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Dagger

The meaning of «dagger»

A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point and usually two sharp edges, typically designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon.[1][2] Daggers have been used throughout human history for close combat confrontations,[3] and many cultures have used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial contexts. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic. A dagger in the modern sense is a weapon designed for close-proximity combat or self-defense; due to its use in historic weapon assemblages, it has associations with assassination and murders. Double-edged knives, however, play different sorts of roles in different social contexts.

A wide variety of thrusting knives have been described as daggers, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Afghan pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, in the last hundred years or so, in most contexts, a dagger has certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and usually two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges.[5][10][11]

Daggers are primarily weapons, so knife legislation in many places restricts their manufacture, sale, possession, transport, or use.

The earliest daggers were made of materials such as flint, ivory or bone in Neolithic times.

Copper daggers appeared first in the early Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BC,[12] and copper daggers of Early Minoan III (2400–2000 BC) were recovered at Knossos.[13]

In ancient Egypt, daggers were usually made of copper or bronze, while royalty had gold weapons. At least since pre-dynastic Egypt,[14] (c. 3100 BC) daggers were adorned as ceremonial objects with golden hilts and later even more ornate and varied construction. One early silver dagger was recovered with midrib design. The 1924 opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun revealed two daggers, one with a gold blade, and one of smelted iron. It is held that mummies of the Eleventh Dynasty were buried with bronze sabres; and there is a bronze dagger of Thut-mes III. (Eighteenth Dynasty), circa B.C. 1600, and bronze armour, swords and daggers of Mene-ptah II. of the (Nineteenth Dynasty) circa B.C 1300.[15]

Iron production did not begin until 1200 BC, and iron ore was not found in Egypt, making the iron dagger rare, and the context suggests that the iron dagger was valued on a level equal to that of its ceremonial gold counterpart.[16] These facts, and the composition of the dagger had long suggested a meteoritic origin,[17] however, evidence for its meteoritic origin was not entirely conclusive until June 2016 when researchers using x-ray fluorescence spectrometry confirmed similar proportions of metals (Iron, 10% nickel, and 0.6% cobalt) in a meteorite discovered in the area, deposited by an ancient meteor shower.[18][19]

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