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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Origin of the fuller         Reply with quote

Hi everyone, quick question for those of you in the know. lately I've been trying to trace the early developement of European swords. What I'd like to know is when and where did the single broad fuller appear in Europe? I know that swords of La Tene III had double fullers whitch were later copied by the romans and that later roman / early migration period swords had multiple thin fullers, so where did the broad single fuller seen on later migration period and viking swords originate?
Éirinn go Brách
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Peter Messent




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm far from an expert so I'll not be at all surprised if I get shot down, but I'd assume, however erroneously, that the first swords using broad single fullers were of a higher quality steel or better tempering than earlier swords using multiple fullers. The better steel/tempering maybe being less prone to bending? Or, maintaining elasticity in the flexibility - bending back, rather than taking a set. Either of these would enable the maker to use less steel, making the weapon lighter and more cost-effective, while keeping it usable.

Or, perhaps the multiple fullered swords were to be stiffer, for making powerful stabs, whereas the single-fullered swords are better suited to cuts and slashes, where stabbing is a secondary function - basically, just the sword evolving to better suit a different style of combat.

This is just speculation of my part, but I'll be very interested in hearing more knowledgeable answers Happy

Atb
Pete

PS: And now I realise that you were talking about the where and when rather than the why Blush Well, as for that, the first swords I know of with a single broad fuller were around the fifth century, but I really mostly follow Viking swords, so there may have been other examples predating this... I'm pretty sure that it didn't become a universal feature of swords in that area until later, though.

Pete
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

5th century South Germanic (Alamannic) swords had wide but rather shallow fullers. (Take a look at Patrick Barta's Blucina sword as an example.) Broad fullers seem to coincide with Migration Era. It's hard to say when fullers deepened and became more pronounced, but closer to Viking era. Sutton Hoo artifacts most likely represent South Germanic workmanship (mineral composition of the garnets and amalgum, plus time frame of slightly older mound found roughly 500 meters from the site just a few years ago) of approximately 625 to 675 A.D. time frame. I would guess fullers probably deepened and got sharper closer to 12th century.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!


Last edited by Jared Smith on Wed 14 Jan, 2009 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: There is some good stuff in this thread         Reply with quote

Check out some nice info in the early use of the fuller and what it was called in this thread

Fuller naming

and this older thread I just found

Early thread on naming

Best
Craig
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey guys, sorry its taken so long to get back but I have been real busy with collage applications lately.

What i'm really after is help with a little project of mine. Someday I hope to own a collection of swords that traces the development of the straight, single handed, double edged, european sword, from its origin to modern times but where i'm getting stuck is the late roman / early migration period.

So far my dream collection starts with various bronze age swords and continues on to the early iron age until we come to La Tene II, where we see the beginning of pattern welding with the pilled structure. Next we move on to La Tene III, where we see swords with long broad blades with almost parallel edges with double fullers running the length of the blade. Could anyone tell me if these swords were also using the pilled structure?

Next we move on to the roman spatha. This I think will basically carry on the same blade geometry as the La Tene III sword with a roman style hilt. Should the pattern welding technique be more advanced by this stage (3rd century AD) or is the pilled structure still in general use?

Now we move on the area that I'm really having trouble, the early migration period. I'm looking for a sword that will transition well between the roman spatha above and the swords of the 6th / 7th century like the one found at Sutton Hoo. I would like the sword to show the development towards the single broad fuller aswell as show the development of the pattern welding technique.

I think the swords found in nydam mose might be the answer to this question. Oakeshott discribes them as being pattern welded with a broad, shallow groove running the length of the blade. Is this groove the beginning of the fuller seen on later swords? and what did the pattern welding look like on these swords?

Sorry for the long post, I know that this is a lot to ask but if any of you can answer any of my questions I would be very greatfull.

Thanks.

Éirinn go Brách
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

BUMP
Éirinn go Brách
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen,

Quote:
So far my dream collection starts with various bronze age swords and continues on to the early iron age until we come to La Tene II, where we see the beginning of pattern welding with the pilled structure. Next we move on to La Tene III, where we see swords with long broad blades with almost parallel edges with double fullers running the length of the blade. Could anyone tell me if these swords were also using the pilled structure?
Yep. This would generally be piled wrought, unhardened except for coldworking (for all La Tene swords that I've seen analyses off). Sandwich structures were also in use, but I don't know which construction occurs more in which type of La Tene sword. In case of the piled structure, swords that have alternating types of steel, rather then the same are pretty rare. So it's also hard to tell which were done intentional for decorative purposes, and which are just a result of the iron making process.

Quote:
Now we move on the area that I'm really having trouble, the early migration period. I'm looking for a sword that will transition well between the roman spatha above and the swords of the 6th / 7th century like the one found at Sutton Hoo. I would like the sword to show the development towards the single broad fuller aswell as show the development of the pattern welding technique.

My general knowledge of the Roman era swords is a bit vague, as I don't have much documentation on them.. But what I do know is that the first swords with torsion damast are from the first half of the 3rd century. These were multi-fullered blades. I'm not certain exactly when the first single fullered swords appeared, but they common from at least the second half of the 5th century AD onwards, such as in Nydam IV ( 450-475 AD) and Esjbol Bog (400-500AD). Swords from Nydam 1c (350AD) may have single fullers, but I can't tell for sure from the photos I have. Swords from 300 AD still have multiple fullers. So the turning point should be around 350-450AD. You can find photo shoots of the finds here:
http://1501bc.com/page/national_museet_copenh...index.html
http://1501bc.com/page/Umha_Aois_2008/Nationa...index.html

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2009 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeroen. Thanks a million for the reply and the links were very helpfull
Éirinn go Brách
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Great Pictures         Reply with quote

Jeroen

Thank you for the links to the great set of pictures. Those are some incredible pieces and exceptionally good pics. I liked the angles they were taken at, as it allows one to get an idea of the third dimension. To often people take the straight on shot and later regret not getting a side or oblique angle.

I think one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the access to visuals compared to the past. I have bought books for one or two shots like this and now I can hardly keep up with the wealth of images available out there.

Best
Craig
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: Great Pictures         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
Jeroen

Thank you for the links to the great set of pictures. Those are some incredible pieces and exceptionally good pics. I liked the angles they were taken at, as it allows one to get an idea of the third dimension. To often people take the straight on shot and later regret not getting a side or oblique angle.

I think one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the access to visuals compared to the past. I have bought books for one or two shots like this and now I can hardly keep up with the wealth of images available out there.
Yup, hence why I do my best to capture as many artifacts on photo as possible. Though I still buy books for just one or two pictures Happy
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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