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Weapons in Mesopotaia

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Emily Eby

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of Weapons in Mesopotaia

Warfare items in Mesopotamia Bibliography Bertman, Stephen. "chariots in Mesopotamia." Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=MESP0806 &SingleRecord=True (accessed September 12, 2012).
Bertman, Stephen. "weapons and military equipment in ancient Mesopotamia." Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE49&iPin=MESP0803&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 14, 2012).
James Bowden, Brandon L. "The Origin of the Composite Bow in Ancient Mesopotamia More." The Origin of the Composite Bow in Ancient Mesopotamia (Prof. James Bowden). Southern Bible Institute Dallas TX, 2012. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. <http://apus.academia.edu/JamesBowden/Papers/1625795/The_Origin_of_the_Composite_Bow_in_Ancient_Mesopotamia>.
"The Gold Helmet." Ancient Mesopotamia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. <http://ancientweb.org/images/explore/Iraq_Sumer_Gold_Helmet.jpg>.
"Mesopotamia War Chariot." Skeptic. N.p., 2009. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-07-28images/fig5.jpg>.
"Mesopotamia 2350BC." The Bow Timeline. N.p., 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.chaldeansonline.org/photo/mesop1.jpg>. Chariots The Mesopotamians interest in a fast transportation lead them to create the great war chariot which gave them a great advantage in war. Chariots were invented by the Sumerians in early 3000 BCE. When the chariot was first invented in had 2 wheels and was powered by a donkey-like creature. They were used to carry military intelligence or orders through the soldier riding on it. Shortly after the first chariot was made, war chariots were created. The Sumerian war chariot was a heavy four-wheeled cart that was powered by two fast and powerful horses from Asia . This war chariot wasn't very maneuverable because of its heavy wooden wheels and front axle that could not swivel. The Sumerians probably used these chariots to break-up enemy formations making them less powerful and easier to fight. The Sumarians interest in swift yet powerful weapons grew and new war chariots consisted of two armored horses, a driver man, a spear man, and it the front axis could swivel. This deadly vehicle provided them with a great advantage in large battles. This invention was driven by the interest of Sumarians and became a great method of war.
Chariots became an object feared by the enemy yet today we see a very similar item all around us. Modern day automobiles have many similarities to the ancient Mesopotamian war chariots. The Sumarian war chariots had four wheels and two horses to power the cart in front. Today most of the cars we drive have four wheels and are powered by a engine in the front. Also the later invented war chariot could slightly swivel its front axis in order to turn. Today's automobiles also have that, but have been revised to turn only the wheels and not the entire axis. The connection to the chariot and the car is hard not to see, but it does have great differences and uses. The Composite Bow The introduction to the composite bow was one of the most dramatic jumps for inventions in Mesopotamia because of their interest and need for long range weapons. A normal bow that was made out of a simple wood was used for a long time but in 2350 BCE, Sargon of Akkad ordered that the weapon be reinvented. The composite bow was created and was made out of multiple layers of materials—wood, bone, and sinew—that were glued together. All these different materials made the bow much more flexible and powerful than a simple wooden bow . If the bow was made correctly it could shoot an arrow 300 to 400ft average (800ft maximum). The bow and arrow allowed the rangers to shoot the enemy without putting themselves at risk. This had given them a great advantage to attack and injure the enemy without putting themselves in harms way of spears, axes, or swords. Also as years went on advanced rangers could ride on a horse and still use the bow with great precision. This new and improved way of fighting has changed the styles of warfare throughout history. The interest in the composite bow at the time was small but they slowly started to change how wars were fought and how they were won.
Over time the composite bow has evolved into weapons that we use today. Slowly the composite bow turned into the cross bow, then a gun with gun powder, then cannons, then to large bombs that could wipe out entire cites with no casualties to the other side. Today we still use the technique of wiping out as many people as possible with little casualties. Unlike ancient Mesopotamia were the main weapon were a spear or battle ax, today we use mostly long range weapons like guns and missiles to fight off enemy forces. The Mesopotamians also started the great skill of archery that existed as a form of warfare for thousands of years, and today is a form of hunting and sport. Although it isn't used as a weapon in warfare the bow and arrow is a weapon still known and used throughout the world. The Mesopotamian's curiosity of metal to lead them to survive the arms race. The most common defense was the metal helmet. In the beginning of the arms race the Sumarians created the stone club to smash the skulls of the enemy. So to protect the soldiers from this, people invented the leather helmet which later evolved into the metal helmet around 4100 BCE. As more weapons were invented, like the battle-axe that were made to pierce through copper helmets, people needed to make stronger helmet using stronger metals. The Mesopotamians had to create new ways to make the metals they had stronger, and cast metals that were more difficult to use. They needed to become more creative and curious in order to understand how the metals worked. Over time they made elegant and strong helmets made out of bronze that could withstand most impacts with little damage. If they did not push themselves to create better helmets then many more lives would have been lost in battles.

Helmets of ancient Mesopotamia are still connected to to us today. Around 4300BCE the helmet was used not only for battle but also as attire for the dead. As the years of improvement for the helmet went on sumarians started to create helmets out of gold. They started to bury great warlords who died in battle with a gold helmet in the form of a wig. This was meant to give the warlord a higher ranking and respect in the after life. The helmet had ear holes in it so the warlord could hear commands as well as give them in the next life. This is represented today when a solider dies in battle. They are dressed in their uniform and the metals they won when they are buried. This action is to show that they died with respect and honor and they will carry that honor and respect to the next life. It may not seem like it but this way of life has been around since ancient times. The Helment Armor for the head that protects the skull from being damaged. According to Yigael Yadin "(The) Invention and development of the chariot was the most significant contribution to the art of warfare in the third millennium" (Yadin 1963: 36). A two to four wheeled carriage drawn by two horses that is usually driven in a standing position and is used for transportation and war A long flexible bow made out of several different materials and shoots arrows by drawing the sting back and releasing Emily Eby P4
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