Swords have been classified and organised into groups often by specific shape, function or culture. The question is what is the best method of classifying them, is it one or a combination of these methods. Burton (1987) suggests two which are common among collections being Topical and Geographical or Material and Formal, the former considers the culture, location, place and date, the latter which only considers the objects themselves (Burton, 1987:xxii). Obviously both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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