- Tool Making
- Only buildable by "Egyptian" cultures
The spear does not fit comfortably into either the close combat class or the projectile type of weapons. It could be either. During the Old and Middle Kingdom of Egypt’s Dynastic period, it typically consisted of a pointed blade made of copper or flint that was attached to a long wooden shaft by a tang. Conventional spears were made for throwing or thrusting, but there was also a form of spear (halberd) which was fitted with an axe blade and thus used for cutting and slashing.
The spear was used in Egypt since the earliest times for hunting larger animals, such as lions. In its form of javelin (throwing spears) it was replaced early on by the bow and arrow. Because of its greater weight, the spear was better at penetration than the arrow, but in a region where armor consisted mostly of shields, this was only a slight advantage. On the other hand, arrows were much easier to mass-produce.
In war it never gained the importance among Egyptians which it was to have in classical Greece, where phalanxes of spear-carrying citizens fought each other. During the New Kingdom, it was often an auxiliary weapon of the charioteers, who were thus not left unarmed after spending all their arrows. It was also most useful in their hands when they chased down fleeing enemies stabbing them in their backs. Amenhotep II’s victory at Shemesh-Edom in Canaan is described at Karnak: “... Behold His Majesty was armed with his weapons, and His Majesty fought like Set in his hour. They gave way when His Majesty looked at one of them, and they fled. His majesty took all their goods himself, with his spear ...”
The spear was appreciated enough to be depicted in the hands of Ramesses III killing a Libyan. It remained short and javelin-like, just about the height of a man.