Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
While we have finally agreed that there may be some tangible message or words in the script etched onto this blade, in yet an undetermined dialect or language, it seems there is yet another factor which may be considered toward the Khyber itself.
We have agreed this Khyber is indeed of mid to third quarter 19th.c (at least I think we have) and in my opinion, these seem to have produced exclusively in Afghan regions in and around the Khyber Pass itself. It seems exclusive to the indigenous tribes of the Khyber, and as far as I have known, is not well known in the broader parts of Afghanistan or neighboring countries.
As once well expressed by Torben Flindt, ethnographic weapons have no geographic boundaries, of course an obvious axiom which sometimes seems overlooked in stringent weapon form classifications.
So I think we can agree that this Khyber was not made in Persia, or any other location beyond the sphere of the Khyber regions and its tribes.
With regard to 'if's', in my perception these are the ideas and observations that form postulations which may well become factual holdings. Just as Ed has suggested, and has recognized as perhaps 'fanciful', his idea for the possible present character of the 'old Khyber', is well ratiocinated and has compelling potential.
These Central Asian regions are some of the most traveled, invaded, and vibrantly changing in ethnic diversity in the world. The 'Great Game' is but a modern term for the dynamics that have existed there for millenia. It would be na´ve to think that a weapon, even as distinctly geographically oriented as the Khyber, could not be transported into any if not many of these regions occasionally.
What is unusual, if not distinctly anomalous with this one, is not the sword itself, but the character of the motif and its acid etching application. I would join in being extremely interested in knowing of any other examples bearing this type of decoration on Khyber knives. This process is as far as I have known, as Dima has well noted, not known in the regions where Khybers are indigenous, nor for that matter contiguous areas.
While a break has been suggested, personally I find this discussion, and particularly the excellent discourse, fascinating, so I hope we can continue while hopefully finding more evidential material.