Here's an interesting design. It's a two-foot-long iron machete from the Roman Imperial period, dug up in the Balkans. It's for sale on EBay right now.
(auction #200359036209, if you're interested. I certainly don't want to buy it.)
The grip looks uncomfortable. I like the gaining grip angle, though, and the ring pommel.
This would be a good project for some of us that are amateur smiths.
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July 8, 2009, 02:43 PM
Seems like an awful lot of active rust for something that old. My guess is that it is a fake.
July 8, 2009, 06:16 PM
I don't particularly care if it's a fake. I like the T-shaped spine and S-curved profile, gently curved edge that could both stab and cut well, the excellent ergonomics of the grip angle (although the grip itself looks painful to use), and the overall proportions of the thing.
-And rust DOES sleep. Wrought iron is funny stuff, too, not at all like steel. It tends to develop a crust and then stabilize until the crust is disturbed. An iron item that developed rust a millennium ago then spent the intervening years in protective desert soil will sprout rust anew when re-exposed to humidity. In fact, rust seems to try to make up for lost time.
July 8, 2009, 06:49 PM
I collect swords and have a pretty extensive collection. Rust is one of those things I have studied, as have the Balkans. It's a bad place to get things these days, especially things Roman. I have seen fakes of many kinds, including mundane coins with little value.
July 8, 2009, 07:49 PM
Agreed. I might have been interested at fifty bucks or less, just as a model. For the $500.00 or so that it will probably go for - forget it!
Still, it's an interesting design, full of period details. It should be a fine starting point for those who like to put a cold hammer on hot metal.
-On a side note, I like to make stoneware pottery. I'm always going through archaeology books, the net, and EBay, just looking for inspiration.
EBay has such pretty pictures!
July 8, 2009, 08:52 PM
I met an archeologist from Poland. He told me that whenever a new road is planned, the law requires that the area must first be searched for ancient grave sites which are then excavated with the help of private contractors. The graves often contain weapons & relics which are cataloged into collections and put on display. It's very common to find authentic relics dating back many centuries, and they often discover undetonated WWII ordinance. Nothing really prevents treasure hunters from hunting for relics on their own anywhere in the world besides private property boundaries. :)
July 8, 2009, 09:37 PM
It is a design that reminds me of the Filipino blades you can get from local artisans.
July 8, 2009, 11:29 PM
I knew a civil engineer in Germany whose office was lined with various ancient relics found on his projects. No swords, though.
In my area they seem to find Native graves pretty regularly. Slows projects down because they have to be treated with respect and the local tribes have to get involved, but IMHO that's the decent thing to do anyway.
July 8, 2009, 11:36 PM
Very interesting design...( if authentic...or, regardless...)
Does seem Agricultural...a sort of Scythe...
And yes, I'd agree, Handle does look uncomfortable,( even if one wound Waxed Twine or thin Leather around it...)
July 9, 2009, 01:45 AM
Nothing really prevents treasure hunters from hunting for relics on their own anywhere in the world besides private property boundaries.
Taken from a broader perspective, I don't know that this is true. It is against FEDERAL law to take any sort of arrow head or Native American artifact off the Pawnee National Grasslands where I go shoot, and I am pretty sure that it is against the law in other countries to loot tombs and things like that.
Now, in terms of going out with a metal detector and searching for treasure, no, I don't think that is illegal. But I think just saying "finders keepers" when it comes to historic relics (depending on the relic and the part of the world) kind of is.
July 9, 2009, 06:18 AM
This eBay seller is selling numerous relics of all sorts so that just proves my point. People dig up relics and sell them all of the time. Just take a look at the many other relics that are being sold by the same outfit.
I believe that even Americans are free to hunt & dig for relics, fossils, coins, implements etc... on their own property, or where they are granted permission by the landowner. It might even be Constitutionally protected. Then museums and other collectors offer to buy some of the better finds.
July 9, 2009, 02:50 PM
The big problem in the West is that most of the undeveloped land is Federal property. When people search out old Native sites on Federal land and dig through them looking for artifacts to steal and sell it destroys most of their value to archeologists.
Ya never know... a couple years ago some lady in the middle of Seattle was having some drainage work done and the workers found two Native graves in her back yard from before the white people came to this part of the country. My wife says "If that ever happens to us the house goes on the market the same day!"
July 9, 2009, 04:31 PM
This eBay seller is selling numerous relics of all sorts so that just proves my point.
Doesn't make it legal, though it doesn't make it illegal either. All I am saying is that there is a fine line between treasure hunting and grave robbing when it comes to antiquities. Museums are typically exempt from such things and are a far different entity than some dude walking around looking for stuff.
Also, I don't think it is constitutionally protected. Internationally, certainly not. Here is a link to an interesting article about finding stuff. It mentions looters and smugglers, and I while I think there are plenty of honest treasure hunters out there, I don't know that the law sees a difference between hobbyist who hit the big one and looter. Maybe. I honestly don't know. Anyway, here is the article: