Thank you.. definetly 'food for thought'. You both help and cause me more to consider. LOL But it is appreciated. Your point on swords being 'the weapon of choice' for pre gunpowder era is very valid. For example in fantasy, the dwarves very often used duel purpose items. The Picaxe, Mallet/Hammer, Axe.. all of these, like the Bow.. could be used in either mining, building or hunting during peace time and when needs call for it, each could also be used as 'weapons of war'.
IMO I think the sword may have been the main choice for two reasons, it was often a more 'balanced', there by controlable weapon compared to the axe, and the sword could be used as both a "slashing" OR "stabbing" weapon.
In mentioning the Skeletons, that brings up another idea rolling around n muh noggin' ...lol Just a thought here, but since they are basically 'hollow', any archers will suffer an additional To Hit penalty. After all, the arrow 'could' very well pass right thru their chest and hit nothing.. as theres nothing (as you put it, fleshy) there to hit.
Hammers / Axes will or would cause 2 or even 3 pts of damage to the fragile bones due to their heavier weight.
The debat.. wondering contiues.
Thanks again for your in put.