Damascus steel is a hot-forged steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking from about 1100 to 1700 AD. Damascus swords were of legendary sharpness and strength, and were claimed to be able to cut through lesser quality swords and even rock. The technique used to create original Damascus steel is now a matter of historical conjecture. Many raw materials and the metalsmiths' recipes are no longer available. The foundation for Damascus Steel is Wootz Steel, which originated in India and Sri Lanka and later spread to Persia.From the 3rd century to 17th century, India was shipping steel ingots to the Middle East for use in Damascus steel.In Europe, recent research has demonstrated that high quality swords with damask patterns were produced by various pattern welding techniques since at least the 3rd century BC by the Celts and Germanic peoples.