Damascus steel is one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. Invented more than 1,500 years ago, forgotten, and then rediscovered, it’s a type of steel known for its strength, rigidity and durability. The blacksmithing techniques required to create and work Damascus steel are considerable. It’s made by sandwiching together up to six different types of steel, heating them in a forge, and working them together on an anvil, folding them over and over to create a single metal blank containing a stratified layer of different metals.
As this is a labor intensive process, a good knife made from Damascus steel may cost in excess of 1,000 dollars. The making of such a knife is the ultimate challenge in a blacksmith’s ability to work metal. Several theories on the origins of the term “Damascus steel” exist, but none of them may be confirmed definitively.
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