Monthly Archive: December Weap
As part of the ROM's celebration of being open for 100 years, we will be having a massive behind-the-scenes open-house called ROM Revealed on the 3rd and 4th of May. Thousands of visitors will have the opportunity to see our storage rooms where we keep the objects not on display. There are a host of reasons why objects are not put on display. Some are fragments from excavations that are important to study for our research, for instance, providing the knowledge that makes the ROM an internationally known research centre in some disciplines.
In South Asia during the 16th to early 20th centuries all fashionable young men when visiting their ladies would want to dress at their best. This would include one very necessary dress acessory: the katar. This uniquely South Asian dagger is thought to have developed in the very southern part of what is now India. In the 17th century the type was adopted across South Asia, and became a standard dress accessory in the Mughal courts.
The horse is not just a form of transportation, but is a weapon in itself. The genus Equus is thought to have evolved over 4 million years ago in North America, specialising in being able to eat the grass of the steppelands and run away from predators. North American horses later became extinct, possibly due to hunting by humans, although various species of horse, asses and zebras thrived in the Old World.
In museum circles the region of Luristan in the Zagros Mountains has a long association with the antiquities looted from tombs there in the 1920's and 30's. These objects seem to be primarily from the Early Iron Age (circa 1000 BC - 750 BC), and comprise an array of distinctive objects that include horse bridles and other equipment; fittings possibly associated with chariots; and an array of weapons, primarily of bronze.
In the 3rd century of the current era the term "Frank" was used by Romans and others to describe a group of Germanic tribes living in the Rhine valley. In the 4th century Franks settled within territory ruled by the Romans and were a recognised kingdom. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Frankish kingdom under their Merovingian kings spread over all of France (which to this day is named after this confederation of Germans).
The Middle Eastern two-edged curved dagger is one of the most recognizable weapon forms. Typically it is known by the Arab term djanbīyya sometimes Anglicised as "jambiya", or also often the Arabic term khandjar, but these curved daggers are found across the Middle East.
Weapons are one of the most politically-incorrect subjects there are, associated with brutality and violence. But they are also important, and have often defined the cultures that made them....