Monday, August 13, 2012

An all-wood akinakes scabbard

The British Museum has some good-resolution profile shots of an akinakes scabbard showing an alternative method of construction.  It is made of just two pieces of tamarisk wood, mirror-image front and back halves.  The chape and throat are presumably also integral to these halves, although they seem to carved to represent separate pieces.  The shell-like carved throat would eliminate any need for clever methods of shaping to make it wide enough to cover the sword's guard.  An unidentified white paste was used to cover the scabbard in gold sheet, most of which is now gone.

This find does not contradict the existence of separate chapes, which are well-attested archaeologically.

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