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Making An Ancient Copper Dagger – An Exact Replica

Shawn Woods makes a copper dagger, of the kind used by warriors during the Otzi the Iceman era. It is a formidable weapon!

In his research for Otzi the Iceman weapons and tools, Shawn Woods found a picture of an ancient stone tablet with images of weapons carved into it. There were a dozen images of the kind of copper axe that was found with Otzi and nine images of a copper dagger. This stone carving suggests that these items were of great significance to the people of Otzi’s time.

Here, Shawn reproduces the copper dagger in a manner reminiscent of how they would have done it 5,000 years ago, but with a few modern accommodations.

Granted, the people of Otzi’s time would probably not have used Delft Sand or Delft Clay for casting, and they would have, as Woods points out, smelted their copper from green malachite ore rather than taking it directly from copper recyclables. But for the sake of time Woods simply uses an oxy-acetylene torch to melt copper scrap before pouring it into the mold.

But first he carves a replica of the dagger, which ancient people likely would have done. Next, he places the wooden replica in the Delft Sand mold to make an impression. Then he pours the melted copper into the mold to make the actual dagger. That process is pretty straight forward.

Once the basic dagger shape is achieved, Woods sharpens it on a honing wheel and then fits a handle to it with a copper pin. It’s really quite simple and very effective.

It is easy to see why this would have been an attractive tool or weapon for ancient Copper Age people. It is a simple process and is easily reproduced.

An ancient warrior wielding the copper dagger in one hand and the copper axe in the other must have been a formidable opponent.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.


NEXT: Primitive Skills: Making an Ötzi the Iceman Copper Axe

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Making An Ancient Copper Dagger – An Exact Replica