The Sword of Goujian is a medium-sized sword weighing little less than two pounds. It has a length of 55.6 cm and a width of 4.6 cm at the base.
The blade is 47.2 cm long, with an extra 8.4 cm for the hilt. It has a minimalist guard and a silk-bound hilt. It has a fascinating story that begins with a tomb in China…
The History Of The Goujian Sword
A mysterious and rare sword was discovered in a tomb in China fifty years ago. Despite being almost two thousand years old, the Goujian sword had no traces of corrosion.
When an archaeologist ran his finger along the blade’s edge, it drew blood, seemingly unharmed by the progression of time.
Aside from this unusual characteristic, the workmanship was incredibly technical for a sword created so long ago.
Today, in China the sword is valued as a treasure, and it is as renowned as King Arthur’s Excalibur.
Archaeologists were conducting a survey in Hubei province in 1965, barely four miles from the remains of Jinan, the capital of the ancient Chu state when they uncovered fifty old graves.
During the tomb excavations, archaeologists discovered the sword, along with two thousand other items.
It was located in a tomb, in a very airtight wooden box close to the remains of an unidentifiable human, according to the chief of the archaeological team in charge of the investigation.
When the excellently preserved sword made from bronze that had a sheath and was extracted from the box, the crew was taken aback.
The sword was found to be in perfect condition though it was buried in moist circumstances for two thousand years when it was unsheathed.
The archaeologists demonstrated that the blade was able to cut a stack of twenty sheets of paper at once.
How Was The Goujian Sword Made?
This sword was crafted for a Chinese ruler, the King of Yue, according to the etching on the blade.
There are two untranslated characters, which might represent the name of the individual king or the signature of the bladesmith who manufactured the sword.
The metal composition is the most telling similarity between this blade and Japanese weaponry.
The use of imperfect components that are folded to generate a stronger blade is identical to the Japanese approach.
While the Japanese employed Tamahagane steel, this blade is a mix of copper and tin that has been folded several times to guarantee that the spine of the blade is the more malleable copper, and the edges are the tougher tin.
The Sword’s Condition
Aside from its historical significance, many academics have speculated on how the sword was able to stay rust-free for almost two thousand years in a moist, warm atmosphere, as well as how the intricate designs were carved into the sword.
The sword is still as sharp now as it was when it was first forged, and there isn’t a single trace of rust found anywhere on it.
Researchers examined old bronze fragments in the intention of replicating the method used to make the weapon.
They also discovered that it was not affected by oxidation due to the sulphation on its surface.
This, in conjunction with an airtight sheath, meant that the blade could be discovered in such exquisite condition.
Swordsmiths in the Wu and Yue areas of Southern China acquired such a high degree of metallurgy during the Autumn and Spring periods that they were able to add rust-proof alloys into their blades, allowing them to endure the years mostly unscathed.
The Goujian sword may just be a sword, but it holds a lot of mystery that only adds to its beauty.
The way in which it was made resulted in the sword staying rust-free for two thousand years which is also very admirable and makes the sword almost timeless as it looks as if it is still brand new.
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