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Top 10 Deadliest Ancient Weapons

by AaronAhmadi   June 20, 2011 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 119,566

Weapons can make all the difference on the battlefield or in close combat. Throughout history different civilizations have crafted their own versions of weapons and have always looked to better designs and stronger materials, trying to outdo their enemies in every way possible. But whether it's a simple spear that rips through an enemy's heart or a katana that rips slices anything to shreds, weapons are designed to be deadly.

10. Flail

Image: Nicholas Eveleigh/Getty Images

Seriously, what's more frightening than a spiked ball and chain? Used heavily during the Middle Ages, the flail was known for being an excellent tool for getting around an opponent's shield. Its precision is sometimes criticized because it must be spun around to attack, but it's often the spinning of a massive spiked ball that gets the opponent shaking in their boots to begin with. Make no mistake, however, in close combat this thing could not only tear a shield to pieces, but it could also take an enemy down with one hit.

9. Spear

Image: Philipp Otto Runge/Getty Images

One of the oldest weapons in the history of the world, the spear was first used for hunting over 400,000 years ago. Soon, humans realized its killing potential and started using this basic weapon in battle. From the times of the ancient Greeks to Medieval Japan, this worldwide weapon has seen more battles than perhaps any other weapon in history. Its thrusting power is unmatched and it can be thrown at large distances to take down multiple enemies.

8. Shuriken

Image: ICHIRO/Getty Images

Small but deadly, the Shuriken is the weapon that loves to prey on an opponent's weak spots: neck, hands, wrists, feet, or any flesh that is unarmored and exposed. This ancient Japanese weapon was actually not only used by Ninjas, but by Samurais as well. Despite its vicious cutting power, this was mainly used as a secondary weapon. Since the Shuriken is easy to conceal and can be thrown with lightning-quick speed, it's definitely a weapon you hope your opponent doesn't have handy.

7. Dead Bodies

Image: Danita Delimont/Getty Images

Unconventional and undeniably terrifying, dead bodies have been used in warfare for ages. Stick a dead body in a catapult and swing it at an enemy's territory and you not only would cause damage, but you'd also inflict fear into the hearts of the soldiers – talk about killing two birds with one stone. Even more gruesome, many armies would hurl disease-ridden human bodies at their enemies with the hope of inflicting disease. A dead body really is a triple threat: it can cause decent damage and is used in both psychological and biological warfare.

6. Spartan Hoplon Shield

Image: Andrew Howat/Getty Images

Simply put, this shield is a beast. Ridiculously huge, made from wood, and sometimes coated with bronze, Spartans were able to use the shield as a great defensive weapon, successfully defending against nearly all enemy weapons. However, it's this shield's great weight that makes it a powerful weapon also. Spartans and other Hoplites would thrust with this massive shield, easily knocking down opponents (sometimes knocking them out cold) and lining up a finishing blow. The enemy may not see a simple shield as a threat, but with its thin edges and hard design, it is indeed designed to kill.