A lot of the history surrounding ancient weapons is shrouded in myth and mystery.
Now, a group of scholars in India is working to unravel the story behind what is considered the most valuable ancient weapon in the world.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which has been working on this project for the past four years, is calling for a project to collect a database of over 10,000 weapons, which would be used for future research.
“This is a really important project,” said Prof. R.K. Sivaramakrishnan, the senior curator of the IISc.
“We need to understand more about the history of weapons, weapons culture, and weapons technology.”
To do that, Sivamakrishnath, along with the IISSc’s Director, Prof. V. S. Chandrasekharan, and Prof. Rajiv Kumar, a former IIS professor, are working on a series of papers on the topic, which will be published in a book in 2019.
The project, which has the backing of several government ministries, is an effort to collect data about the weaponry and weapons culture of the ancient world.
The data will help the researchers determine if these weapons were made by human hands, or were made of some other material.
“The data will allow us to know if these are weapons that were made in India,” Sivaprakash told Quartz.
“Or if they are made by somebody else.”
The first paper to be published will look at the weapons of ancient India, as well as those from Mesopotamia and Egypt, as they are considered the earliest known examples of the weapons technology used in India.
The other two papers will look into the weapons used in the ancient Middle East and Africa, which have since been decimated by warfare and the rise of Islamic extremism.
The weapons in the Indian project, according to Sivacramakrishnam, include weapons such as bows, swords, axes, and bows and arrows.
They also include weapons like falchions, spears, javelins, darts, and javelin throwing spears.
“We are going to look at what were the technological advances of the various civilizations and the weapons that are associated with these civilizations,” he said.
“What was the technology of the hunter, and the technology that he used to attack other humans?
We will study those weapons.”
According to Srivaprakam, the project is an attempt to understand the history and technological advances that existed in the region during the time of ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
The technology was also used by various ancient peoples in India, he said, including the Aryans.
“They were very good hunters and very well-equipped,” Srivavacramaprakasu said.
He added that Mesopotamic weapons would have been very similar to the weapons we know today.
“It was a very different civilization,” he continued.
“It is very similar in many ways.
In a lot of ways, they are similar in technology, and in the tools that they had.”
While weapons from ancient Mesoamerica would be very valuable to historians, Srivamprakash said, weapons from other ancient cultures will be much more relevant.
“A lot of things that we have in India are weapons from these other cultures,” he explained.
“And these weapons are very important because we need to know what these weapons can do.”
While the data collected will help researchers better understand the ancient weapons of the world, the team hopes to eventually help the community in India by providing better medical and dental care to those who need it.
“If we can bring back people with dental problems, we can actually bring back the people who were injured in these conflicts,” Sivan said.
The IISd will also use the data to better understand why some weapons are more common than others.
“When we are studying this history, we are looking at the weapon technology and the weapon culture and how the weapon was made,” SIVamakham told Quartz, “and the data will enable us to better study this history and how weapons were developed.”