The weapon was used by different civilisations including the Aztec (Mexicas), Maya , Mixtec and Toltec.
|In service||Classic to Post-Classic stage (900–1570)|
|Used by||Mesoamerican civilizations, including Aztecs Indian auxiliaries of Spain|
Natural obsidian is a pretty terrible substance to make a durable weapon with, but there are other ” obsidian like” materials that could work. ” Obsidian like” being glass with impurities “It’s not the strongest material ever made , but it’s certainly one of the best with a combination of strength and toughness.”
The Aztecs would wield their swords with short and chopping movements, and, as many accounts suggest, they cut off some heads. Besides the macuahuitl, the Aztec made use of the tepoztopilli, one more weapon carved out of wood and fitted with obsidian blades. However, the tepoztopilli was more like a type of polearm.
And the Aztecs had obsidian for their axes and knives. Obsidian is a naturally-occurring glass, usually black and opaque. Aztec swords were made with rows of small obsidian teeth. They were murderous weapons for cutting an enemy.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Obsidian , igneous rock occurring as a natural glass formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava from volcanoes. Obsidian is extremely rich in silica (about 65 to 80 percent), is low in water, and has a chemical composition similar to rhyolite.
Obsidian – a type of volcanic glass – can produce cutting edges many times finer than even the best steel scalpels. “The biggest advantage with obsidian is that it is the sharpest edge there is, it causes very little trauma to tissue, it heals faster, and more importantly, it heals with less scarring,” he said.
Strong almost beyond compare and able to stand huge blasts, glossy, black obsidian is forged in the very fires of the earth. That’s because obsidian is glass, and rather than being super tough , it’s brittle, shattering easily. But this lends obsidian its greatest strength, something early humans knew all about.
The Aztec emperors honored the higher ranks with weapons and distinctive garb that reflected their status in the military. Aztecs warriors carried projectile weapons such as bow and arrows to attack the enemy from afar. They also carried weapons for the melee when armies came together.
There were two main objectives in Aztec warfare . The first objective was political: the subjugation of enemy city states (Altepetl) in order to exact tribute and expand Aztec political hegemony. The second objective was religious and socioeconomic: the taking of captives to be sacrificed in religious ceremonies.
For the Maya , who did not have metal tools, obsidian (or volcanic glass ) was highly valued because of its sharp edges for use as cutting instruments. The shift in trade might have involved more than obsidian.
The Aztecs did not initially adopt metal working, even though they had acquired metal objects from other peoples. However, as conquest gained them metal working regions, the technology started to spread. By the time of the Spanish conquest, a bronze-smelting technology seemed to be nascent.
Weapons were crafted mostly from obsidian and chert, obsidian being the sharpest (but more brittle). Knapping chert or obsidian into bifacial projectile points and attaching them to atlatl darts, spears , and arrows was the dominant technology.