Viking Sword 

  • Dated: 9th/10th century
  • Measurements: overall length 94.5 cm. Blade length 79.4 cm

Presented in conserved excavated condition with patina characteristic of a river find, the sword has a broad flat blade tapering slightly over its upper third, formed with a short blunt point. The central part of the blade surface is showing distinct pattern-welded horizontal patterns formed in three vertical parallel lines over the greater part of the blade length, both “herringbone” and wavy linear.

The edges and the area immediately below the point are forming a frame forged in a less distinct pattern of vertical irregular wavy lines, fitted with pommel of two-part construction. The lower piece is elliptical with horizontal medial ridge, while the upper part is thinner in section, both sides being vertically segmented by two shallow recessed panels bordered by a series of very narrow ridges and a pair matching narrow flutes. Together they are forming a lobated upper edge, but the crosspiece is a modern reconstruction “aged” to match. 

For a detailed study of swords from German collections dating from the 8th-12th centuries and for their categorisation, see Alfred Geibig, “Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter”, in Offa-Bücher. Band 71, Neumünster 1991. The pommel on the presented sword is classified by Geibig as Kombinationstyp 3 (see pp. 33-36, fig. 4.)

Source: Copyright © 2014 Hermann Historica

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