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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sat 05 Sep, 2009 3:49 pm    Post subject: Construction of late 11th- 12 century spearheads         Reply with quote

Hi everybody,

I am wondering of fol ks' thoughts concerning spearhead construction c. 1075-1150. I know that viking spearheads tended to be of pattern-welded construction as well as late period seaxes extending into this period. Axes as well tended to be of a composite makeup- with an iron body and a steel edge- with up to three or four-part construction.

So what about spearheads? Were they likely to feature an iron socket and spine/body with a steel or laminated steel edge, an iron socket with a welded-on multi-part or monosteel head, or were complete monosteel heads coming into use- such as we see in reproductions? I tend to think the last would be unlikely as pole-arms with iron bodies and steel edges or components were being produced even into the late middle ages.

Thanks for your replies,

Jeremy
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I found a link of off wikipedia that stated that most of the head would have been wrought iron and the edge would have been steel. That makes sense.
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Douglas S





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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try Bruce's technique:
http://www.anvilfire.com/iForge/tutor/atli_spear/index.htm
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steel was more expensive than wrought, so generally as a rule of thumb if it could be successfully made from wrought it would be. The socket and most of the head can be wrought without a problem, the edges cannot. Earlier to this period in the Viking age weapons had more of a spiritual nature and essence to them and appearance and method of construction was perhaps as important as functionality. By this period the lean is more toward functionality.

So as a guess I would say it would be common for this to be the case and you see this in knives all the time from this period and after.

Tod

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the head is wrought, how do I stop it from bending? Simple work hardening?

M.

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Nathan F




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i know one found in ireland had a steel blade and socket but a pattern welded body that was in an upside down u shape but thats the only one i can remember off hand because it stook out as looking very nice
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is Fig. 111 from B.A. Kolcinís metallographic investigation of Russian artifacts from the 8th to the 13th centuries, it shows cross sections of spear blades with carbon content indicated by shading. Most spears were iron or low carbon steel, the nicer ones iron & steel or pattern welded. This seems to hold true from the migration period to the medieval, in Europe and Scandinavia, from the archaeological reports Iíve found that go into the metallurgy of the artifacts.


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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting figure Jeff! Thanks!

Jeff Pringle wrote:
the nicer ones iron & steel or pattern welded


Except ango's I guess? I think most of them were iron... They probably had a different purpose than spears anyway.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spearheads don't need to hold an edge, and with hard body armour beeing more or less absent in the period, even an iron spearhead of a slender design would penetrate.

However, some spearheads where higly ornated, at least in early medevial times. I have seen pattern welded spearheads, but the design has to be pretty broad for there to be a point. (hi hi)

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Douglas S





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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The ones that we see in museums etc are often from royal graves and are thus more likely to have received special treatment, e.g., pattern welding.
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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fig. 110 reveals the ones with blades of iron and HC steel are the larger ones, from big lances down to large spears, the un-carburized iron ones are all smaller and not very broad or thin in cross section. As one would expect, the material used is chosen on the basis of the design.
The spears that came from sites dated 11th-12th century are #s 5, 10, 11, 16 & 18. Sites dated less precisely but including that time frame gave us #s 2, 3, 14 & 19.



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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I am commissioning a spearhead from the period 11th-12 c. from Patrick Barta. He has requested that I provide some pictures, if possible, of historical examples.

This is really a bump on this topic.

Does anyone have any pics. in museums?

Thanks, so much, for any help you can provide.
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