|Place of origin||Eurasian Steppes|
|Used by||Turkic Nomads|
|Designed||8th - 14th Century|
|Length||30" - 40" Blade|
These swords were used by the Turkic nomads of the Eurasian steppes primarily between the 9th and 14th centuries. One of the earliest recorded sabres of this type was recovered from an Avar grave in Romania dating to the mid 7th century. Although minor variations occur in size and hilt, they are common enough in design across 5 centuries that individual blades are difficult to date when discovered without other context.
These swords measured between 30 and 40 inches in blade length and bore a gentle curve, leading to a pointed tip useful for thrusting. They were designed for use on horseback and neighboring peoples frequently encountered these blades at the hands of Turkic raiders.
A common feature of the hilts was a 'bend' just below the pommel. This is partly due to construction of the pommel and tang and partly a feature interned to aid a mounted warrior swing the weapon at an opponent. The hilt bore short quillions that often swept slightly forward, but could also be straight. Just after this, the hand guard on the forte of the blade lay a feature typically of copper or iron called tunkou in China. This was made as a sleeve of metal to wrap around the blade, designed to aid the sword sealing into the scabbard. Some early tunkou of high status swords were gilded and decorated with patterns. Later swords that descended from these blades bore non functional tunkou that were ornamental and at times just etched onto the blades.
Chinese Swords: Prior to the 13th century Chinese swords were both single and double edged but were always straight. The Mongol invasion and subsequent Yuan Dynasty brought with it the Turkic influenced curved sabres, which eventually lead to the development and adoption of curved types of Dao family of swords (initially called Peidao). Traces of the Turko-Mongol heritage were notable in the liuyedao, persisting into the Qing dynasty where it retained design elements such as blade shape and tunkou.
Islamic Swords: Early Arab swords were all straight and mostly double edged (similar to european arming swords blades). Although Turko-Mongol Sabres have been found among a turkic slave of the Samanid Empire, straight swords continued to be more popular outside of certain groups (such as the Seljuks) as that was the traditional style of sword the Prophet Mohammad wore. After the Mongol invasion, across the Muslim world, in the 13th century, the curved designs became more popular in particular with the Ottomans in Anatolia. The Ottomans continued to use curved swords, developing them further until they distinguished a distinct heavy-bladed version which would become the Kilij in the first half of the 15th Century. The Mongol style sabers continued to remain in use in Persia until the late 16th century, at which point they developed into the recognizable Shamshir. The Mughul invasion of Afghanistan and India brought these sabres to the subcontinent which developed into the Pulwar and Talwar respectively in the 16th century. While these Islamic blades often retained tunkou showing their Turko-mongol heritage, even by the 15th century the device had become a stylized decorative element.
European Swords: Eastern Europe had long had contact with nomadic steppe groups such as the Avars, Alans and Cumans. While Western Europe was still focused primarily on straight bladed longswords and arming swords during the medieval period to combat the heavy armor that was being used in European warfare, the arrival of Turkic warfare, first with the Mongols and secondly with the Ottomans, influenced warfare and armaments in Eastern Europe.