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The Crystal-Based Ancient Weaponry

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A history of creating micro-blades, arrowheads, and daggers out of rock crystals arose at various Late Prehistoric Iberian sites throughout Western Europe.

By using a technique called lithic reduction, the majority of prehistoric societies produced stone tools and weapons from cryptocrystalline minerals such chert or flint, radiolarite, chalcedony, obsidian, basalt, and quartzite.

Typically, a hammerstone or other hard hammer fabricator was used to strike stone flakes from a core of material. In certain methods, the core is first reduced by a flintknapper to a rough unifacial or bifacial preform, which is then further reduced by soft hammer flaking methods or by pressure flaking the edges.

Around 3,000 BC, in some regions of southern Iberia, during the Chalcolithic Copper Age, a distinctive custom for the aristocracy emerged that substituted macro-crystalline quartz, a monocrystal distinguished by its hyaline transparent aspect. The Bell Beaker culture’s peak in Iberia coincided with this time period, as did the massive spread of megalithism and its related community burial customs.

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Image Credit : Miguel Angel Blanco de la Rubia

Due to the less flexible and delicate character of the stone, employing crystal as a raw material for the manufacture of tools and weapons significantly lowers the functional usage. Rock crystal was occasionally employed as a personal amulet or charm. Stones like variscite and amber were utilized solely to produce body decorations. Quartz monocrystals was used to manufacture arrowheads and micro-blades.

Except for the dolmens of Lanchas I, El Corchero, and Ontiveros, where 15, 12, and 16 arrowheads, respectively, as well as the Cuesta de Los Almendrillos megalith, where 10 crystal micro-blades were collected, rock crystal weapons have mostly been discovered in small quantities in Mesolithic burial sites.

In addition to crystal arrowheads and an intricately carved ivory handle, an 8.5-inch crystal dagger was also found during excavations at the Dolmen de Montelirio between 2007 and 2010. The dagger shows an advanced skill in lithic technique and production, as well as symbolic meaning for vitality, magical abilities, and a connection to the ancestors.

Although the raw material was easily accessible across the region, the rarity of crystal weapons in their fashioned form shows that only high-status people could afford to order complex items like arrowheads or dagger blades.

Source: https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/06/the-prehistoric-weapons-made-from-crystal

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