10 Weapons That Changed the History of Warfare

The historical development of civilization cannot be understood without also understanding the history of bloodshed. In fact, the shift in paradigms and institutions have only taken place with the utilization of weapons of war to behead kings and dethrone emperors. The development of weapons has been critical to the advancement of societies and the fates of peoples and governments.

And while devices like the guillotine have had great symbolic value in their role in the French Revolution, we at Top Tenz are more interested in weapons that changed the historical landscape. Armaments that changed the way battles were fought or change the battlefield all together. Here are 10 weapons that forever changed history.

10. The First Weapon of Man: a Bone

Who can forget that iconic shot in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, where man’s earliest ancestors toss a bone, high into the sky? The bone would transition seamlessly into a spaceship, highlighting how man’s first tool would lead to one of his greatest inventions.

(And in case you have forgotten, we’ve provided the clip above)

The use of materials provided by nature would be instrumental in early humans’ ability to expand out of Africa and do battle with competitors like sister species like the Neanderthals. One of the major advantages that early humans had over their competitors was their development of stone arrow tips.  Early humans’ technological innovation enabled them to attack wild animals or human foes from a greater distance and with greater success. According to Curtis Marean, project director at Arizona State University, “People who possess light armaments that can be thrown long distances have immediate advantages in hunting prey and killing competitors”

Scientists have determined that the blades were made from a rock called silcrete. Early humans demonstrated similar traits as their descendants, demonstrating patience and thoughtfulness as they heated stone tools in the fire to transform them into their sharp edges. The thin stone flakes were then made into smaller tips which were placed onto bones to make a spear or dart. And of course, it all came from early man’s realization that bones, and soon enough other blunt objects, could give them an advantage in survival.

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