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This very rare tanged halberd war axe head is made of copper and it attributed to the Inca Empire of Pre-Columbian South America. All metal objects were luxury items in Inca society and only the wealthiest members could afford them. A weapon such as this made of copper would have been the prize combat arm of only the most elite nobles of warfare.
The broad chopping blade is slightly asymmetrical with regards to the orientation of the tang which would have given the blade a slightly downward tilt when hafted. It has a hammer forged long tang that would have been inserted into a stout wooden handle and affixed with tar and fiber lashing. This would have made a deadly and feared weapon for any enemy as the wounds inflicted by such a large blade would have proven fatal. Tanged war axe blades like this are very, very scarce and this is one of only a couple we have handled. Heavy and colorful copper mineral encrustations cover the majority of the surfaces adding to its beauty. The preservation on this exquisite specimen is absolutely the finest you could ask for! This will be a highly-cherished addition to the most discriminating collectors of ancient weapons and Pre-Columbian militaria.
Starting in the beginning of the 13th century A.D. until their final defeat to the Spanish in 1572, the Inca Empire grew to become the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America. Their peak was between the years 1438 and 1533 where they ruled an area as large as the historical empires of Eurasia. Their territory included Peru, southwest Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, the majority of modern Chile, and southwest Colombia, controlled from their center in the city of Cusco in southeastern Peru.
A number of religious cults existed in the empire with regional beliefs but the Incan leadership practiced the worship of their main sun god, INTI. The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the "son of the sun.".
Despite the Incas building one of the largest imperial states in human history, they lacked many basic inventions. They had no wheeled vehicles, did not use animals for transportation or pulling plows, had no knowledge of iron or steel, and used no form of writing. The Inca Empire functioned largely without money or markets, instead using the barter system for the exchange of goods and services. In light of this, they were far from being a primitive society. The Incas built monumental stone architecture that to this day, still defies explanation. They also developed an extensive system of roads and highways reaching all ends of the empire. Their achievements in finely-woven textiles are legendary, and they developed innovations in farming and architecture in the extreme terrain of the Andes where most civilizations would have never dared occupy.