exist. Number of Extant VLFBERHT swords: I came across the closest available ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
  • 4,259
12 votes
Accepted

Was bronze ever used for chainmail?

"Was it ever?" Certainly. The style of armour evolved with swings of a pendulum as can be seen from the earliest bronze age up until now, with conspicuous heights found in the trench warfare ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
11 votes

How much gold did humans possess by century starting with Neolithic?

I know, it's an ancient question, but maybe somebody might still be interested in some ballpark estimates. According to the World Gold Council about 200,000 tonnes of gold have been mined in human ...
Zoamel's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes

Did any Native Americans make tomahawks from metal?

Metallurgy in North America above the Rio Grande rarely advanced beyond the cold working of native copper, an item which was common enough to be an exported from the upper peninsula of Michigan, even ...
Peter Diehr's user avatar
  • 6,759
9 votes

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

All these answers seem to have overlooked the obvious. To make bronze, you need to mix copper and tin. There are few tin deposits in North America (outside of Alaska), and most of them are not ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 2,885
8 votes
Accepted

When were public roads cleaned electromagnetically?

Well, the truck was definitely real, not an artists concept sketch. An image gallery at the Nevada Department of Transportation website shows the following picture: The caption simply labels it as an ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Sources of iron in the middle east

Turns out the answer to your question touches on the rise and fall of the Hittites, and the rise of the Phoenicians (and later Carthaginians). Metals were a large part of the return cargo on the ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
6 votes
Accepted

Did ancient Greeks harden steel weapons?

Yes. They did harden their weapons, not always, that is from the start of us calling them "Greeks", but from quite early on, and certainly in the timeframe of the question. But the Hittites ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
6 votes

Could a Hellenistic era smith discover the composition of an alloy?

Yes, for limited applications. Archimedes's famous "Eureka!" moment stems from being tasked with determining if a crown was made of pure gold or if some silver had been mixed in. The density ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.4k
6 votes

How much gold did humans possess by century starting with Neolithic?

I found some relevant information in the following reference: R W Boyle: Gold: History and Genesis of Deposits The estimates only go up to 1985, when the total gold mined worldwide would fit into an ...
Nick B's user avatar
  • 696
6 votes

Did any Native Americans make tomahawks from metal?

It appears that Peruvians did this (although the word "tomahawk" is probably misapplied if used on South American weaponry). The Met has multiple copper axe-heads from that area, at least one of which ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
4 votes

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

The 'Copper Country' in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninusula of Michigan has been a source of metal for a very long time. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine) Native Americans were the first ...
Matt Balent's user avatar
  • 1,088
4 votes

When did leaf springs appear in vehicles?

To answer the question in the title, apparently the leaf spring was invented in 1804 by Obadiah Elliott, a carriage builder in London, who was granted a patent for his leaf-spring-suspension vehicle ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.4k
4 votes

When did leaf springs appear in vehicles?

Leaf spring was first adapted to the horse drawn carriage in the 14th or 15th century. It didn't see widespread use until it's production became more practical in the 18th century. It cannot be said ...
djlindsay's user avatar
4 votes

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

Seeing technology as linear, from primitive to advanced, adds confusion. Why bother to invent the wheel if you live in the Andes mountains and don't have draft animals? Why bother with metal ...
Lisann's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes

Is there any research on specific details of ancient/medieval blacksmithing related to microelements added via plants?

Plants have indeed been used to make steel suitable for swords. Perhaps the most famous ancient swords were the so-called Damascus swords, made of wootz steel. They were called Damascus swords because ...
Nick B's user avatar
  • 696
3 votes

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

There's proof that Native Americans settled the Americas as far back as 9000/8000 B.C. based on the Folsom site. That's around the time the cradle of western civ was being cunieformed in the Middle ...
Sarah's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Was bronze ever used for chainmail?

Not exactly the most 'historic' question but anyway Bronze is an alloy and has been used since 3500 BC. Around 3500 BC the first signs of bronze usage by the ancient Sumerians started to appear in ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 431
3 votes

Did any Native Americans make tomahawks from metal?

Yes, of course, American Indians used metal or copper axes, usually the celt type in the Archaic and Woodland eras. The copper celt was a woodworking tool used as an axe, but most tools, especially ...
Don Spohn's user avatar
3 votes

Did bronze metallurgical development peak by the end of the bronze age?

Not an expert, but the main improvements were in the forge and specially, the fundition process. Making big swords requires much more molten material than a small knife, so the ancient metallurgists ...
Rekesoft's user avatar
  • 577
1 vote

Did ancient Greeks harden steel weapons?

I don’t know about the Greeks, but many other people around that time did harden the edges of their weapons by a process of carburisation. The Celts did this, and some Celtic tribes migrated into ...
Nick B's user avatar
  • 696
1 vote

Sources of iron in the middle east

Some steel for edged weapons would have been imported from places like India. See Wootz steel and Damascus steel (but ignore the irrelevant and misleading modern use of the term for pattern-welded ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
1 vote

When did leaf springs appear in vehicles?

Making a leaf spring starts with ... A leaf spring is a spring with many leaves (or laminae) bound together. Typically made of steel (but in principle other materials could have been used, e.g. ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible