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Old 13th December 2006, 09:04 PM   #23
Philip
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 402
Default chopping block

Henk,
A block is used only with the ax. In all cultures that I know of that used a sword or saber for decapitation, no block was necessary. As I have noted, a horizontal cut was used generally in Europe, the Near East, Siam, and sometimes in Vietnam, and the victim was kneeling with torso upright. When the vertical cut was used, the victim was made to kneel or stand in a bent-over position; a cord was attached below the ears and an assistant pulled to keep the neck stationary and extended (in pre-revolutionary China, the mandatory queue was used in lieu of the rope).
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