Posted by: John-Paul | November 16, 2017

Khopesh: Sickle-Sword of Egypt and Canaan

The armies of ancient Egypt and Canaan used a highly curved, bronze sword that evolved from the farmer’s sickle. With the outside of the curve sharpened, the khopesh was used for slashing more than stabbing. It did have a broad tip in line with the handle for stabbing. This point also had a hook for pulling away an enemy’s shield or weapon, exposing him to a slashing or crushing blow. (Jeroen Zuiderwijk started a discussion  thread on the myArmoury.com website. It is the origin of this picture.)

According to the Sword History website, Canaanites brought the khopesh to Egyptians who developed it into a deadly military weapon. Other short swords came along later, especially Hittite swords shaped like narrow leaves and forged from iron.

Because of this Canaanite origin, in my Joshua and Caleb novel I refer only to the khopesh when I mention a sword. In fact, I have Caleb hooking an enemy’s leg, pushing him headfirst into a wall, and slicing off his sword hand.


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