View Full Version : found this on tribal smiths

02-05-2003, 12:57 PM

J.Arthur Loose
02-05-2003, 02:13 PM
Thanks, HDN...

I saw this article earlier when researching the net and forgot to bookmark it, so I appreciate it.

The article ties into something that I've thought for a long time... that we consistently underestimate Ancient technology. It's hard to look at something like the Ardagh Chalice or the Sutton Hoo find and think that these guys were shooting in the dark when it came to steel. I do think that secrecy took it's toll, though... some of these things were likely considered military secrets!

Jerry Oksman
02-05-2003, 04:57 PM
Jonathan, I have to agree. Take the whole making steel in Ceylon thing we were talking about earlier it was thought not possible in those days to accomplish that kind of quality steel. What about the iceman find, it was assumed that there was no bronze work in those days and then they go and find the iceman was running around with a bronze (or was it copper) axe.

I don't know about the military secret part, but I can see a smith keeping his steel or wootz or damascus making ability a secret after all it gave him an edge (pun intended) against the competeing smiths.

I also think that a lot of this stuff was so common place that everyone assumed that everyone reading the instructions would get it. After all the ancient peoples where not generally writing for us 21st century types so a lot of the basic's (the assumed stuff) is never reported or otherwise recorded.