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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: A visit to Fornsalen, Visby Gotland         Reply with quote

Just spent a week on Gotland, visiting the medieval festival and the amazing landscape of Gotland. Also found time to see the "1361" exhibition in the historical museum displaying artifacts from the battles of Mästerby and Visby. Small but very informative. I do reenactment fighting and seeing the actual damage inflicted on human beings really made me appreciate that my opponents actually want to have a beer me with me after the battle is over ...


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5 bolts or arrows to the head ... [ Download ]

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Severed bones, jaw bone is nasty ... [ Download ]

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3 bolts, probably shot after the blunt trauma to the right side of the scull. [ Download ]

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Blunt trauma to scull with maille coif. [ Download ]

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Scull with complete maille coif. [ Download ]

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Tibiae with cutting damage [ Download ]

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Coat of plates [ Download ]

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Sword and crossbow remains, not from battlefield though. [ Download ]


Last edited by Tjarand Matre on Sun 14 Aug, 2011 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A few more ...


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Various daggers. [ Download ]

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Sword. [ Download ]

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Reconstruction of the typical invation force armour. [ Download ]
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for those pictures. As you say it looks like a great little exhibition as the pictures you have posted all have things to ask questions about.

What I do finde curious are pricipally what are those hook/iron items associated with the crossbow and what leads someone to shoot a person 3 times in the head who has already had it caved in with a previous weapon strike in the midst of a very fast moving battle.

Gotland does sound like an event I should come to visit next year.

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Tod

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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 15 Aug, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might help with the crossbow question: http://www.sacoriver.net/~freegate/Crossbow%20Design.html

Based on that I would hazard a guess that the hook is set up like a seesaw with hook itself preventing the nut from moving, and a spring on the other end to keep the hook up. Pull the trigger and the hook goes down like a seesaw and you fire.

Did that make sense or is it more confusing? Keep in mind this is just me trying to envision how it would work in my mind and I could be wrong. Another possiblity might be that the hooks are aids in pulling the crossbow, but the design and the fact that they were placed with the nut makes me think otherwise.





The thing with the three shots to the back of the head is another guessing game. Could be that the blunt trama wasn't enough to actually drop this fellow right away and he was plugged from behind by one or more folk. Humans have been known to take some ridiculous amounts of damage and still keep moving for some time after a fatal blow, so this doesn't seem too out of line.

Could be that he was killed by an arrow/bolt or the blunt trama, then fell propped up against a hillside or something and the other two arrows/bolts were just stray shots that happened to hit him.

Maybe he had his back turned and got nailed in a volley of arrows/bolts, then his lifeless body got kicked in the head by a horse.

Perhaps all of this happened after the battle. He could have died from one or more of the injuries, but was shot in the back of the head by a mop-up crew who wasn't taking any chances.

The last thought that occurs is that maybe he was someone important, was captured, then shot execution style and clubbed by someone who didn't like him very much.

The fact is that we don't know, but it is an interesting mental exercise to think about how it may have "gone down," as it were.

Edit: For that matter, I'm not an expert and don't have the skull in front of me. I certainly can't tell whether any of these injuries actually occurred when the fellow was alive or on the battlefield at all. Could be that any or all of these "wounds" are actually things that happened many years later from natural effects on the body. (I rather doubt holes that match crossbow bolts magically appeared, but a skull buried underground might experience shifting of rock and dirt capable of fracturing it.)

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon 15 Aug, 2011 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The human remains exhibited all have battle inflicted wounds, there also was a forensic display explaining the mechanics of blunt trauma. The mass graves these guys were excavated from were mostly made up of the remains of the peasant army. They were more or less all slaughtered when trying to escape from a hopeless situation wedged between the city walls and the invasion army. So many were clubbed down or shot from behind.

As for the crossbow parts I have no idea. The swedish description says it's for cocking the crossbow but does not explain if it's for pulling the string or something else.
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Daniel Granath





Joined: 16 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The skulls with arrowheads in them are a questionable reconstruction. They where not found with the arrowheds in situ. It was the curators at the museum that put them there when building the exhibition many, many years ago. The square holes i the skulls is more likely from some sort of hammer.


edit: spelling.


Last edited by Daniel Granath on Tue 16 Aug, 2011 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 5:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just want to add that the bolts look just as Arrowheads from a warbow archer. So it is not even sure it was an crossbow!
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the display says that the arrow / boltheads were found near the scull but that an arrow / bolt would probably have made more damage (at least deeper penetration). I think they look like bodkin-style arrowheads as well. Should fit a 1/2" war arrow.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing your photographs Tjarand. Happy

I've just added another destination to my "bucket list". Wink

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tjarand, I was at medeltidsveckan too and try to go every year. I didn't have time for Fornsalen with it's re-built exhibit this year but I've seen the old one many times and it's a real treasure trove of goodies.

Great event this year with the 1361 recreated battle and everything BTW. That subject deserves its' own thread really.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reenactment battles were awesome. Our first trip to Gotland but definately not our last. I went with my wife and 3 kids for 8 days and every day was an adventure. Did you see the Landesknecht guys btw? The quality of their kit was mindblowing. I had to explain to my wife why I was constantly staring at guys ...
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tjarand! Don´t forget the Kampfraus. Me and Robin was Kampfrau spotting every night!
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Wallgren wrote:
Tjarand! Don´t forget the Kampfraus. Me and Robin was Kampfrau spotting every night!


Yes! I noticed them a lot ;-) I also now understand the motivation for spending every saturday night at home sewing a Landesknecht kit.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Aug, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Makes me long back to beautiful Gotland....
It was years since I last visited.
-A dull pain in my chest, from nostalgia and longing.

...About the skulls with (arrow/bolt?) holes.
The three arrows that stick out of one of them are glued in place. The skull was not found with them rusted in place.
It is highly unlikely that three bolts hit the head of one man from three different angles.

In the pit(s) there were plenty of sharp spikes that were probably from spiked clubs. Multiple holes in heads are most likely from repeated blows from war hammers or a good bash or two from a spiked club.


....Ouch.
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Aug, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter! Always great to see you on this forum. I just went through your brief but as always excellent swordmaking videos on the old Vikingarnas tid exhibit CD I bought a couple of weeks ago when visiting Historiska museet.

Not wanting to rub it in, but you really missed something this year with the Battle of Wisby demo. Though I hear there could be a new one next year. You could bring a sword and join the Gjute army, I plan to anyway. Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 3:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got to see the new exhibit as well - arrived in Visby on 13th of August, so caught a little bit of the festivities. Sadly, because of the work I could not be there for the duration of the festival and battle reenactment itself, but the new exhibit in Fornsalen is well worth the visit - and it was nice to see all the reconstructions of the armour from the burials available for handling and originals on display.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tjarand Matre wrote:

As for the crossbow parts I have no idea. The swedish description says it's for cocking the crossbow but does not explain if it's for pulling the string or something else.


I suspect that they were probably belt hooks for cocking the crossbow. Basically the hook was attached to your belt. To cock or "span" your bow you would put the front of the bow on the ground and bend or crouch down and hook the string with this hook. Then you would stand up and use the power of your legs to pull on that hook and the attached string until the bow was cocked.

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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2011 1:09 am    Post subject: A visit to Fornsalen, Visby, Gotland         Reply with quote

I have 1 question -
What's a Kampfrau?

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2011 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lady of negotional affection who hang around landsknechts and hav sooo nice clothes! Like this...


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