|Damask is a steel used in Damascus sword making. Damask swords were of legendary sharpness and strength, and were apocryphally claimed to be able to cut through more "ordinary" European swords and even rock.
The techniques for making Damask steel remain a mystery even with the presences of numerous well-preserved examples.
|The original Damask steel swords may have been made in the vicinity of Damascus, Syria, in the period from 900 AD to as late as 1750 AD. Damask steel is a type of steel alloy that is both hard and flexible, a combination that made it ideal for the building of swords.
It is said that when Damascus-made swords were first encountered by Europeans during the Crusades it garnered an almost mythical reputation—a Damascus steel blade was said to be able to cut a piece of silk in half as it fell to the ground, as well as being able to chop through normal blades, or even rock, without losing its sharp edge. Recent metallurgical experiments, based on microscopic studies of preserved Damask-steel blades, have claimed to reproduce a very similar steel via possible reconstructions of the historical process.
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