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Old 3rd August 2007, 02:28 AM   #14
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 4,280

I second the motion!
We had a discussion once when the idea of the Eastward migration of the Makhaira with Alexander was followed 2 milennia later by it's Westward return as a Yataghan. In between, it allegedly created Nepalese Kukri and a host of other recurved weapons.
Well, if one looks at Gorelik's works, there were recurved knives ( short) all over: from Greece to Caucasus, the steppes and all the way to China. Longer blades, used as weapons, of that configuration were indeed seen in Greek and Scythian cultures but not in Anatolia, Syro-Palestinian enclaves or Mesopotamia. However, one can easily imagine that Turkic tribes just lenghtened the indigenous recurved knife into a longer blade: the Yataghan. Indeed, Yataghan was never a real "sword" : it was Yataghan Bicagi, ie Yataghan knife or dagger. So far so good.
However, Gorelik did not touch on Indian weapons, and recurved, Yataghan-ish, swords were quite widespread there. One does not need to invoke Macedonian transplants in the genesis of Kukris and Sossun Patas : they might ( likely, must) have been brought up North by the Southern Indian expansion. Although, Greek influence did affect Central Asian art: witness Persian and Afghani statues.
And, of course, where are the Yataghans dating back before Ahmet Tekelu's masterpiece? How on Earth did he come with the idea? Ah, he was the Teke, from what is now Turkmenistan? Back to the Central Asian hypothesis...
A horrendously confusing subject
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