The saber or sabre is a type of single-edged curved sword often used on horseback. The weapon was widely used by European cavalry in the 16-19th centuries, though its roots date back to Middle-Eastern scimitars and the Turko-Mongol sabre. The weapon was intended to be used in downward slashing attacks from horseback, though it did have a point, and thus, some thrusting ability. Saber designs were used in Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages, first arriving in the hands of Mongol conquerors. Western European armies, however, did not adopt the weapon until the 1600s. The saber would remain the primary melee weapon of the cavalry soldier until the First World War, when cavalry, already fading from prominence with the advent of rifles in the mid 19th century, were rendered completely obsolete by trench warfare and the machine gun.