Blade of Royalty: Exploring the Exquisite Craftsmanship of King Goujian’s 2,500-Year-Old Sword.

While there have been many notable swords throughout history, few have achieved the same level of fame as the Sword of Goujian. This dagger was made in China more than 2,500 years ago. But because of its still-perfect state, it is regarded as one of those swords that legendarily defies the passage of time.

The Sword of Goujian was uncovered in a Chinese tomb in Hubei in 1965 by an excavation crew. Archaeologists think it’s an item that dates from between 771 and 403 BC, and it’s enclosed in a nearly airtight wooden box adjacent to a skeleton. They were astounded to find that despite being buried in moist conditions for more than two millennia, its blade was flawlessly untarnished. It’s unusual for ancient items to have this kind of extraordinary resistance to decay. Also, it’s still sharp. The blade proved to be easily capable of slicing a stack of twenty sheets of paper in a test.

Along with more than 2,000 additional items, 50 ancient graves, and The Sword of Goujian were found. Its blade spans 22 inches in length and is decorated on both sides with lovely dark rhombi designs that repeat. Additionally, the handle is surrounded by concentric rings and exquisite embellishments made of turquoise and blue gems. The markings on the sword, which were exquisitely fashioned from copper and tin, are still in outstanding shape.

Text is shown alongside the ornamental designs. On one side of the blade, a two-column engraving in the bird-worm seal script, an archaic form of writing with eight characters per column, is visible. After months of discussion over the historical owner of the sword, authorities have determined that it belonged to the King of Yue, who is renowned for his tenacity under pressure. According to the calligraphy, the “King of Yue” “made this sword for [his] personal use.”

Visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, where the sword is on exhibit, to explore the entire collection of items discovered at the Jinan site.


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