Ancient Civilization and the use of Weapons


Ancient civilizations are the first known organized societies, classes, and communities that starts from Mesopotamian civilization. Ancient civilizations developed weapons by using different materials starting from stone and wood to different materials such as Bronze.

The development of human civilization is believed to have occurred between 4000-3000 BCE. These civilizations were not only characterized by settlement and development of agriculture but were also blessed by the technological development that lead to the development of artefacts and warfares. These civilizations developed different types of weapon for hunting, self-defence, and war.

The Major Ancient Civilizations of the World

The four major oldest civilizations are the Mesopotamian civilization, Egyptian civilization, Indus-Valley civilization and Chinese civilizations.

Mesopotamian Civilization

Mesopotamian civilization developed on the banks of Tigris and Euphrates rivers (nowadays Iraq and Kuwait) during 4000-3500 BCE. In Greek, mesopotamia denotes ‘a country between two rivers’. Mesopotomians made advances in mathematics, literature and astronomy. The initial language used in mesopotamian civilizations was Sumerian. Later it was developed into Akkadian civilization.

Egyptian Civilization

Egyptian civilization was formed around the Nile valley in Northeast Africa. There was a good growth of crops as the soil was rich due to the annual flooding of the Nile. Egyptian civilization is famous for huge constructions, like temples, pyramids, tombs and palaces because of their developed spiritual intellect. They are also famous for preserving the dead in the form of mummies in their belief for the afterlife. Ancient Egyptians used a writing system called hieroglyph which is used for pictorial writing. This is believed as their best achievement.

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus valley civilization is the most extensive one. It is also called Harappan civilization, formed between 2500-1700 BCE. Some of the sites in Indus valley civilization are Mohenjodaro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Ganweriwala etc. They are famous for their Street planning and water management system such as separate lining for wastewater and rainwater. They made advances in architecture such as houses with attached bathrooms, rainwater harvesting, multistoried buildings, etc.

Chinese Civilization

Chinese civilization was the most advanced and amazing civilization. It developed first in the Yellow river region in northern China. In this period education became more important and the Chinese people were great scientists. They are famous for their technology and inventions. Some of their technologies include the great wall of china and the grand canal. They were well grown in arts particularly painting and music.

Prehistoric Weapons

People of the ancient civilizations used different types of weapons to defend themselves, for hunting, war, etc. These weapons were developed with time along with the innovation in the materials, and therefore different weapons were used at different periods.

  • The most ancient weapon was the stone tip in south africa. In the late Paleolithic period, Europeans used bows and arrows. Sumerians and Akkadians used swords, maces, clubs, slings and spears.

  • Egyptians lead a peaceful life in the ancient world. The invaders like Hyksos, considered to come from Summerian, used a chariot with a horse.

Weapons used in Mesopotamian civilization

Description: weapon made of wood and stone used in mesopotamian civilization.

  • Assyrian’s established the great empire in the Middle East. The combination of chariot, infantry and cavalry were the warfare of Assyrians.

Bronze arrowhead

Description: weapons made of Bronze used by indus valley civilization

  • The Greeks made their weapons according to the weakness and strengths of the enemies. Their armies were based on the infantry called hoplites. In these hoplites they use shields, helmets, back plates, breast plates, daggers and swords.

What were Ancient Weapons made of?

The weapons used in different periods were made by different materials.

  • In ancient times the most used material for making weapons was stone. In ancient times the swords, axes and knives were made up of wood and stone.

  • The stones such as flints and obsidian were used for making knives. As they were too fragile it cannot be used for making long swords.

  • In Egyptian civilization the most particular soldier is given armor which is made of bronze material. Also they used a bow made of wood such as bamboo and the bowstring was made by animal gut.

  • In Greek civilization hoplites had a long spear made of wood with metal points and sword.

The most Powerful Weapons of Ancient Times

Even though many weapons were used in ancient times, Some of the weapons were considered as the most powerful among the others.

  • There were many powerful weapons made by the ancient people. One of the most powerful weapons is Khopesh which is a sword in the shape of a sickle. It is used to attack at the limbs which are not protected by shields.

  • Madu is a double bladed dagger. It was used for defence and offence by the experts in silambam. It was also known as “Maan kombu”.

  • The double edged blade with single handle was also used. Katar is a push dagger. It has a H shaped handle which helps to fit it with the soldier’s knuckle.

  • Catapult is an ancient machine used for shooting arrows for a long distance with greater power.


Civilization has improved day by day by many peoples. Each and every civilization improved by their achievements in many fields such as technical, educational, scientific etc. In this way the usage of weapons was also developed.


Q1. List some of the achievements of ancient Mesapoamia.

Ans. There were many advances that happened in Mesopotamian period technically, scientifically and in a cultural manner. Some of them were the wheels, mass produced ceramics, writing method, bricks maps, mathematics, time etc.

Q2. What is the material used before iron for making weapons?

Ans. Before the usage of iron the weapons were made of copper. After that it was alloyed with tin and converted into bronze.

Q3. Which civilization is known as the Bronze age civilization?

Ans. Harappan people used Bronze to make their weapons. As they used Bronze made weapons widely, They were called as a Bronze age civilization.

Updated on: 28-Feb-2023


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