A dagger is a fighting weapon with a sharp point designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon.[1][2] The design dates to human prehistory, and daggers have been used throughout human experience to the modern day in close combat confrontations.[3] Many ancient cultures used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial purposes, a trend which continues to the present time in the form of art knives. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic. Characteristics Over the years, the term 'dagger' has been used to describe a wide variety of thrusting knives, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Persian pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, over the last hundred years or so, authorities have recognized that the dagger, in its contemporary or mature form, has come to incorporate certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply-tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and (usually) two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges. Another distinctive feature of the modern dagger is that it is designed to position the blade horizontally when using a conventional palm grip, enabling the user to slash right or left as well as thrust the blade between an opponent's ribs.[5] The twin full-length edges enable the user to make broad slashes (cuts) using either a forehand or backhand arm movement, while the sharp, acutely-poin

ed tip makes the knife an effective thrusting or stabbing weapon.[5][10] This versatility distinguishes the modern dagger from more specialized thrusting knives, such as the stiletto. Much like battle axes, daggers evolved out of prehistoric tools. In Neolithic times, daggers were made of materials such as flint, ivory or bone and were used as weapons since the earliest periods of human civilization. The earliest metal daggers are of Beaker copper and appear in the early Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BCE, predating the Bronze Age sword.[12] From pre-dynastic Egypt,[13] daggers were adorned as ceremonial objects with golden hilts and later even more ornate and varied construction. One early silver dagger was recovered with midrib design. Traditionally, some military and naval officers wore dress daggers as symbols of power, and modern soldiers are still equipped with combat knives and knife bayonets. Copper daggers of Early Minoan III were recovered at Knossos.[14] In ancient Egypt, daggers were usually made of copper or bronze, while royalty had gold weapons. The 1924 opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun revealed two daggers, one with a gold blade, and one of smelted iron. Iron ore was not found in Egypt, making the iron dagger rare, and the context suggests that the iron dagger was valued on a level equal to that of its ceremonial gold counterpart.[15] One of the earliest objects made of smelted iron dates is a dagger dating to before 2000 BCE, found in a context that suggests it was treated as an ornamental object of great value. Found in a Hattic royal tomb dated about 2500 BCE, at Alaca Hoyuk in northern Anatolia, the dagger has a smelted iron blade and a bronze handle.