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Which is why we’ve taken the time to trace that story alongside humanity’s in the following complete guide to the history of fighting knives.
As you might imagine, all bladed tools can be traced back to the same Paleolithic origin, as that ancient period – during which humanity emerged from caves and begin to create their own structures, eventually leading to the development of civilization – marked mankind’s first technological jump forward.
In all likelihood, the knife is humanity’s oldest tool – or at least some version of a handheld cutting device is.
But it isn’t just old, it’s also stood the test of time.
The tools were simple and unrefined, comprised primarily of stones or flint with rough edges, which were used to make jagged cuts and chops, rather than intricate slices.
Over time, the shapes would change from irregular rocks to more recognizable arrowhead-shaped blades, though these were still exceedingly dull in comparison to knives we would see later on.
As it turns out, the two primary purposes of this particular knife seemed to be that of assassination and suicide.
This is also the time of the Roman Empire and, by proxy, one of the most violent periods of history as the Romans expanded throughout Europe, by any means necessary.
Often, these stone knives would be adorned with leather wrappings and sometimes fur on their handles, creating the familiar dagger shape we know of today. Stone was largely abandoned as a blade material (with rare exception), as metals like copper and bronze made for much more effective and durable cutting tools.
In large part, however, knives of all sorts would remain the same for centuries. Named for the emergence of simple metalworking, the Bronze Age (beginning roughly sometime after 3,000 B. And while the technology was still largely rough in its execution, the era of bronze really marked the moment at which knife-making began turning into an art.
It’s interesting to see how intricately human civilization’s progression is intertwined with the development of tools of war.
And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in the Iron Age.Like its larger counterpart, the Gladius (a short sword), this was a standard-issue close combat tool carried by Roman soldiers.