Many of the debates in archaeology revolve around the question of the material manifestation of ethnic identity and even more so regarding its ability to identify a period from the past. In the last decade there have been an increasing number of studies that deal with the Roman republic’s army and particularly its military equipment. I will use this data in my lecture as a basis for examining the material manifestation of the waning Hellenistic world concurrent with the rising influence of Rome in the region of Palestine. In the lecture I will present a case study utilizing the shape of a sword – the gladius – which was used over the course of approximately 400 years. By studying the evolution or changes in the shape of the sword, which are well-documented beginning in the second century BCE, we can, for the first time, explain a vague text that appears in the Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (1QM). Furthermore, this knowledge provides us with a context for swords of this type that were found in Hellenistic Palestine and illustrates a complex procedure of a transition of a material model which serves as a mirror for a series of historical events that occurred along the Mediterranean basin.