Knives since sharpened tools emerged almost 1 million years ago, edged weapons have played an incredible role in the shaping of human history. You can trace the history of daggers, knives and bayonets all the way through to the 21st century. Learn about how the discovery and mastery of metalworking allowed the first knife-makers to diversify the styles and uses of the early edged weapons. Explore the dagger’s role as an essential companion in battle and in civilian life during the medieval period, and then realize the demise of these weapons during the 17th and 18th centuries.
There are a great variety of knives throughout the world and throughout history, including edged weapons in Asia and Africa, from the jambiya of the Middle East to the Indonesian kris. Also consider the decorated daggers of Persia as well as the exquisite knives of Japan, which represent the bladesmith’s finest achievement. From ancient Egyptian flint knives to the rondel and ballock daggers of medieval Europe, and from 17th-century plug bayonets to the classic commando knives of World War II.