The Evolution of Weaponry

The Evolution of Weaponry

Weaponry and humans have a long history. Weapons were used as far back as 400,000 BC. Throughout human history, they have been used for hunting, for sport, and for both law enforcement and criminal activities. Weapons have created entertainment, envied collections, and self-defense strategies for as long as there has been written history. Weapons have evolved in purpose and materials throughout time to suit the users’ needs and take advantage of available technologies.

Prehistory and The Ancient World

Initially, weapons were made directly from the Earth and were made of stone and other natural materials. Stone tips, arrows, and bows are the earliest known weapons.

With some technological advancements of the ancient world, weapons were then created using various metals and modified natural materials.

The Sumerians and Akkadians

The ancient Sumerians and Akkadians are the earliest known civilizations of Mesopotamia. 

These groups used chariots and spears, maces, swords, clubs, and slings to protect themselves from the attacks of outsider Barbarian tribes; which was a fairly common occurrence because of their locations. Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization has birthed us many important and innovative tools that were the foundation for advancements in weaponry and so much more. 

The Egyptians

ancient egypt

Egyptians did not have an army for many years as their location provided its own form of defense. For many years, Egypt was considered a nation of peace.

However, after it experienced attacks, it raised an army equipped with the first horse-drawn chariots, chain-mail armor, and improved bows and arrows. The Egyptians used these advancements to barter when conquering other lands and forming alliances. For many years, the Egyptians did not have cavalry troops as their horses were bred to be small and quick.

After getting horses from the Hyskos charioteers, the Egyptian cavalry became a force to be reckoned with.

Assyrian Empire

The Assyrian Empire was a barbaric and blood-thirsty empire that started in the 18th century and was known for its war-driven culture. They were the first known to use iron in their weapons, and they also added a third crew member to their chariot teams to protect them from the rear. The Assyrians had schools to teach warfare methods and were the first to introduce cavalry troops in warfare.

Ancient Greek Weapons

Enemies, including Persia and Rome, surrounded ancient Greek. They needed to focus on defense strategies, and although they used spears, shields, helmets, and breastplates in their warfare, their biggest weapon was strategy. They employed strategic weapon and strategy development explicitly built to combat their enemies’ specific strategies.

The Romans

The Romans did not focus their efforts on revolutionizing weaponry but instead on perfecting their leadership and training. This, coupled with strategic alliances, created an army, unlike anything that had been seen up to this time.

Early Middle Ages and Later Middle Ages

medieval weapons

There were profound weaponry changes in the Middle Ages, from stone bow-and-arrow-carrying barbaric troops to sword-yielding, chainmail-wearing cavalry troops. Warriors and later soldiers were heralded as heroes in many societies. As weapons, both literal and strategic, became more advanced, the face of warfare changed all over the world.

20th Century Weapons

The 20th century brought in an enormous advancement in weaponry development but also introduced new and potentially harmful side-effects of these weapons. WWI saw the first use of chemical warfare and fighter plane dog fights. Ship bombs, for the first time, had guide-to-target capabilities. The atomic bomb was tested and used for the first time in 1945.

21st Century Weapons

modern weaponry

In the 21st century, guided weapons became more common as they decrease soldier fatality and increase effectiveness. The first actual laser weapon was developed, and technology continues to advance in all aspects of weaponry evolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did they have guns in the 1500s?

Yes – wheellock guns were first created in the early 1500s. Wheellocks were some of the first firearms that could be fired with one hand thanks to the fact they were the first self-igniting firearms.

When was the first gun made and why?

Historians typically recognize Chinese fire lances, which were invented in the In the 10th century simple tubes made from bamboo or metal fired flames and shrapnel at their targets. Cannons first appeared in Italy in the early 1300s as European nations deployed them with their many wars.

When did guns become common in war?

The 14th century. While guns were originally used as an upgraded form of archery or ranged weapon rather than replacements for infantry weapons during the 100 Years War guns were deployed more universally.

What is the oldest gun in the world?

The Heilongjiang hand cannon is thought to be the oldest known gun in the world. A precursor to modern guns, the hand cannon isn’t a gun as we think of them today but it is one of the first firearms ever created.

MICHAEL CRITES is el jefe around here. He writes about guns and gear.

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