EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Brilliantly said Alan, and one of the most perfectly explained perspectives I have seen describing exactly the way we examine, analyze and appreciate the art involved in weaponry. As Jens has noted, we need to step into the times and culture of the people who were using the weapons themselves, and to learn as much as we can about how they thought, what did they believe?
This is why we always emphasize how important it is to include the history, symbolism and in the same perspective, the art and iconography in our study of these arms.
As Alan has also well noted, sometimes the same symbols, motif and designs are transmitted into entirely different contexts as influences transcend cultural and geographic boundaries. In these cases of course, we must realize the original symbolism no longer applies, and becomes simply an aesthetic motif.
However, the influence in the recipient context still does in degree represent historically the connections between the cultures involved at some point. Sometimes these signal events or periods in which the cultures came together, and help in setting the time the weapon from which the weapon derived.
That is in my opinion, the joy and passion of studying these weapons. Not just classification of them, but the stories they share in helping us better understand them; where they were, who used them, what things were represented by them in their character and decoration.
It is wonderful to hear these perspectives from those here who are in my opinion masters of serious weapons study and investigative research.
Perfect analogy about the linear 'V' pattern Alan! sometimes what we see is just that, but it is up to us to determine just when it might be deeper.