First Iron Swords

Hallstatt Swords

Why do I include Celtic Hallstatt swords here? Quite simple: They are from around 800 BC and their microstructure is similar to the "Leitfossilien" swords discussed here. Well, up to a point. Considering that there are only a few microstructural investigations, the claim that there is a relation between the iron technologies in the north Iran regions and the Hallstatt region in Austria is - so far - quite weak.
Of course we have one more fact supporting the claim above: The similarity between the Assyrian and the Celtic double pyramid bars of raw iron. If you want to learn more about this, refer to chapter 4 of Pleiner's book; Iron in Archaeology-
Use the following links for learning more about the Celts and Hallstatt.
Here we are only concerned about the early Celtic sword, i.e. the iron Hallsatt sword, and not about the later stuff; you find that dealt with here.
Unfortunately, this makes the story short.. While there are plenty of 800 BC or so "Hallstatt" swords, some of them in mint conditions, I found no metallographic analysis besides the one already shown. I only found more and better pictures in Pleiner's book. Here is the relevant page:
Singen sweord; Hallstatt
Metallographic data of the "Singen" sword
Large-size picture
Source: Pleiner's book
What does Pleiner have to say about this sword? Not all that much. Here it is:
Singen sword; Pleiner
Pleiner's text to the Singen sword and the pictures shown here.
Source: Pleiner's book
It is clear that the Hallstatt smith around 900 - 800 BC knew how the forge weld, "pile" or faggot. It is also clear that his raw material was rather bad (lots of slag and dirt ínclusions)
Taken everything together, I do believe (but not know) that there is a connection between the "north Iran" and the European iron technology. Did the early "Celts" bring it along when the migrated West? I is not clear ti the Celts had moved in from the East but this "theory" is seriously considered in expert circles.
Well, nothing helps but more hard data. Some could come from detailed metallurgical investigations of all those "OLD SWORDS"! So, following Shakespeare's advice, lets "kill all those lawyers" (=Kulturgutschutzgesetzwächter) 1) and start to do the work.

1) "Let's kill all the lawyers" is a line from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. The full quote is "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

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