Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
However, I believe the often used term "Damascus steel" is terribly confusing and imprecise as it can refer to both, pattern welded and wootz steels and we all know there is a huge difference between them.
As far as I can tell, "damascus steel" was used historically for both patterned crucible steels and pattern-welded steels; a suitable alternative English term is "watered steel" (c.f. damask = watered silk).
Descriptive not of the type of steel, but of the appearance of the steel, so both watered-pattern crucible steel and watered-pattern pattern-welded steel should be considered "true damascus" (and "false damascus" is if the pattern is engraved/etched into homogeneous plain steel). Similarly, unpatterned crucible steels would not be "damascus", historically.
Al-Kindi mentions Damascus swords, but that has nothing to do with patterns, just geographical origin (just another type of "native" sword, along with Khurasani, Basran, Egyptian, and other "native" swords).
Some readings and quotes from sources: http://www.history-science-technolo...ticles%205.html