Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Gavin Nugent 26th October 2011 12:29 AM

Viking discovery
It seems some of the most important finds in the arms and armour world goes unnoticed.


M ELEY 26th October 2011 02:09 AM

Wow! I missed that one. Thanks for posting the link, Gav. Too bad there's no pics of the "beautiful hilt" that survived- :(

Gavin Nugent 26th October 2011 03:26 AM

Originally Posted by M ELEY
Wow! I missed that one. Thanks for posting the link, Gav. Too bad there's no pics of the "beautiful hilt" that survived- :(

I found if you search Scottish Viking burial and search images there are pages of images available.
Further great insight in to the nature of the weapons such as the socket spear head, the axe head etc despite then all being so very corroded...I think the sword came up in about three pieces.
There is also a good line drawing on the image page showing how he and his weapons were laid out.


M ELEY 26th October 2011 10:29 AM

Thanks, my friend. I'll check it out.

Richard Furrer 26th October 2011 12:28 PM

M Eley,
There are several news feeds on this.
One has an x-ray of the blade:
Others show a glimmer of shiny metal where the corrosion has fallen off.

I corresponded with one of the dig co-ordinators and it will be a year or so before they are cleaned/conserved enough to have a real good look.


rickystl 26th October 2011 03:44 PM

Thanks for posting!! This is sooooo interesting. Thanks again, Rick.

M ELEY 28th October 2011 04:17 AM

Yes, definately 'thank you' to all involved. I love these little treasure troves of knowledge that pop up now and again. Much like the things turning up from the Queen Anne's Revenge site. Gotta love it- ;)

Jim McDougall 28th October 2011 04:12 PM

This is a fantastic contribution Gav! and it is true that in these pages we seem of course preoccupied with weapons which are among the collecting community, in museums etc. It is most thoughtful of you to remind us that archaeology is very much a work in progress which is ever bringing more fascinating pieces of the past, including weapons, gratefully to the scholastic communities to study. Actually it is like a 'cold case file' and it seems there are typically new clues and evidence to help us understand better more about the weapons of the past and the people who used them.

In the November issue of National Geographic is an article on an incredible find of Anglo-Saxon materials found in Staffordshire in England. There are some 3500 objects from around the 8th c. AD and was is most intriguing is that these items are all militarily oriented, but apparantly buried 'without' a warrior! More intriguing is that of the sword materials found(about 92) there are only richly embellished fittings, but no blades.

The suggestion is that this hoard had to do with the old custom of presenting ones Lord or King (in the case of warrior nobles) with war materials at thier death. This is called 'heriot' (O.E.=war gear) and in this case the rich materials were buried, seemingly like some sort of 'escrow' account which was clearly not claimed.

The rich hilts without blades suggest of course that the richly adorned materials would satisfy the requirement while the valuable blades could remain in use.

This find, much like the Viking find, helps us understand more in the deep symbolism, superstitions and faith held by these people and often profoundly represented in thier most valued material culture, particularly in weapons..and why the study of weapons is so dramatically important.

Thank you Gav for sharing this, and I am grateful that you and so many of the guys watch for these kinds of items to share here!!! Nicely done, and thank you Ric for the additional material.....and as always Capt. Mark for the reminder on the QAR!!!!

All the best,

Gavin Nugent 30th October 2011 02:38 AM

Short on time, short on words but this is the horde you speak of Jim.


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