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Old 30th September 2016, 04:58 PM   #1
David
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Default Sword of Goujian

This is not a new discovery, but it has been making the rounds in social media lately. Though it is not really my area i do think it is a really interesting find so i was surprised that in searching the forum i found no previous discussion of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6w...eature=youtu.be
The sword was apparently excavated back in 1965, so as i said, not a new discovery. It does seem curious that i have heard so little about it up until recently.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Goujian

Though it doesn't seem likely that links will disappear anytime soon on this sword, here are a few images for our archives anyway.
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Old 30th September 2016, 05:25 PM   #2
fernando
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Fantastic. Such a beautiful ancient sword still with impecable decoration effects and, above all, completely discernable inscriptions.
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Old 1st October 2016, 07:33 AM   #3
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And it still has the original cutting edge!
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Old 1st October 2016, 03:04 PM   #4
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Here are parts of the wikipedia article ("Sword of Goujian") for our archives:

"The Sword of Goujian (Traditional Chinese: 越王勾踐劍, Simplified Chinese: 越王勾践剑) is an archaeological artifact of the Spring and Autumn period (771 to 403BC) found in 1965 in Hubei, China. Forged of copper and tin, it is renowned for its unusual sharpness and resistance to tarnish rarely seen in artifacts so old. This historical artifact of ancient China is currently in the possession of the Hubei Provincial Museum."

"In 1965, an archaeological survey was being performed along the second main aqueduct of the Zhang River Reservoir in Jingzhou, Hubei, more than fifty ancient tombs of the Chu State were found in Jiangling County. The dig started in the middle of October 1965 and ended in January 1966.

More than 2,000 artifacts were recovered from the sites, including a bronze sword. In December 1965, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the ruins of Jinan, an ancient capital of Chu, a casket was discovered at Wangshan site #1. Inside, an ornate bronze sword was found with a human skeleton.

The sword was found sheathed in a wooden scabbard finished in black lacquer. The scabbard had an almost air-tight fit with the sword body. Unsheathing the sword revealed an untarnished blade, despite the tomb being soaked in underground water for over 2,000 years.[citation needed]"

"On one side of the blade, two columns of text are visible. Eight characters are written in an ancient script which was found to be one known as Bird-worm seal script (literally "birds and worms characters" owing to the intricate decorations of the defining strokes), a variant of seal script. Initial analysis of the text deciphered six of the characters, "King of Yue" (越王) and "made this sword for [his] personal use" (自作用剑). The remaining two characters were probably the name of this King of Yue.

From the sword's origin in 510 BC to its demise at the hands of Chu in 334 BC, nine kings ruled Yue, including Goujian, Lu Cheng, Bu Shou, Zhu Gou, and others. The identity of this king sparked debate among archeologists and Chinese language scholars. The discussion was carried out mostly in letters, and it involved famous scholars such as Guo Moruo. After more than two months, the experts started to form a consensus that the original owner of the sword was Goujian, the King of Yue made famous by his perseverance in time of hardship. So the entirety of the text reads "[Belonging to] King Goujian of Yue, made for [his] personal use" (越王勾践 自作用劍)."

"The sword of Goujian is 55.6 centimetres (21.9 in) in length, including an 8.4 centimetres (3.3 in) hilt; the blade is 4.6 centimetres (1.8 in) wide at its base. The sword weighs 875 grams (30.9 oz). In addition to the repeating dark rhombi pattern on both sides of the blade, there are decorations of blue crystals and turquoise. The grip of the sword is bound by silk, while the pommel is composed of eleven concentric circles.
Chemical composition
The Sword of Goujian still has a sharp blade and shows no signs of tarnish. To understand why, scientists at Fudan University and CAS used modern equipment to determine the chemical composition of the sword, as shown in the table below.

Amount of element by percentage:
Part examined Copper Tin Lead Iron Sulfur Arsenic
Blade 80.3 18.8 0.4 0.4 trace
Yellow pattern 83.1 15.2 0.8 0.8 trace
Dark pattern 73.9 22.8 1.4 1.8 trace trace
Darkest regions 68.2 29.1 0.9 1.2 0.5 trace
Edge 57.3 29.6 8.7 3.4 0.9 trace
Central ridge 41.5 42.6 6.1 3.7 5.9 trace

"The body of the blade is mainly made of copper, making it more pliant and less likely to shatter; the edges have more tin content, making them harder and capable of retaining a sharper edge; the sulfur decreases the chance of tarnish in the patterns.

It is likely that the chemical composition, along with the almost air-tight scabbard, led to the exceptional state of preservation."
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Old 1st October 2016, 03:05 PM   #5
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David, thanks for posting this. I find this ancient piece both wonderful and fascinating!
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Old 21st June 2017, 07:24 AM   #6
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Default "Sword of Goujian"

I found this link to a "Sword of Goujian" in China. May be of interest.

http://bit.ly/2sLpesK
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Old 21st June 2017, 08:43 AM   #7
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emperor gou had a nice bronze jian (chinese word for straight double edged sword).

i've seen a fair number of gou style jians on the world's favourite online auction site. quite cheap too. they seem to be a favourite of the copy makers. they do not have the same alloy as the original tho, and i'd bet they didn't hammer sharpen (and work harden) the edges either. also saw a couple on a commercial auction house a few months back, they sell for less than $40 (and still do).

the chinese makers could probably get more for them if they left them polished instead of burying them in manure for a few weeks to 'age' them*. real antiques are NOT allowed to be exported from china without a LOT of paperwork & 'expediting' fees by officials. the original is of course a national treasure & others that were excavated in lesser condition would also not be sold so cheaply if authentic.

edited: did a bit of searching, found a 'new' one in polish for a tad under 200. it was listed as a copy too. saw some others listed as antiques for around a hundred, some a bit less.

caveat emptor! (or should that be caveat emperor gou)
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Old 21st June 2017, 12:33 PM   #8
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We have discussed this sword before.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Goujian
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Old 21st June 2017, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
We have discussed this sword before.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Goujian


Yessir but the article is new. Maybe this thread should be moved to the previous discussion?
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Old 21st June 2017, 03:35 PM   #10
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Exclamation Moderator's Note

I have merged these two threads to keep the discussion intact.

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