Mindy Weisberger

Hefty Bronze Age swords are an impressive sight, but scholars have long wondered if these swords were primarily ornamental or if they were used regularly in combat. Modern researchers took a closer look at these weapons — even hoisting them in mock battles — and they discovered that not only were these swords battle-ready, using them effectively was a lot harder than it looked.

To see how much damage the swords could inflict, a research group in the United Kingdom called the Bronze Age Combat Project (BACP) brought together experts from universities and museums; and hobbyist volunteers who train in medieval European combat.

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