Traces of Bronze, not Paper

Sometimes, historians have no choice but to use weapons, tools, or other material remains to examine cultures. Very ancient cultures left no written record to examine. Even if they wrote, their writings have been lost to time. Since metal and stone are slow to decompose, metal objects or stone structures are often the only remains of an ancient culture. Weapons and tools often make up the majority of discovered metal. Even so, any wood origially attached to that metal is often gone. So how can we understand ancient cultures?

Box of tools, daggers, knives

Ancient cultures were espeically reliant on the ax. There are six different ways of attaching an ax to its shaft shown here, showing how different cultures can be even in little details. Note 4, 5, and 9, where the ax fits on the end of its shaft, and 2, 6, and 7, which require a bent shaft.

Box of spear parts

Spears were the staple weapon of all time. Here are spear points and butts, which would go on the top and bottom of a wooden shaft. As with the axes, it is evident different cultures found different ways to make the same weapon. What could each spear tell us about its maker?

Traces of Bronze, not Paper