Iron is a chemical element with symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal, that belongs to group 8 of the periodic table, it is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Pure iron is rare on the Earth's crust being limited to meteorites. Iron ores are quite abundant, but extracting usable metal from them requires kilns or furnaces capable of reaching 1500 °C or higher, about 500 °C higher than what is enough to smelt copper. Humans started to dominate that process in Eurasia only about 2000 BCE, iron began to displace copper alloys for tools and weapons, in some regions, only around 1200 BCE; that event is considered the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. Iron alloys, such as steel and special steels are now by far the most common industrial metals, because of their mechanical properties and their low cost. Pristine and smooth pure iron surfaces are mirror-like silvery-gray. However, iron reacts with oxygen and water to give brown to black hydrated iron oxides known as rust.
Unlike the oxides of some other metals, that form passivating layers, rust occupies more volume than the metal and thus flakes off, exposing fresh surfaces for corrosion. The body of an adult human contains about 3 to 5 grams of elemental iron in hemoglobin and myoglobin; these two proteins play essential roles in vertebrate metabolism oxygen transport by blood and oxygen storage in muscles. To maintain the necessary levels, human iron metabolism requires a minimum of iron in the diet. Iron is the metal at the active site of many important redox enzymes dealing with cellular respiration and oxidation and reduction in plants and animals. Chemically, the most common oxidation states of iron are +2 and +3. Iron shares many properties of other transition metals, including the other group 8 elements and osmium. Iron forms compounds in a wide range of oxidation states, −2 to +7. Iron forms many coordination compounds. At least four allotropes of iron are known, conventionally denoted α, γ, δ, ε; the first three forms are observed at ordinary pressures.
As molten iron cools past its freezing point of 1538 °C, it crystallizes into its δ allotrope, which has a body-centered cubic crystal structure. As it cools further to 1394 °C, it changes to its γ-iron allotrope, a face-centered cubic crystal structure, or austenite. At 912 °C and below, the crystal structure again becomes the bcc α-iron allotrope; the physical properties of iron at high pressures and temperatures have been studied extensively, because of their relevance to theories about the cores of the Earth and other planets. Above 10 GPa and temperatures of a few hundred kelvin or less, α-iron changes into another hexagonal close-packed structure, known as ε-iron; the higher-temperature γ-phase changes into ε-iron, but does so at higher pressure. Some controversial experimental evidence exists for a stable β phase at pressures above 50 GPa and temperatures of at least 1500 K, it is supposed to have a double hcp structure. The inner core of the Earth is presumed to consist of an iron-nickel alloy with ε structure.
The melting and boiling points of iron, along with its enthalpy of atomization, are lower than those of the earlier 3d elements from scandium to chromium, showing the lessened contribution of the 3d electrons to metallic bonding as they are attracted more and more into the inert core by the nucleus. This same trend appears for ruthenium but not osmium; the melting point of iron is experimentally well defined for pressures less than 50 GPa. For greater pressures, published data still varies by tens of gigapascals and over a thousand kelvin. Below its Curie point of 770 °C, α-iron changes from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic: the spins of the two unpaired electrons in each atom align with the spins of its neighbors, creating an overall magnetic field; this happens because the orbitals of those two electrons do not point toward neighboring atoms in the lattice, therefore are not involved in metallic bonding. In the absence of an external source of magnetic field, the atoms get spontaneously partitioned into magnetic domains, about 10 micrometres across, such that the atoms in each domain have parallel spins, but different domains have other orientations.
Thus a macroscopic piece of iron will have a nearly zero overall magnetic field. Application of an external magnetic field causes the domains that are magnetized in the same general direction to grow at the expense of adjacent ones that point in other directions, reinforcing the external field; this effect is exploited in devices that needs to channel magnetic fields, such as electrical transformers, magnetic recording heads, electric motors. Impurities, lattice defects, or grain and particle boundaries can "pin" the domains in the new positions, so that the effect persists after the external field is removed -- thus turning the iron object into a magnet. Similar behavior is exhibited by some iron compounds, such as the fer
An arrowhead is a tip sharpened, added to an arrow to make it more deadly or to fulfill some special purpose. The earliest arrowheads were made of organic materials. Arrowheads are important archaeological artifacts. Modern enthusiasts still "produce over one million brand-new spear and arrow points per year". One who manufactures metal arrowheads is an arrowsmith. In the Stone Age, people used sharpened bone, flintknapped stones and chips of rock as weapons and tools; such items remained in use with new materials used as time passed. As archaeological artifacts such objects are classed as projectile points, without specifying whether they were projected by a bow or by some other means such as throwing since the specific means of projection is found too in direct association with any given point and the word "arrow" would imply a certainty about these points which does not exist; such artifacts can be found all over the world in various locations. Those that have survived are made of stone consisting of flint, obsidian or chert.
In many excavations, bone and metal arrowheads have been found. Stone projectile points dating back 64,000 years were excavated from layers of ancient sediment in Sibudu Cave, South Africa. Examinations found traces of blood and bone residues, glue made from a plant-based resin, used to fasten them on to a wooden shaft; this indicated. These hafted points might have been launched from bows. While "most attributes such as micro-residue distribution patterns and micro-wear will develop on points used to tip spears, darts or arrows" and "explicit tests for distinctions between thrown spears and projected arrows have not yet been conducted" the researchers find "contextual support" for the use of these points on arrows: a broad range of animals were hunted, with an emphasis on taxa that prefer closed forested niches, including fast moving and arboreal animals; this is an argument for the use of traps including snares. If snares were used, the use of cords and knots which would have been adequate for the production of bows is implied.
The employment of snares demonstrates a practical understanding of the latent energy stored in bent branches, the main principle of bow construction. Cords and knots are implied by use-wear facets on perforated shell beads around 72,000 years old from Blombos. Archeologists in Louisiana have discovered that early Native Americans used Alligator gar scales as arrow heads. "Hunting with a bow and arrow requires intricate multi-staged planning, material collection and tool preparation and implies a range of innovative social and communication skills." Arrowheads are attached to arrow shafts to be shot from a bow. The arrowhead or projectile point is the primary functional part of the arrow, plays the largest role in determining its purpose; some arrows may use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made from metal, rock, or some other hard material. Arrowheads may be attached to the shaft with a cap, a socket tang, or inserted into a split in the shaft and held by a process called hafting.
Points attached with caps are slid snugly over the end of the shaft, or may be held on with hot glue. In medieval Europe, arrowheads were adhered with hide glue. Split-shaft construction involves splitting the arrow shaft lengthwise, inserting the arrowhead, securing it using ferrule, rope, or wire. Modern arrowheads used for hunting come in a variety of styles. Many traditionalist archers choose heads made of modern high carbon steel that resemble traditional stone heads. Other classes of broadheads referred to; these heads rely on force created by passing through an animal to expand or open. Arrowheads are separated by function: Bodkin points are short, rigid points with a small cross-section, they were made of unhardened iron and may have been used for better or longer flight, or for cheaper production. It has been suggested that the bodkin came into its own as a means of penetrating armour, however limited research has so far found no hardened bodkin points, so it appears that it was first designed either to extend range or as a cheaper and simpler alternative to the broadhead.
In a modern test, a direct hit from a hard steel bodkin point penetrated a set of fifteenth-century chain armour made in Damascus. However, archery was minimally effective against plate armour, which became available to knights of modest means by the late 14th century. Blunts are unsharpened arrowheads used for types of target shooting, for shooting at stumps or other targets of opportunity, or hunting small game when the goal is to stun the target without penetration. Blunts are made of metal or hard rubber, they may stun, the arrow shaft may penetrate the head and the target. Judo points have spring wires extending sideways from the tip; these catch on debris to prevent the arrow from being lost in the vegetation. Used for practice and for small game. Broadheads are still used for hunting. Medieval broadheads could be made from steel, sometimes with hardened edges, they have two to four sharp blades that cause massive bleeding in the victim. Their function is to
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is dark grey, green, white or brown in colour, has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is different in colour white and rough in texture. From a petrological point of view, "flint" refers to the form of chert which occurs in chalk or marly limestone. "common chert" occurs in limestone. Flint is durable and can be found along streams and beaches, its use to make stone tools dates back millions of years. Due to some properties of flint it breaks into sharp edged pieces making it useful for knife blades and other sharp tools. During the Stone Age access to flint was so important for survival that people would travel or trade to obtain flint. Flint Ridge in eastern Ohio was an important source of flint and Native Americans extracted the flint from hundreds of quarries along the ridge.
This "Ohio Flint" was traded across the eastern United States and has been found as far west as the Rocky Mountains and south around the Gulf of Mexico. The exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear, but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as holes bored by crustaceans or molluscs and that this becomes silicified; this hypothesis explains the complex shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the porous media could be the spicules of silicious sponges. Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, contain trapped fossilised marine flora. Pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone reveal this effect. Puzzling giant flint formations known as paramoudra and flint circles are found around Europe but in Norfolk, England on the beaches at Beeston Bump and West Runton.
Flint sometimes occurs in large flint fields for example, in Europe. The "Ohio flint" is the official gemstone of Ohio state, it is formed from limey debris, deposited at the bottom of inland Paleozoic seas hundreds of millions of years ago that hardened into limestone and became infused with silica. The flint from Flint Ridge is found in many hues like red, pink, blue and gray, with the color variations caused by minute impurities of iron compounds. Flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades when struck by another hard object; this process is referred to as knapping. The process of making tools this way is called "flintknapping". In Europe, some of the best toolmaking flint has come from Belgium, the coastal chalks of the English Channel, the Paris Basin, Thy in Jutland, the Sennonian deposits of Rügen, Grimes Graves in England, the Upper Cretaceous chalk formation of Dobruja and the lower Danube, the Cenomanian chalky marl formation of the Moldavian Plateau and the Jurassic deposits of the Kraków area and Krzemionki in Poland, as well as of the Lägern in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland.
Flint mining became more common since the Neolithic. In 1938, a project of the Ohio Historical Society, under the leadership of H. Holmes Ellis began to study the flintknapping "methods and techniques" of Native Americans. Like past studies, this work involved experimenting with actual flintknapping techniques by creation of stone tools through the use of techniques like direct freehand percussion, freehand pressure and pressure using a rest. Other scholars who have conducted similar experiments and studies include William Henry Holmes, Alonzo W. Pond, Sir Francis H. S. Knowles and Don Crabtree; when struck against steel, a flint edge produces. The hard flint edge shaves off a particle of the steel that exposes iron, which reacts with oxygen from the atmosphere and can ignite the proper tinder. Prior to the wide availability of steel, rocks of pyrite would be used along with the flint, in a similar way; these methods are popular in woodcraft and amongst people practising traditional fire-starting skills.
A major use of flint and steel was in the flintlock mechanism, used in flintlock firearms, but used on dedicated fire-starting tools. A piece of flint held in the jaws of a spring-loaded hammer, when released by a trigger, strikes a hinged piece of steel at an angle, creating a shower of sparks and exposing a charge of priming powder; the sparks ignite the priming powder and that flame, in turn, ignites the main charge, propelling the ball, bullet, or shot through the barrel. While the military use of the flintlock declined after the adoption of the percussion cap from the 1840s onward, flintlock rifles and shotguns remain in use amongst recreational shooters. Flint and steel used to strike sparks were superseded by ferrocerium; this man-made material, when scraped with any hard, sharp edge, produces sparks that are much hotter than obtained with natural flint and steel, allowing use of a wider range of tinders. Because it can produce sparks when wet and can start fires
An axe is an implement, used for millennia to shape and cut wood, to harvest timber, as a weapon, as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialised uses but consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve. Before the modern axe, the stone-age hand axe was used from 1.5 million years BP without a handle. It was fastened to a wooden handle; the earliest examples of handled axes have heads of stone with some form of wooden handle attached in a method to suit the available materials and use. Axes made of copper, bronze and steel appeared as these technologies developed. Axes are composed of a head and a handle; the axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper, it splits the wood into two parts by the pressure concentration at the blade. The handle of the axe acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge—not using the full length of the handle is known as choking the axe. For fine chopping using a side axe this sometimes is a positive effect, but for felling with a double bitted axe it reduces efficiency.
Cutting axes have a shallow wedge angle, whereas splitting axes have a deeper angle. Most axes are double bevelled, i.e. symmetrical about the axis of the blade, but some specialist broadaxes have a single bevel blade, an offset handle that allows them to be used for finishing work without putting the user's knuckles at risk of injury. Less common today, they were once an integral part of a joiner and carpenter's tool kit, not just a tool for use in forestry. A tool of similar origin is the billhook. Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles hickory in the US and ash in Europe and Asia, although plastic or fibreglass handles are common. Modern axes are specialised by use and form. Hafted axes with short handles designed for use with one hand are called hand axes but the term hand axe refers to axes without handles as well. Hatchets tend to be small hafted axes with a hammer on the back side; as easy-to-make weapons, axes have been used in combat. Axes were tools of stone called hand axes, used without handles, had knapped cutting edges of flint or other stone.
Stone axes made with ground cutting edges were first developed sometime in the late Pleistocene in Australia, where ground-edge axe fragments from sites in Arnhem Land date back at least 44,000 years. In Europe, the innovation of ground edges occurred much in the Neolithic period ending 4,000 to 2,000 BC; the first true hafted axes are known from the Mesolithic period. Few wooden hafts have been found from this period, but it seems that the axe was hafted by wedging. Birch-tar and raw-hide lashings were used to fix the blade. Sometimes a short section of deer antler was used, which prevented the splitting of the haft and softened the impact on the stone blade itself, helping absorb the impact of each axe blow and lessening the chances of breaking the handle; the antler was hollowed out at one end to create a socket for the axehead. The antler sheath was either perforated and a handle inserted into it or set in a hole made in the handle instead; the distribution of stone axes is an important indication of prehistoric trade.
Thin sectioning is used to determine the provenance of the stone blades. In Europe, Neolithic "axe factories", where thousands of ground stone axes were roughed out, are known from many places, such as: Great Langdale, England Rathlin Island, Ireland Krzemionki, Poland Plancher-les-Mines, France Aosta Valley, Italy. Stone axes are still in use today in parts of Papua, Indonesia; the Mount Hagen area of Papua New Guinea was an important production centre. From the late Neolithic/Chalcolithic onwards, axes were made of copper mixed with arsenic; these axes were hafted much like their stone predecessors. Axes continued to be made in this manner with the introduction of Bronze metallurgy; the hafting method changed and the flat axe developed into the "flanged axe" palstaves, winged and socketed axes. The Proto-Indo-European word for "axe" may have been *pelek'u-, but the word was a loan, or a Neolithic wanderwort related to Sumerian balag, Akkadian pilaku-. At least since the late Neolithic, elaborate axes had a religious significance and indicated the exalted status of their owner.
Certain types never show traces of wear. In Minoan Crete, the double axe had a special significance, used by priestesses in religious ceremonies; the symbol refers to deification ceremonies. In 1998 a labrys, complete with an elaborately embellished haft, was found at Cham-Eslen, Canton of Zug, Switzerland; the haft wrapped in ornamented birch-bark. The axe blade is 17.4 cm long and made of antigorite, mined in the Gotthard-area. The haft is fastened by wedges of antler and by birch-tar, it belongs to the early Cortai
Bronze is an alloy consisting of copper with about 12–12.5% tin and with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability; the archeological period in which bronze was the hardest metal in widespread use is known as the Bronze Age. The beginning of the Bronze Age in India and western Eurasia is conventionally dated to the mid-4th millennium BC, to the early 2nd millennium BC in China; the Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BC and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BC, although bronze continued to be much more used than it is in modern times. Because historical pieces were made of brasses and bronzes with different compositions, modern museum and scholarly descriptions of older objects use the more inclusive term "copper alloy" instead. There are two basic theories as to the origin of the word.
Romance theoryThe Romance theory holds that the word bronze was borrowed from French bronze, itself borrowed from Italian bronzo "bell metal, brass" from either, bróntion, back-formation from Byzantine Greek brontēsíon from Brentḗsion ‘Brindisi’, reputed for its bronze. Proto-Slavic theoryThe Proto-Slavic theory reflects the philological issue that in the most of Slavonic languages word "bronza" corresponds to "war metal" while at the early stages of the Bronze working it was used exclusively for military purposes; the discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were harder and more durable than possible. Bronze tools, weapons and building materials such as decorative tiles were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors. Bronze was made out of copper and arsenic, forming arsenic bronze, or from or artificially mixed ores of copper and arsenic, with the earliest artifacts so far known coming from the Iranian plateau in the 5th millennium BC, it was only that tin was used, becoming the major non-copper ingredient of bronze in the late 3rd millennium BC.
Tin bronze was superior to arsenic bronze in that the alloying process could be more controlled, the resulting alloy was stronger and easier to cast. Unlike arsenic, metallic tin and fumes from tin refining are not toxic; the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to 4500 BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik. Other early examples date to the late 4th millennium BC in Egypt and some ancient sites in China and Mesopotamia. Ores of copper and the far rarer tin are not found together, so serious bronze work has always involved trade. Tin sources and trade in ancient times had a major influence on the development of cultures. In Europe, a major source of tin was the British deposits of ore in Cornwall, which were traded as far as Phoenicia in the eastern Mediterranean. In many parts of the world, large hoards of bronze artifacts are found, suggesting that bronze represented a store of value and an indicator of social status. In Europe, large hoards of bronze tools socketed axes, are found, which show no signs of wear.
With Chinese ritual bronzes, which are documented in the inscriptions they carry and from other sources, the case is clear. These were made in enormous quantities for elite burials, used by the living for ritual offerings. Though bronze is harder than wrought iron, with Vickers hardness of 60–258 vs. 30–80, the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age after a serious disruption of the tin trade: the population migrations of around 1200–1100 BC reduced the shipping of tin around the Mediterranean and from Britain, limiting supplies and raising prices. As the art of working in iron improved, iron improved in quality; as cultures advanced from hand-wrought iron to machine-forged iron, blacksmiths learned how to make steel. Steel holds a sharper edge longer. Bronze was still used during the Iron Age, has continued in use for many purposes to the modern day. There are many different bronze alloys, but modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Alpha bronze consists of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper.
Alpha bronze alloys of 4–5% tin are used to make coins, springs and blades. Historical "bronzes" are variable in composition, as most metalworkers used whatever scrap was on hand; the proportions of this mixture suggests. The Benin Bronzes are in fact brass, the Romanesque Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège is described as both bronze and brass. In the Bronze Age, two forms of bronze were used: "classic bronze", about 10% tin, was used in
In archaeology, in particular of the Stone Age, lithic reduction is the process of fashioning stones or rocks from their natural state into tools or weapons by removing some parts. It has been intensely studied and many archaeological industries are identified entirely by the lithic analysis of the precise style of their tools and the chaîne opératoire of the reduction techniques they used; the starting point is the selection of a piece of tool stone, detached by natural geological processes, is an appropriate size and shape. In some cases solid rock or larger boulders may be quarried and broken into suitable smaller pieces, in others the starting point may be a piece of the debitage, a flake removed from a previous operation to make a larger tool; the selected piece is called the lithic core. A basic distinction is that between flaked or chipped stone, the main subject here, ground stone objects made by grinding. Flaked stone reduction involves the use of a hard hammer percussor, such as a hammerstone, a soft hammer fabricator, or a wood or antler punch to detach lithic flakes from the lithic core.
As flakes are detached in sequence, the original mass of stone is reduced. Lithic reduction may be performed in order to obtain sharp flakes, of which a variety of tools can be made, or to rough out a blank for refinement into a projectile point, knife, or other object. Flakes of regular size that are at least twice as long as they are broad are called blades. Lithic tools produced this way may be unifacial. Cryptocrystalline or amorphous stone such as chert, flint and chalcedony, as well as other fine-grained stone material, such as rhyolite and quartzite, were used as a source material for producing stone tools; as these materials lack natural planes of separation, conchoidal fractures occur when they are struck with sufficient force. The propagation of force through the material takes the form of a Hertzian cone that originates from the point of impact and results in the separation of material from the objective piece in the form of a partial cone known as a lithic flake; this process is predictable, allows the flintknapper to control and direct the application of force so as to shape the material being worked.
Controlled experiments may be performed using glass cores and consistent applied force in order to determine how varying factors affect core reduction. It has been shown that stages in the lithic reduction sequence may be misleading and that a better way to assess the data is by looking at it as a continuum; the assumptions that archaeologists sometimes make regarding the reduction sequence based on the placement of a flake into a stage can be unfounded. For example, a significant amount of cortex can be present on a flake taken off near the end of the reduction sequence. Removed flakes exhibit features characteristic of conchoidal fracturing, including striking platforms, bulbs of force, eraillures. Flakes are quite sharp, with distal edges only a few molecules thick when they have a feather termination; these flakes can be used directly as tools or modified into other utilitarian implements, such as spokeshaves and scrapers. By understanding the complex processes of lithic reduction, archaeologists recognize that the pattern and amount of reduction contribute tremendous effect to lithic assemblage compositions.
One of the measurements is the geometric index of reduction. There are two elements in this index:'t' and'T'. The'T' is the'height' of maximum blank thickness and the't' is the height of retouched scar from the ventral surface; the ratio between t and T is the geometric index of reduction. In theory this ratio shall range between 0 and 1; the bigger the number is the larger amount of lost weight from lithic flake. By using a logarithmic scale, a linear relationship between the geometric index and the percentage of original flake weight lost through retouch is confirmed. In choosing a reduction index, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each method, how they fit to the intended research question, as different indices provide different levels of information. For example, Kuhn's geometric index of unifacial reduction, which describes the ratio of scar height relative to the flake thickness, is influenced by the morphology of the flake blank which limits the applicability of this reduction index.
Alongside the various percussion and manipulation techniques described below, there is evidence that heat was at least sometimes used. Experimental archaeology has demonstrated that heated stones are sometimes much easier to flake, with larger flakes being produced in flint, for example. In some cases the heating changes the colour of the stone. Percussion reduction, or percussion flaking, refers to removal of flakes by impact. A core or other objective piece, such as a formed tool, is held in one hand, struck with a hammer or percussor. Alternatively, the objective piece can be struck between a stationary anvil-stone, known as bipolar percussion. Percussion can be done by throwing the objective piece at an anvil stone; this is sometimes called projectile percussion. Percussors are traditionally either a stone cobble or pebble referred to as a hammerstone, or a billet made of bone, antler, or wood. Flakes are struck from a core using a punch, in which case the percussor never makes contact with the objective piece.
This technique is referred to
A mace is a blunt weapon, a type of club or virge that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows. A mace consists of a strong, wooden or metal shaft reinforced with metal, featuring a head made of stone, copper, iron, or steel; the head of a military mace can be shaped with flanges or knobs to allow greater penetration of plate armour. The length of maces can vary considerably; the maces of foot soldiers were quite short. The maces of cavalrymen were thus better suited for blows delivered from horseback. Two-handed maces could be larger. Maces are used today for actual combat, but a large number of government bodies and other institutions have ceremonial maces and continue to display them as symbols of authority, they are paraded in academic, parliamentary or civic rituals and processions. The mace was developed during the Upper Paleolithic from the simple club, by adding sharp spikes of flint or obsidian. In Europe, an elaborately carved ceremonial flint mace head was one of the artifacts discovered in excavations of the Neolithic mound of Knowth in Ireland, Bronze Age archaeology cites numerous finds of perforated mace heads.
In ancient Ukraine, stone mace heads were first used nearly eight millennia ago. The others known were disc maces with oddly formed stones mounted perpendicularly to their handle; the Narmer Palette shows a king swinging a mace. See the articles on the Narmer Macehead and the Scorpion Macehead for examples of decorated maces inscribed with the names of kings; the problem with early maces was that their stone heads shattered and it was difficult to fix the head to the wooden handle reliably. The Egyptians attempted to give them a disk shape in the predynastic period in order to increase their impact and provide some cutting capabilities, but this seems to have been a short-lived improvement. A rounded pear form of mace head known as a "piriform" replaced the disc mace in the Naqada II period of pre-dynastic Upper Egypt and was used throughout the Naqada III period. Similar mace heads were used in Mesopotamia around 2450–1900 B. C. On a Sumerian Clay tablet written by the scribe Gar. Ama, the title Lord of the Mace is listed in the year 3100 B.
C. The Assyrians used maces about nineteenth century B. C. and in their campaigns. An important development in mace heads was the use of metal for their composition. With the advent of copper mace heads, they no longer shattered and a better fit could be made to the wooden club by giving the eye of the mace head the shape of a cone and using a tapered handle; the Shardanas or warriors from Sardinia who fought for Ramses II against the Hittities were armed with maces consisting of wooden sticks with bronze heads. Many bronze statuettes of the times show Sardinian warriors carrying swords and original maces. Persians used a variety of maces and fielded large numbers of armoured and armed cavalry. For a armed Persian knight, a mace was as effective as a sword or battle axe. In fact, Shahnameh has many references to armoured knights facing each other using maces and swords; the enchanted talking mace Sharur made its first appearance in Sumerian/Akkadian mythology during the epic of Ninurta. The Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata describe the extensive use of the Gada in ancient Indian warfare as gada-yuddha or'mace combat'.
The ancient Romans did not make wide use of maces because of the influence of armour, due to the nature of the Roman infantry's fighting style which involved the pilum and the gladius. The use of a heavy swinging-arc weapon in the well-disciplined tight formations of the Roman infantry would not have been practical, though auxiliaries from Syria Palestina were armed with clubs and maces at the battles of Immae and Emesa in 272 AD, they proved effective against the armoured horsemen of Palmyra. During the Middle Ages metal armour such as mail protected against the blows of edged weapons. Solid metal maces and war hammers proved able to inflict damage on well armoured knights, as the force of a blow from a mace is great enough to cause damage without penetrating the armour. Though iron became common and bronze were used in iron-deficient areas. One example of a mace capable of penetrating armour is the flanged mace; the flanges allow it to penetrate thick armour. Flange maces did not become popular until after knobbed maces.
Although there are some references to flanged maces as early as the Byzantine Empire c. 900 it is accepted that the flanged mace did not become popular in Europe until the 12th century, when it was concurrently developed in Russia and Mid-west Asia. Maces, being simple to make and straightforward in application, were quite common weapons. Examples found in museums are highly decorated, it is popularly believed. The evidence for this is sparse and appears to derive entirely from the depiction of Bishop Odo of Bayeux wielding a club-like mace at the Battle of Hastings in the Bayeux Tapestry, the idea being that he did so to avoid either shedding blood or bearing the arms of war. Maces were common in eastern Europe medieval Poland and Russia. Eastern European maces