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What in the World is Damascus Steel?
Source: | Author:pmod2e27c | Publish time: 2020-06-10 | 658 Views | Share:
The fabled Damascus steel, whose elusive forging process was guarded by a select few, has seen a modern-day resurgence. For centuries, this unique forging technique was feared lost to history as all known traditions of creating this superbly crafted, ornate steel disappeared.?Fortunately for professional and amateur metallurgists alike, modern technology and metallurgical science has advanced enough for scientists to discover modern ways to recreate the resilient and exquisitely intricate Damascus steel.? 
Named for what is now the capital city of Syria, Damascus steel was originally an undocumented forging technique utilized by Near East and Middle Eastern sword makers.?While some evidence may suggest Damascus steel dates back to 300 B.C., the first mentions of the famed steel date back to between 300 and 500 A.D.

Western Europe received its first real taste of Damascus steel during the Crusades of the 11th Century when the Crusaders witnessed the famed blades unequivocal sharpness in action at the hands of the Arab warriors. The ferocity of those Arab warriors with their unique blades gave rise to the legends which spread throughout the Middle East and Europe. 

Traditional Damascus steel is identifiable by its various swirling patterns on the flat of the blade.?The unique patterns are believed to originally be derived from blocks of Indian and Sri Lankan wootz steel. These wootz steel ingots contained a variety of “impurities” such as tungsten and vanadium that, when combined with the traditional Indian smelting process as well as the numerous rounds of layering used to prepare each blade, created the magnificent Damascus blades.?? 

The Arabs successfully imported the wootz ingots for centuries. However, as borders altered, wars ravaged and wootz reserves ran dry, the world began to lose touch with the masters of this unparalleled steel.?Sadly, by the mid 18th Century, the blades had disappeared as had the techniques for their creation. 
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