Did you know the Egyptian ships were made of wooden planks, pegged and lashed together? Egyptian sailors could take the ships apart, then carry them over land, then put them back together at the next body of water. This would have been useful if you were on a tight schedule, and had to deliver many soldiers and supplies. Ships were propelled by sail and rowing oarsmen. I'll bet they were tired after doing all that rowing. The ships were guided by steering oars. On the front of the ship they had a battering ram so they could run into enemy ships and sink them. This must have been an effective way of sinking ships in the ancient world.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
A soldier had a regular animal hide shield for protection. You might find this cruel, to use an animal hide, but it was the way of life. Archers wore special bracelets to protect their wrist from the bow string snapping against their wrist, which probably really hurt. Another type of protection was the mail shirts. These shirts were made by sewing bronze scales onto a padded linen shirt. This was the best kind of protection you could ask for in ancient Egypt. However, this was expensive to make and would only have been worn by officers and royalty. (They were the lucky ones.) The everyday soldier would wear upper chest protection, a padded linen helmet, leather cuirass, and a linen kilt. I'll bet this was very uncomfortable.
The best weapon, in my opinion, that the Egyptians had was the chariot. The chariot was pull by two or more speedy horses. During battle someone would drive the chariot, (which took a lot of nerve) while an archer would shoot arrows at the enemy. It allowed a battalion of troops to make a quick but yet effective attack. This must have been devastating to the enemy. Another effective weapon during the wars were the battling ram. It was designed to knock down locked doors so that other soldiers could enter enemy fortresses. It had a roof to protect the soldiers from enemy arrows from shooting them.
The weapons that the Egyptians prefered were made for hunting as well as defence during battle. These included a spear, pole-ax, whip, throw stick, bundles of arrows, a bow, shield, dagger, sword, battle mace, and a khopesh. The officer's choice of weapon was a dagger. The foot soldier would carrier the shields, bows, and arrows (which were the most effective weapon). Clearly, the foot soldiers had the best weapons to choose from. The regular soldiers carried the spear, pole-ax and mace. It sounds like the Egyptians had a variety of weapons, and everyone knew their position.
A shield was used by a warrior to protect himself during battle. It wasn't the best protection, but it would have to do. It was in the shape of a rectangle, rounded at the top. It had a wooden frame that had an animal hide stretched and dried in the sun to make it hard. It might have also had a center bronze piece for added protection. (I would have added several bronze pieced.) The warrior would carrier either a spear or an axe. The heads of these weapons would have been made from copper or bronze. The wooden shafts were wrapped with cords or leather thongs to provide a better grip, which must of really helped them in battle.