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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 12:56 pm    Post subject: Late Iron Age Balt weapons         Reply with quote

Reading through the thread about Germanic Iron Age weapons I decided to turn the atention towards some of the varieties of weapons used by Balt tribes in Late Iron Age ( 9th to 13th centuries AD) that seem to be unique for the time and area. One of such is the single-bladed swords with antenae-styled crossbars. As V. Kazakevicius states in his research devoted to the swords of the area, this appears to be a purely local form, only found in the territory of moern day Lithuania and Latvia. They have no pommels, only upper and lower crossbars. Tota of 11 such swords have been discovered so far and all are dated to the period of late 10th century and 11th century AD.
So, long storry short, I decided to make a replica of one of those blades, using a blade from Palanga (Lithuania) and the work on sword was finished earlier today, now I will start work on the scabbard for it. Despite beeing of quite obviously a cutting sword, it feels rather light in hand and moves swiftly, weighting less than 1 kg - when i started work I expected that it would weight more since it is nearly 5 mm thick in the spine and more than 3 cm wide in widest point. Sorry for poor quality of the picture, but I had to take the shot through the glass - as stright as I finished the work on blade, it had to go into handicraft exibiton Happy



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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb, 2010 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artis,

I love these swords!
Last year I visited Vilnius on a tour with the choir. I spent a few hours on my own in the museums soaking up as much as I could of these weapons.
I was surprised to see those battle knives that looks like small versions of the Durham falchion.
Never seen those before.
In all an interesting visit.

My impression of these antennae swords correlates with what you say: narrow thick backed blades of moderate length. Good to have in a tight spot.

I want to make one too! -)
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, it seems that those falchion-style battle knives or short swords (opinions here are rather divided as to how to call them) have ben used mainly by Semigalian and Samogitian people who lived in teritory of modern day Lithuania and Latvia.

Did you had a chance to take a look at the Vytautas Kazakevičius book "IX-XIII C. Baltic Swords" when you where in Vilnius? It is the most horough research avaliable on Baltic swords from 9th to 13th centuries. It is in Lithuanian, but has rather detailed Russian and English summaries. Of course, some of the information in it is already dated as it was released in 1996... but it still remains a very usefull source as he usually includes at least the primary measurements of the swords when the information had been avaliable to him.
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Lihan Hauk





Joined: 28 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wou never saw this.
Do you have pictures of the originals?
Also from the Knives?

Like your sword!
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lihan Hauk wrote:
Wou never saw this.
Do you have pictures of the originals?
Also from the Knives?

Like your sword!


I used to have quite a few pictures, but, sadly, lost most of what i used to have due to HD crash a bit more than a ywar back. Trying to recover still... I do think i ought to have a few images of the falchion-like swords somewhere. As for knives - well i recent;y finished a replica of one of the longknives for another forumite here, it has a blade 23 cm long and rather ornate scabbard/sheath... intriguing, that it was found in burial of a woman (Semigallian, dated at 11th century.).



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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

^ I like the spring suspension system. It's like having seax on a bed!
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
^ I like the spring suspension system. It's like having seax on a bed!


Hehe, that is an interesting take on it Happy the suspension relies in the wool or leather tong inside the spirals for suspension though, the bronze spirals are just a deccoration. Plenty of samples with this sort of suspension have been found.
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Lihan Hauk





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PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice! very Skanti like.
Can you how a picture of the Blade?
Yes i had some PC crashes and they are not nice.
Thats way i save regular on CD, ...hmm Ok with time you get a lot CD's but better save than sorry...

I love this Forum always something new...aaa old ... well something... Big Grin Big Grin
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Audrius K.




Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Mar, 2010 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artis Aboltins wrote:
Did you had a chance to take a look at the Vytautas Kazakevičius book "IX-XIII C. Baltic Swords" when you where in Vilnius?
Sorry for resurrecting the topic, but I thought it might be helpful. Here is a link to the scanned version of the book: http://www.club-kaup.narod.ru/kaup_r_kazakevicius00_orig.html
It's in lithuanian, but english summary can be found at page 125... and pictures speak for themselves, obviously.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This kind of blade is completely news to me. It reminds me, like others, of the falchion, but also of that single edge sword find in Norway, the one which the Berserkr by Albion is based off of. I wonder which influenced which?

M.

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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently got to take some measurements off one of those distinctive war knives, they are an interesting stand-in for the saxes everyone else was using. Very flat sides, this one probably around 300 grams.

The Semigallians were also making some tanged spears when most had sockets...



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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As requested, here is the closer look at the blade of the longknife. And, yes, handle had been changed since the last photo was taken.

Jeff, about the tanged spears - it was not only Semigallians who where using them, it would seem that both tanged and socketed spearheads where in use at same time (the Lethgallian 11th century burial I have been basing my Lethgallian kit on has two spearheads in it, one is socketed, other is hafted, and socketed one is smaller of the two).



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Lihan Hauk





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PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Woooaaa nice Eek! Big Grin

Love the new Handel and the Blad is super.
Thx for showing...
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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the correction, I had only heard of the stemmed spears in a Semigallian context, so I thought they were more limited in distribution. A look into А. Н. КИРПИЧНИКОВ’s “ДРЕВНЕРУССКОЕ ОРУЖИЕ” via google translation reveals that they were fairly widespread – “…Very common are leaf stem spear in the Eastern Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Fr. Gotland. Tips of this type weigh around 500 g, the majority belongs to VIII-IX centuries. 90 examples and they occur up to X-XIII centuries…”
Wink
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