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The Last Warrior In Your Last Moment

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willowfall

Senator
An interesting question would be ... (though I don't know if there's simply enough statistical substance, that is enough well preserved skeletons) ...

some numbers of bones out of ancient graves do show signs of wounds that healed (and of course sometimes also of those that didn't ),
sometimes those do look as if they could come from battle blows.

Then one can be somewhat sure that the person truly was a 'warrior',
in the sense that they (perhaps repeatedly) took part in fighting.

In principle we don't know for sure whether burial with a weapon means, that the person in question used the type of weapon in battle,
or whether it might have been a marker of status etc.

Well I can partially answer some of your questions.

Nobody is going to have more than one sword fight and not get injured. Nobody is that good. Also a serious cut to an arm or leg (a favorite target in battle) might not strike anything vital (no organs for example) so with minimal blood loss and no infection there is a good chance a person can survive. The same can apply to a sword slash across the chest. The rib cage is designed to protect those vitals and it takes an injury of about 4 inches deep to reach those organs and be fatal.

A pointed weapon (such as a spear) can cause very clean wounds and is heavy enough to damage bones so it might not be fatal either.

So there are a lot of ways to gat banged up in a fight and not die. Considering a man might have his first fight when he is 14-15 (depending in the culture) and continue fighting well into old age (the Anglo-Saxon Earl Byrhtnoth was in his 60s when he died at the Battle of Maldon in 991) there would be lots of chances to get and survive injuries.

Grave goods have become very controversial in the last couple of decades especially when weapons are found in graves of females. It is generally accepted that grave goods represent one of two things, (1) Items the person might need in the afterlife or (2) Items of significance in the life they just left.

That being said there is no reason to believe in the existence of a significant number of female "warriors". We know they existed but represented an almost insignificant percentage of women. We also know that women would defend their family\homes when necessary, which is probably one of the reasons the weapons most commonly found in female graves are axes, bows, knives and spears.

And ax or knife is something a woman would wield every day of her life just doing domestic chores. Bows are ranged weapons and do not require strength to wield effectively and pole arms are among the easiest to teach and use.

So it kind of boils down to how do you want to define "warrior"? Is it someone who fights for a living (or culturally is not considered a "man" until they kill an enemy), is it a yeoman who is expected to fight when necessary or called up by his leaders (Greek Hoplite) or is it someone who once picked up a weapon to defend themselves?

We really REALLY need a time machine.

kisses

willowfall
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
Well I can partially answer some of your questions.

Nobody is going to have more than one sword fight and not get injured. Nobody is that good. Also a serious cut to an arm or leg (a favorite target in battle) might not strike anything vital (no organs for example) so with minimal blood loss and no infection there is a good chance a person can survive. The same can apply to a sword slash across the chest. The rib cage is designed to protect those vitals and it takes an injury of about 4 inches deep to reach those organs and be fatal.

A pointed weapon (such as a spear) can cause very clean wounds and is heavy enough to damage bones so it might not be fatal either.

So there are a lot of ways to gat banged up in a fight and not die. Considering a man might have his first fight when he is 14-15 (depending in the culture) and continue fighting well into old age (the Anglo-Saxon Earl Byrhtnoth was in his 60s when he died at the Battle of Maldon in 991) there would be lots of chances to get and survive injuries.

Agree fully about the frequency of injuries, that was one of the questions ... an actual 'warrior' would probably show injuries, (who knows ... some perhaps even from training) and at least in some cases, they can be clearly distinguished forensically from accidents while doing peasant's work...

The question I have is just,
if we find actual weapons such as spears in the grave of a person (male or female)
-- knives and axes could be everyday tools, and bows for hunting, spears probably less so --
and we've also come to the conclusion that they were not intended for the afterlife
... does this automatically mean the person actually used these weapons in anger?
Even if it was only in self-defence?

For all we know a person of a certain social status, even if not of a martial caste, might have gotten a 'spear of honor' or something
- it would be an item of high significance in their life but they might have never fought with it.
If we see battle.typical wounds on them, then we can be somewhat confident they were warrior types.

So it kind of boils down to how do you want to define "warrior"? Is it someone who fights for a living (or culturally is not considered a "man" until they kill an enemy), is it a yeoman who is expected to fight when necessary or called up by his leaders (Greek Hoplite) or is it someone who once picked up a weapon to defend themselves?
Well I guess the term "Warrior" in common usage does in some way imply it's a profession, a calling, or an identity?

So the first for sure;
the second yes if they were actually ever called up and carried out their duty.
The third I'd say is not what we usually mean by a warrior
but for instance someone not of an official warrior caste who nevertheless killed or incapacitated an enemy in improvised defensive combat might still have some honor and recognition given to them by their society
... maybe up to and including getting buried with the type of weapon they had used to gain that honor.

We just don't know ...
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
Anyway some more 'female warriors'. These are from https://www.deviantart.com/lipatov


Zaporozhian Cossack's wife.
This would be the type Willowfall referred to,
she's a good defender of the homestead we can see in the background ;)
Zaporozhian Cossack's Wife.jpg


a more mystical one,
the artist says Qiz-qiran means Eagle Maiden in Kazakh, not that I could tell ;)
-- she doesn't hunt with an eagle though which is a thing in the region,
instead I guess she fights in the name of an eagle spirit ...?
qiz_qiran_by_lipatov_ddkzoh7.jpg

some colorful renditions of war maidens or adventurous temptresses,
from imaginations of different places and times
amazon_warrior_by_lipatov_d31bk3p.jpg beneath_the_pyramid_by_lipatov_d2yzt0d.jpg fencer_by_lipatov_d2rsch2.jpg


This one is probably fighting a war on another plane of existence ...
that sword is certainly not meant for the battlefield ...
but perhaps since ghosts are so wispy they need an extra long blade to eviscerate them?
storm_is_coming_by_lipatov_dbzkei3.jpg


completely unrepentant nude warrior girl fantasy scenes
age_of_aenya_by_lipatov_d5ybivy.jpg thelana_and_the_nereid_by_lipatov_dbzwa83.jpg


And then he also likes Porco Rosso - style fantasy seaplanes,
not too much to do with the nude female warrior trope but whatever ...
full_moon_by_lipatov_d4q160q.jpg seaplane_by_lipatov_d2kpwv9.jpg
 

willowfall

Senator
The question I have is just,
if we find actual weapons such as spears in the grave of a person (male or female)
-- knives and axes could be everyday tools, and bows for hunting, spears probably less so --
and we've also come to the conclusion that they were not intended for the afterlife
... does this automatically mean the person actually used these weapons in anger?
Even if it was only in self-defence?

For all we know a person of a certain social status, even if not of a martial caste, might have gotten a 'spear of honor' or something
- it would be an item of high significance in their life but they might have never fought with it.
If we see battle.typical wounds on them, then we can be somewhat confident they were warrior types.

Well categorically the most true statement in science is "I don't know" and everything after that is probably somewhat less than 100% accurate even is based on our most advanced scientific knowledge.

So nothing I say is a provable fact just conjecture based on the basic homo sapien really hasn't advanced emotionally much in the last 15 or 20 thousand years we can make pretty good guesses that are generally correct.

Some of the grave good can be categorized based on their designs as to domestic or not. For example a small hatchet is likely to be a cross over but if they aren't buried with a lot of other domestic items then why rationalize that this ax has domestic connotations. Knives whose primary purpose is stabbing something generally have a different blade shape than knives used for cutting

As far as hunting is concerned we don't see much in the records indicating that women hunted and what we do see seems to be exceptional enough to be worthy of preserving (much as the few women warriors that existed were exceptional enough to be noted).

While yes, weapons were given as awards or gifts between wealthy people, most cultures that buried grave goods were not that advanced socially and still in the tribal stage, or like in Egypt there were religious afterlife connotations. A tribal culture, particularly if they are nomadic, is often chronically short of necessary goods and often swords were handed off to the eldest son upon a father's death signifying that the son is now the patriarch of the family.

Given much of the above it would be exceptional for that type of culture to routinely part with useful items. Obviously exceptions were made but considering the rarity of weapons finds in female graves there has got to be something more than "Hey this would be nice in the grave." And add to that, what would someone in a warrior culture be awarded a weapon for if not in some way martially related?

Again we don't know but considering the historic reverence given to warriors and military leaders it does seem to make sense that this weapon had a significance to this person and weapons are related to fighting.

kisses

willowfall
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Staff member
Anyway some more 'female warriors'. These are from https://www.deviantart.com/lipatov


Zaporozhian Cossack's wife.
This would be the type Willowfall referred to,
she's a good defender of the homestead we can see in the background ;)
View attachment 905390


a more mystical one,
the artist says Qiz-qiran means Eagle Maiden in Kazakh, not that I could tell ;)
-- she doesn't hunt with an eagle though which is a thing in the region,
instead I guess she fights in the name of an eagle spirit ...?
View attachment 905391

some colorful renditions of war maidens or adventurous temptresses,
from imaginations of different places and times
View attachment 905394 View attachment 905393 View attachment 905392


This one is probably fighting a war on another plane of existence ...
that sword is certainly not meant for the battlefield ...
but perhaps since ghosts are so wispy they need an extra long blade to eviscerate them?
View attachment 905395


completely unrepentant nude warrior girl fantasy scenes
View attachment 905396 View attachment 905397


And then he also likes Porco Rosso - style fantasy seaplanes,
not too much to do with the nude female warrior trope but whatever ...
View attachment 905398 View attachment 905399

Some great ones there Malins. The Cossack woman is warmly dressed, like these northern women

viking-natural-linen-dress-tunic-eydis-the-shieldmaiden.jpg1bbb478e335af85f9d345e3e1ebe8886.jpg30452aec8949f42a98d04d6c1afa5ca7.jpgshieldmaiden.jpg8014ae3aa1a7076d80673de8bd36097e.jpg68b2975fdea8ed5cfe43553f689e2d5e.jpga8c831d41e63412bab3adc5d660f3502.jpg04715e38de82af78e23cae5d103e6627.jpg
 
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