Saturday, November 04, 2006


A spear is an ancient weapon used for hunting and war, consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a sharpened head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be of another material fastened to the shaft. The most common design is of a metal spearhead, shaped somewhat like a dagger.
Spears were arguably one of the most common personal weapons from the late Bronze Age until the advent of firearms. They may be seen as the ancestor of such weapons as the lance, the halberd, the naginata and the pike. One of the earliest weapons fashioned by human beings and their ancestors, it is still used for hunting and fishing, and its influences can still be seen in contemporary military arsenals as the rifle mounted bayonet.
Spears can be used as both melee and ballistic weapons. Spears used primarily for thrusting tend to have heavier and sturdier designs than those intended exclusively for throwing. Two of the most noted throwing spears are the javelin thrown by the ancient Greeks and the pilum used by the Romans.

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