Chinese Traditional Weaponry
The development of ancient weaponry in china can be divided into two stages those pre, and those post the invention of gun powder in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Weapons without gunpowder, usually referred to as cold weapons such as bow, sword & dagger, for example; the ones using gunpowder referred to as fire weapon. Prior to the development of fire weapons, cold weapons evolved during three distinct periods, namely, the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and represents the technological, social and philosophical development of Chinese peoples.
Today they have become far more than just weapons; they are an integral part of the culture and symbolism of the Chinese people. Related to the weaponry are so many military strategies and legendary Heroes that people are still benefiting from their lessons, or just collecting them as a hobby. Then the appreciation of them became a special knowledge.
Weaponry of Stone Age
In that age, stone axes were very popular tools and amongst the earliest weapons. It evolved over millennia becoming thinner, sharper, and harder culminating in the Tomahawk or throwing axe. It was not only a popular weapon but also a symbol of social status. A jade tomahawk discovered in the tomb of a noble proves that at that early time artisans are already producing ceremonial weaponry - on its upper corner is the carving - an immortal riding Tigerlike beast, and on the lower corner was the pattern of a bird.
Background Knowledge of Stone Age:
The Stone Age is so named because it was the period of human technological development where all tools were made of stone. As the times progressed and society evolved, the development of stone tools improved steadily. Thus, according to the shape and complexity of these tools, the Stone Age has been divided into three parts - the Paleolithic Age, the Mesolithic Age and the Neolithic Age.
|Stone Bolas, Bow and Bone Arrowheads|
The Paleolithic Age refers to the stage of human cultural development marked by the use of chipped stone tools. This age extends over a long period of time from about 2,500,000 to 10,000 years before the present era. It is generally divided into early, middle and late periods, and correspond approximately the existence of three human species - Homo habilis, Homo erectus, early Homo sapiens and late Homo sapiens.
During this period, people made simple tools mainly for hunting and gathering. Stone weapons were made from different stones. For example, basalt and sandstone were made into sharpening tools. Firestone and chert were used as sharpened weapons or tools. Bones, timber, antlers and shells were also widely used as tools or weapons. The clay was made into pottery.
Peking Man discovered in Zhoukoudian in Beijing was one such Neolithic Man. They used stone weapons and wooden sticks to hunt wild animals and lived mainly in caves and gathered fruit for meals. Marks made from ash, burned bones and stones reflect that people at that time knew how to use fire. Besides Peking Man, the Lantian Man, Yuanmou Man and the Upper Cave Man all lived in this period of time.
The New Stone Age is the last period of the Stone Age, defined as the period when sharpened tools were used. During this period of time, people were engaged in farming and animal husbandry. In this period in China, civilizations like Yangshao Culture, Hemudu Culture and Xishiqi Culture appeared.