Dobriden S., Barczewski S. (2015). Unikal’nyj bronzovyj kinzhal iz Primor’ja [The Unique Bronze Dagger from Primorski Territory]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 2, pp. 46 — 52.

Dobriden S.

Barczewski S.

Abstract: The article is devoted to the unique bronze dagger of antenna type which was found in Primorski Territory. Its dimensions, weight, and decoration are presented in details. The dagger’s handle was provided with the so called “antenna pommel” that is formed by two withstood heads of griffins, birds or other beasts. The appearance of this type handles is explained as the influence of Scythian-Siberian animal style on the territory of the Chinese province of Ljaonin and the Korean peninsular. Another detail, helping to determine the context the dagger functioned in, is the ornamental design put on its handle. The particular design is identical to the one decorating the bronze mirrors that are often found along with daggers in the same archaeological complexes. The authors managed to make a reconstruction of the dagger’s supposed appearance. It was about 400-420 mm long and weighted something like 650-700 grams. The way the handle was worn permits to assume the dagger to have been put deep in its scabbard with only antenna pommel leaving free. It is the extremely careful treatment of the blade sides and the handle design that attracts attention. Minding the history of the region and the various ways of the cultural interaction with the nearby territories, the authors date the dagger back to the edge of the eras. The dagger embraces both utilitarian component, represented with the blade, and the sacred one, shown by the ornamented handle of a composite construction. Taking into consideration the good amount of bronze used for the creation of the handle that was extremely expansive in the Iron Age, it is possible to suppose the ritual function of the dagger to have prevailed the practical one.  This transformation of the weapon use in the bronze culture in Korea is also mentioned in the publications of other Russian specialists. In the article the special attention is paid to the combination of elements from the Scythian-Siberian style and the ornamental motives coming from the Korean peninsular. The analogues of these ornamental trends are known in the cultures of South-Eastern Asia. The authors also assume the long existence of the local tradition of weapon making.

Keywords: Korean bronze dagger type, antenna type dagger, a dagger with opposing griffins, the Scytho Siberian animal style.