By Nat Ye Hla
With a recent discovery of a complete iron sword with bronze handle dated back around 2000 years in the Pyu era(2BC-9BC) in central Myanmar, researchers are able to examine the weapon until now only depicted in a brick relief found in Mongmo’s ancient Pyu-era buildings.
The sword with double edge was found in Mahlaing Township in central Myanmar in 2020 and has found a resting place in the Zaykabar Museum in Yangon.
The blade is 14 inches long and three inches wide in the middle before narrowing to the point, and its bronze handle is 4 ½ inches long.
“Once I saw this weapon, I remember the man holding a sword and riding a mythical animal depicted in the brick relief found in Mongmo and now displayed in the National Museum in Nay Pyi Taw,” U Tin Win, a well-known Pyu artifact researcher in Yangon said.
“The finding helps us understand the way people lived in the Pyu era and how they fixed the blade with the decorated bronze handle,” he said.
“Amazingly, half of its tang is inside the bronze handle and the remaining part is bent over the handle to ensure that the sword cannot come loose from the handle.”
On the blade, pieces of textile are found and the sword is wrapped in the textile and buried along with a warrior.
Thanks to the sword being wrapped in textile, the complete sword was preserved. Most weapons from the Pyu era are found without blades because the iron decays in the soil.