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"Shamsir sword" is the general name of the sword that the Turks made inspired by the Iranian sword. Although the origin of the Shamsir sword is based on Persian civilization, They were the Turks who made the sword known worldwide because the skill of the Turks in adding water to steel was added to the superior features of the sword. The word Shamshir actually consists of two parts; "sham" means tail or claw, "shir" means lion.  When we translate these two words into English, we understand that the word "shamsir" means "lion's tail" in English. When we look at the shape of the sword, we see that it actually has a curved shape like the tail of a lion. However, the origin of this word goes back to more earlier years than curved barrel. According to many reliable sources, the sword was called as "sine" or "shemsher" in the old Persian language. In the Manichaean Middle Persian culture, it is seen that the sword is called “shahsher.”   So we can say that, shamsir was also with this name before it was shaped like a lion's tail. Shamsir swords were straight before they were in the lion tail-like shape. Before the Persians discovered curved swords, they used straight barreled swords. These swords had two sharp sides. The word Shamsir was used for all cutting tools with a medium or long barrel.

Iranian masters have tried different methods in making swords. One of these methods is steel swords with kneaded patterns, which are formed by heating different iron and steel rods together and forming layers by forging them.

It is a known fact that crucible steel was used to make Shamsir swords. However, it is not known exactly when crucible steel began to be used in the production of Iranian swords. Iran's high quality swords were made of crucible steel as it is known from the Timurid, Safavid and later periods.  Crucible steel is obtained in crucibles made of clay by one of the methods of carburizing or carbonizing the content of cast iron, iron and some carbonaceous materials. Although crucible steel was produced in Iran’s some regions such as Khorasan, Kazvin, Neiriz and Arsancan, Iranian sword masters preferred Indian steel billets for making legendary Shamsir swords. This led to the importation of steel billets from India to Iran, and the exports of swords from Iran to India and other neighboring countries. India's production of crucible steel was banned by the British, and then cheap European steel, which invaded the Iranian market, resulted in some reduction in the production of the famous Iranian swords.
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  • Sep 13, 2020
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