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R.W. Deavers

possible Khopesh build

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I was talking with a very good friend the other day. During the conversation, the topic of craftsmanship came up ( as it kind of often does). He asked me if I had heard of Jot Singh Khalsa. I must say, up until then, I have not. My friend proceeded to pull Jot's web page up on his phone. The work he does is simply beautiful. To this point, I haven't really cared too much for Middle Eastern and other foreign styles, but after seeing Jot's work, I was intrigued. Later on that evening, I got on his site and had some time to really take in what was presented to me. Seeing his work has inspired me. With all of that being said, I have had a design doodled out for a khopesh. I have done a little research on them and have seen some modern-made ones in action. Simply put, I want one. So, here's what I'm figuring, combine the khopesh with some inspiration from Jot's work. To me, it seems kind of natural. My question is this: Should I or shouldn't I? Below is a drawing of a slightly traditional khopesh drawn to 1:1 scale (actual size). Let me know what you think.

 

Khopesh.JPG

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While I though the "forged in Fire" was pretty awesome last night, and that Khopesh build was awesome, by both guys, were any Khopesh made or iron/steel ???
I was thinking all those from Egypt, in this style, were bronze ????

 

Best of luck R W, that looks like a challenging project !!!!!

Super cool points !!!!


Mark

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Thanks! Yeah, I watched it last night, too. To answer your question about the khopesh ever being made out of iron...yes, the later ones were, at least from what I've read. The way I look at it, if you don't challenge yourself, how else are you really going to learn something? Plus, how would you ever better yourself if you don't challenge yourself?

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I guess I'm not the only one who likes khopesh's! I first fell in love with them in a video game years back... it was some lava khopesh or whatever, but I have always liked them since. And you definitly only get better with challenges ;) I will be watching out for this when you start making it!

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What turned me on to the khopesh was a show on the History Channel about ancient weapons a good while back. After seeing different videos and whatnot, these things look deadly and nasty and... I really want one, so I think I'm going to do it.

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Thanks! Yeah, I watched it last night, too. To answer your question about the khopesh ever being made out of iron...yes, the later ones were, at least from what I've read. The way I look at it, if you don't challenge yourself, how else are you really going to learn something? Plus, how would you ever better yourself if you don't challenge yourself?

 

The early khopesh was made from (arsenic?) copper, the later ones from bronze. But there are no original khopeshes from iron. The khopesh went out of use around 1300BC when iron was still an extremely rare material. The khopeshes of Tutankhamon are among the last examples. While he also owned an iron dagger, iron was still extremely rare, and that dagger is one of the largest pieces of worked iron of its time.

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I've made reproductions of two types of khopesh over the years. First one a Canaanite khopesh from the 14th century BC, which I made together with Neil Burridge (also the first one for him):

 

Img_4705.jpg

 

Second is an early Egyptian khopesh from Tell El Daba, dating to around 2000BC, of which I made two reproduction:

 

IMG_4760a.jpg

 

Real khopeshes are usually pretty small. The lower example is only about 40cm in total, and some are as small as 30cm. The largest examples are about 60cm. Of course for your own interpretation you can make it however you want it :)

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Jeroen, I am aiming for an overall length of about 61 cm (24"). You have some very nice work. Could you tell me what your blade thickness is?

 

I'd have to do from memory. The top one is about 5-6mm and very strongly convex in cross-section. The bottom one about the same or slightly over at the midrib. The thickness of khopesh blades varies a lot. Some are over 1cm thick and very heavily built. But also some of those were never sharpened, and are thought of being ceremonial power symbols instead (like a king's mace). The two I reproduced look like they were really built as weapons.

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Here's the drawing of the original of the top one. It's 57cm in length.

 

Khopesh_8D_BethYanaiCoast_from_the_sea_L57_3cm_14thC.jpg

 

And another nice example with electrum inlay, 18th century BC, Sechem, Palastine:

Khopesh_18th_cent_BC_Shechem_Palastine_electrum_inlays2.jpg

Edited by Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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Jeroen, thanks for the drawing. It looks pretty close to mine, so that's a good thing. I think I will be starting on mine tomorrow. I've been trying to get all the details right on paper with the handle details having taking up most of the design time.

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I haven't seen one built before, so I'd say, "Do it!" Mainly so I can learn by watching.

 

The khopesh has always sort of intrigued me, because initially it seems sort of awkward to me, but as a chopping blade, I can see where it would be effective. I really wnat to see how yours turns out.

 

Is this the site your friend mentioned?

 

http://www.khalsakirpans.com/

 

I didn't see any khopeshes there at a quick look, but wow! Nice work!

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I got inspired by khopeshes first by a khopesh made by the late Ostad Haj Hossein Farajian. While it's not a historical reproduction, it's an hugely beautiful piece. Just like anything made by this smith. Well worth paying this site a visit which describes him and his work, including photos of this khopesh: http://www.moshtaghkhorasani.com/razmafzar/smiths/hossein-farajian/

Edited by Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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