The Sword and the Crucible
The sword was the most important of weapons, the symbol of the warrior, not to mention the badge of a officer and a gentleman. Much has been written about the artistic and historical significance of the sword, but outside specialised publications, relatively little about its metallurgy, and that often confined to a particular group. This book aims to tell the story of the making of iron and steel swords from the first Celtic examples through the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. The results of the microscopic examination of over a hundred swords by the author and other archaeometallurgists are given and explained in terms of the materials available in Europe.