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Hello,

i'm looking for some information about the Kopis in the national museum of Athens, the subject has been already discussed here but i would like to know specifically in which way the hilt is attached to the blade,

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-...age-2.html

from the few pictures available i cannot figure out if it is sandwiched to the tang or cast in single piece, or may be a combination of the two methods

also which material it is? bronze? iron?

i would be very grateful also if someone can provide a drawing or better photos of the kopis

from what i know the sword is without scabbard, do you know if there are surviving archeological evidences of kopis scabbards?

thanks for your help
The hilt is sandwitched and riveted. It is uncertain if the scales are solid or hollow, but there are other speciments with the same construction, at least two other kopides, and a xiphos.

It is made of iron, and as far as i know there are no remains of its scabbard, which after all was not burried with it, as is evident from the ritual "killing" of the sword.

There are some remains of scabbards of similar swords from Thrace, now in Bulgaria, and there are a number of artistic representations of scabbards for the same type of sword, namely statues, so we have a quite clear idea of what they would have looked like.

Manning Imperial have reconstructed one such sword and scabbard, so you can look it up in their website.

Khaire
Giannis
Thank you Giannis,


it is great to have this kind of details as i'm going to have the sword re-created, for sure i'll post some pictures

cheers

Gabriele
Giannis, do you have detailed images of the bird's head? either drawings or photos,

i have agreed with the maker that we'll try to re-create the iron guard as similar as possible to the original and i would need better views, i have just a cople of photos
Here it is, and some specifications:
Length 45cm
Max width 5cm
It had ivory grip scales secured all around the edge of the tang with tiny iron rivets.
The guard consisted of two iron rectangular plates on either side, with a small inclusion in the middle of the blade to allow for the correspondive tongue on the scabbard throat, same system as with the xiphos.
An almost identical kopis from Vergina which only lacked the extra iron guard plates weighed only 400 gr. It was in perfect condition since it was cremated. The tip of the blade is sharp on both sides, for about 1/3-1/4 of the length, from about where the fuller stops. The fullers have a flat bottom.

Hope this helps!
Khaire
Giannis

Ups, i just realized i posted about the wrong sword! Unfortunately i don't have the requested information about the sword in Athens National museum...
I just won one of these at an auction (it's fragmentary, just the hilt and the base of the blade), and stumbled across this site while I've been researching. A lot of people seem to be interested in the kopis, so I'd be happy to share anything about/upload any pictures of my example when it ships to my country in about 2 weeks. It's the exact same type as the two you referenced, and I only got it because no one else was bidding (the auction house misattributed it to a falcata).
it would be great to have some photos and specs of an original piece!
Buying unprovenanced antiquities that most likely come from illicit excavations (i.e. looting) is illegal and unethical. Just saying...
Except it's got some pretty good provenance, and it's actually not illegal under the UNESCO 1970 convention. As for whether it is ethical, I'd say it's better to take it off the private market and try to give it some history/let professors research it if they need to; it's already been robbed of its historical context so why not do with it what you still can. I let the University of Pennsylvania museum have access to my items.
(02-27-2016, 01:01 AM)colinroberts Wrote: [ -> ]Except it's got some pretty good provenance, and it's actually not illegal under the UNESCO 1970 convention. As for whether it is ethical, I'd say it's better to take it off the private market and try to give it some history/let professors research it if they need to; it's already been robbed of its historical context so why not do with it what you still can. I let the University of Pennsylvania museum have access to my items.

This is the kind of thinking that helps perpetuate illegal trade. As long as people keep buying these artefacts, for whatever reason, they're encouraging people to go out there and rob sites. It's also common among some academics: "Ah well, it may have been stolen, but now at least we can wring some scientific knowledge from it anyway, right?" Just no: there is no excuse. If I had my way, any objects that were acquired illegally would be destroyed.
Why destroyed? We are not talking about the ivory trade, here. If the motivation behind collecting is ownership, as I think it is, then confiscation would be entirely effective. I do not understand how destroying an irreplaceable object, and all the products of earlier times are definitively irreplaceable, is useful. A desecration, yes, useful, no. People caught with illegal objects should be fined the amount needed to curate the object and store or display it for 50 years.
Any object removed from the ground without the appropriate documentation of the process and the tecnique loses its archaeological value. Not the artistic value, or the value of something being very old (how old anyway?), but the archaeological value. It can add nothing to our knowlege about its history or that of the oibjects found next to it. And i really can't understand how an auctioned piece can have a good provenance? The only people who can give a good provenance are archaeologists, and archaeologists never sell their finds in the market. A market which starts as illegal in Greece anyway, and ends being somehow legal in some auction houses in some other countries...
So said find which seems identical to the kopides found in Northern Greece is a little earlier, or perhaps a little later than the ones excavated? Or somehow it comes from the exact decade like other three or four, which could even indicate a manufacture by the same workshop? We will never know, because any pottery fragments or coins found next to it have either been thrown away as unvaluable (there are just so many of them in Greece) or been sold separately.

Khairete
Giannis
But he says he it is legal and has an acceptable provenance based upon the UNESCO 1970 convention. As we did not give him the benefit of the doubt we will never know what he seems to have. He was totally new here and we did a poor job of educating him.

If we use the post-1970 standards of today, the correct standards as far as I'm concerned, and impose them on every pre-1970 artifact that's ended up outside the modern nation states that claim the lands they were found in we'd be giving back just about everything in Western museums. Some folks think that's a good idea. Having personally seen the destruction wrought on non-Islamic sites and artifacts in Afghanistan by radicals I feel the UNESCO 1970 convention does far more good that harm.

"If I had my way, any objects that were acquired illegally would be destroyed." Really??? The looter is already paid.

The biggest problem I have encountered are the thousands of artifacts held by the families of former US servicemen who fought in Italy in WW2 and exchanged food, medicine and cigarettes for "souvenirs" with a destitute Italian population that just threw off the shackles of Fascism. I've advised dozens of these families and their biggest concern is that "grand pop the war hero" is not labeled a "criminal" for accepting a probably looted object when he was 19 years old and fresh off the farm. Rather than bringing these artifacts to light and be accused of a crime, they may take the easy and anonymous road of just destroying them.

My advice is always to contact the embassy of the country involved and arrange for a quiet return of the object "no-questions-asked."
Joe, I agree. However, legality and morality do not always go together. Or at least, there can be different moralities.
As for provenance, see my previous post.

We have done a poor welcome, perhaps unfairly so, but the subject of buying antiquities is a delicate matter, and in the case of Greece, a major problem in archaeology. As long as there is still an interest in buying antiquities there will always be looters. More of them in an economical crisis...
I'm sorry but as a professional archaeologist, I have no time for people buying antiquities...
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