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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2015 4:37 am    Post subject: Different types of Viking Axes.         Reply with quote

From Denmark in the viking age you have a few famous well preserved axe-finds.

1) The most famous is the one-handed axe from Mammen in Jutland.
Its an iron axe with silver inlays. It's decorated in the Mammen-style, that occurred between 950-1000 AD.

Drawings of the axe-head:
http://natmus.dk/historisk-viden/danmark/oldt...betydning/
Picture in colour (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7770
Picture in colour (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2359

2-3) Two axes from Trelleborg on Sjælland.

First of all a bill-like (?) looking two handed axe with silver inlays. So would make an effective thrusting axe.
Picture (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/8417
Picture (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/9039

Then a wide-headed two-handed axe also with silver inlay (more classic Dane Axe):
Picture (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7794
Picture (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7177

4) Then from Ludvigshave on Lolland a two-handed “Cross-axe“: This will make the axehead quite light and probably more maneuverable.
Picture: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2968

This is not the only example of a “cross-axe“.
5) A more corroded example has also been found at Sortehøj, a mound near Esbjerg. So you have a cross-axe found in a pagan burial mound!
Picture: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2015

So in the viking period (especially the late period) you have quite many varieties.
Also have one- and two handed bearded axes, but couldn't find pictures of good Danish examples
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The very special looking Rosenlund axe ~900 AD from Fyn (that looks like axes found in the Slavic area and Hungary) can be seen in this article on page 65:
https://www.academia.edu/4140756/Nabo_fjende_og_forbillede_-_Danernes_forhold_til_Tyskland_i_det_ark%C3%A6ologiske_fundbillede

Found a big picture of the Rosenlund axe (also with stirrup from the grave)
See: http://historiskatlas.dk/image/2/60802.jpg

Also picture of the Rosenlund sword on page 63.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Wed 11 Feb, 2015 4:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Carl W.




Location: usa
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels - thank you very much for pointing out these axe references. Also the photo of Roselund sword on p.63 appears to be a bit unusual - a downturned (curved "wrong way") pommel. I had not been able to find such in limited searches a while back. I can't read the text & did not find Roselund in a myArmoury search, so am interested if you or others have more info about this sword. Thanks again.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carl W. wrote:
Niels - thank you very much for pointing out these axe references. Also the photo of Roselund sword on p.63 appears to be a bit unusual - a downturned (curved "wrong way") pommel. I had not been able to find such in limited searches a while back. I can't read the text & did not find Roselund in a myArmoury search, so am interested if you or others have more info about this sword. Thanks again.


In your honour Wink I have made a new thread about the Rosenlund grave with pictures of the Rosenlund Sword:
See: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=294133#294133
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This interesting article from 1996 by Anne Pedersen talks about the graves with weapons and riding gear in the 10th century Denmark.

It's chapter 13 from the publication listed just below:
Source: https://www.academia.edu/4148880/Weapons_and_riding_gear_in_burials_-_evidence_of_military_and_social_rank_in_10th_century_Denmark_

Ed. Anne Nørgaard Jørgensen, Birthe L.Clausen (1997)
Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society in a European Perspective AD 1-1300.
PNM vol. 2
[PNM = Proceedings from the National Museum.]

On page 127, figure 3 you have the different types of axes found at three major locations.
The special Trelleborg axe is there and the axe found at Rosenlund is apparently mirrored by the one axe found at Over Hornbæk grave BPW.
Beware that Figure 2 page 126 is just generic with axes, with the symbol indicating occurrences in the grave.

Apparently Anne Pedersen has continued working on the subject:
Anne Pedersen (2014)
Dead Warriors in Living Memory - A Study of Weapon and Equestrian Burials in Viking-Age Denmark, AD 800-1000.
PNM vol. 20:1+2

Book: http://www.museumsbutikken.dk/images/large/9788776748401.jpg

Here the introduction is online !
Source: http://www.universitypress.dk/images/pdf/2840.pdf

So this publication should have plates of weapons (swords, axes, spears) from these burials.
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Harry Lindfors





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PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb, 2015 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just throwing this in, Wulflund is making a really nice looking repro of a cross-axe:

http://www.wulflund.com/weapons/axes-poleweap...lica.html/

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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb, 2015 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice example.
Looks like the Ludvigshave find might have been the inspiration.

Have anyone tried to wield a cross-axe - how does it compare handling wise to other viking axes?
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Svyatoslav Pushkar




Location: Ukraine
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Very nice example.
Looks like the Ludvigshave find might have been the inspiration.

Have anyone tried to wield a cross-axe - how does it compare handling wise to other viking axes?

may be it will be useful



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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Svyatoslav Pushkar wrote:
may be it will be useful


It's very small letters, but I think it says that these two examples are from Sweden.
Thanks for providing the picture!
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Svyatoslav Pushkar wrote:
may be it will be useful


It's very small letters, but I think it says that these two examples are from Sweden.
Thanks for providing the picture!

Yep, although I think it's actually just one axe (the left image includes measurements and the missing cross composited in from another photo).

From what I can make out:

??
Broad bladed axehead with
open section featuring a cross
at the center, late 10th Century
???, ???, Gotland,
Sweden
??? 15.5 cm
??? of cutting edge ??? cm
Gotlands Museum, Visby

The museum does have a searchable database of artifacts, but it's very sparse on detail - a work in progress, I assume - and contains 1747 axes ("yxa" in Swedish)...

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reported post
Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Yep, although I think it's actually just one axe (the left image includes measurements and the missing cross composited in from another photo).

From what I can make out:

??
Broad bladed axehead with
open section featuring a cross
at the center, late 10th Century
???, ???, Gotland,
Sweden
??? 15.5 cm
??? of cutting edge ??? cm
Gotlands Museum, Visby

The museum does have a searchable database of artifacts, but it's very sparse on detail - a work in progress, I assume - and contains 1747 axes ("yxa" in Swedish)...


You are correct there Wink - it's the same axe.
1747 is a lot of axes, but you are right their info is very sparse (no pictures either).
I would guess that most axes in the collection would be from the middle age battle (Visby), where Danish King Valdemar IV "Atterdag" defeated the Gutnish peasant army before the walls of Visby. So we don't know how many is from the Viking age.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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Reading list: 13 books

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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
You are correct there Wink - it's the same axe.
1747 is a lot of axes, but you are right their info is very sparse (no pictures either).
I would guess that most axes in the collection would be from the middle age battle (Visby), where Danish King Valdemar IV "Atterdag" defeated the Gutnish peasant army before the walls of Visby. So we don't know how many is from the Viking age.

Oh, their collection is quite far-ranging, temporally speaking - the oldest axes I saw listed are from the Stone Age. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Svyatoslav Pushkar




Location: Ukraine
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2015 12:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
You are correct there Wink - it's the same axe.
1747 is a lot of axes, but you are right their info is very sparse (no pictures either).
I would guess that most axes in the collection would be from the middle age battle (Visby), where Danish King Valdemar IV "Atterdag" defeated the Gutnish peasant army before the walls of Visby. So we don't know how many is from the Viking age.

Oh, their collection is quite far-ranging, temporally speaking - the oldest axes I saw listed are from the Stone Age. Happy

Dear friends, does anybody knows dimensions of that axe? Im forging it - need urgently. According to the horse device - it should be 170mm high in blade, or something...



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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2015 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Svyatoslav Pushkar wrote:
Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
You are correct there Wink - it's the same axe.
1747 is a lot of axes, but you are right their info is very sparse (no pictures either).
I would guess that most axes in the collection would be from the middle age battle (Visby), where Danish King Valdemar IV "Atterdag" defeated the Gutnish peasant army before the walls of Visby. So we don't know how many is from the Viking age.

Oh, their collection is quite far-ranging, temporally speaking - the oldest axes I saw listed are from the Stone Age. Happy

Dear friends, does anybody knows dimensions of that axe? Im forging it - need urgently. According to the horse device - it should be 170mm high in blade, or something...


You mean the specific details of the Gotland axe we discussed, or the Rosenlund axe on the picture you attached?

The Gotland axe I found in the exhibition book “Viking“ from the Nationalmuseum 2013 on page 185:
Broad-bladed axehead with open section forming a cross at the centre, late 10th century. Stenstugu, Hejde, Gotland, Sweden.
Iron. Length: 15,5 cm. Width of cutting edge: 14 cm
. [the new info we couldn't read]
Gotlands museum, Visby.

Edit: By looking at your picture of the Gotland axe is seems that “length“ is axe-blade-length and that “width“ is from socket to blade edge - that's reversed of what feel natural to me when discussing a weapon Laughing Out Loud .
But then again the Viking book do say “width of cutting edge“.....I guess everyone must be confused when it comes to axes then.

“Rosenlund Chambergrave Axe“ - sadly Anne Pedersen doesn't give the measurements in her article as you already have disovered.

In the book “Viking“ on page 88 they have a fairly similar axe to the Rosenlund one.
It's the “Teterow axe“ from Ostvorpommern. It has length of 16 cm and width of 15 cm (does NOT say width of cutting edge).
I assume that by length here they mean socket-to-blade-edge and width the length-of-the-axe-blade?

Edit: According to what my other Edit above, then it's likely the reverse 15 cm from socket to edge and 16 blade-edge-length.
So according to that logic everything that sticks out perpendicular from a shaft you are holding is measured thus: So the “length“ of the spike on a warhammer is 1 cm (as it is very narrow) and the width several cm (like 10 cm) with that logic???

Guess: The Rosenlund axe looks somewhat “longer“, so if your estimation is around 17 cm (height of blade), then perhaps 20 cm long from socket to edge??


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Thu 19 Feb, 2015 11:35 am; edited 6 times in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2015 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So to my knowledge you have found three axes of this “eastern“ type in Denmark (maybe the type is not eastern - meaning an import - but more that it was a more preferred weapon in the east than in the west as a result of a different tactical focus)

The Trelleborg example seems the most narrow with the axe blade closest to the socket:
Source: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/8417

Then I managed to find a picture of the “Over Hornbæk“ Axe:
Source: [scroll down until it appears on the left] http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Danmarks_Oldtid/...%C3%A5ben#
By “length“ of 22 cm I guess the mean width of the axe blade, as the axe is not so “long“ from socket to blade edge as the Rosenlund Axe.

Then the Rosenlund axe as was attached above is by far the longest with the blade very far from the socket.
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Svyatoslav Pushkar




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2015 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the answer. I meant Rosenlund axe. The point is that we have just two photos, so, I did that I did. Blabe - 22sm, weight - 800gr. Constructure of my axe - has simplisity with dyneaxe in case of thickness. I suppose its not so in original, next time I will try to reach another shape.


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Svyatoslav Pushkar




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2015 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
So to my knowledge you have found three axes of this “eastern“ type in Denmark (maybe the type is not eastern - meaning an import - but more that it was a more preferred weapon in the east than in the west as a result of a different tactical focus)

The Trelleborg example seems the most narrow with the axe blade closest to the socket:
Source: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/8417

Then I managed to find a picture of the “Over Hornbæk“ Axe:
Source: [scroll down until it appears on the left] http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Danmarks_Oldtid/...%C3%A5ben#
By “length“ of 22 cm I guess the mean width of the axe blade, as the axe is not so “long“ from socket to blade edge as the Rosenlund Axe.

Then the Rosenlund axe as was attached above is by far the longest with the blade very far from the socket.

About Rosenlund, I suppose we can find out orirgin, if we will find even weight, or another photo. I can not say something, without aditional photo. It can be Baltic, as well,as Norse, but not Bulgarian, or more eastern.
The main question, - is the axe "neck' is wide?
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Svyatoslav Pushkar




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2015 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Different types of Viking Axes.         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
From Denmark in the viking age you have a few famous well preserved axe-finds.

1) The most famous is the one-handed axe from Mammen in Jutland.
Its an iron axe with silver inlays. It's decorated in the Mammen-style, that occurred between 950-1000 AD.

Drawings of the axe-head:
http://natmus.dk/historisk-viden/danmark/oldt...betydning/
Picture in colour (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7770
Picture in colour (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2359

2-3) Two axes from Trelleborg on Sjælland.

First of all a bill-like (?) looking two handed axe with silver inlays. So would make an effective thrusting axe.
Picture (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/8417
Picture (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/9039

Then a wide-headed two-handed axe also with silver inlay (more classic Dane Axe):
Picture (right side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7794
Picture (left side): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/7177

4) Then from Ludvigshave on Lolland a two-handed “Cross-axe“: This will make the axehead quite light and probably more maneuverable.
Picture: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2968

This is not the only example of a “cross-axe“.
5) A more corroded example has also been found at Sortehøj, a mound near Esbjerg. So you have a cross-axe found in a pagan burial mound!
Picture: http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2015

So in the viking period (especially the late period) you have quite many varieties.
Also have one- and two handed bearded axes, but couldn't find pictures of good Danish examples
very interesting axe too


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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2015 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Svyatoslav Pushkar wrote:
Thanks a lot for the answer. I meant Rosenlund axe. The point is that we have just two photos, so, I did that I did. Blabe - 22sm, weight - 800gr. Constructure of my axe - has simplisity with dyneaxe in case of thickness. I suppose its not so in original, next time I will try to reach another shape.


So very nice axe. Good work Wink
So you have basically reproduced the blade of the “Over Hornbæk axe“ (that is 22 cm) and with the long “neck“ and special looking socket of “the Rosenlund axe“.
As all the three Danish axes of this type varies in size, so your axe would still be an original, though a composite one.

For a “true Rosenlund axe“ it seems that the axe-blade is slighter shorter downwards than the Over Hornbæk one, so the same length of the top part of the axe-blade, but shorter bottom part. Maybe 19-20 cm blade-edge-length in all?


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Fri 20 Feb, 2015 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2015 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Different types of Viking Axes.         Reply with quote

Svyatoslav Pushkar wrote:
very interesting axe too


Yeah the Hårby Axe from Sweden has a backwards spike, which is unusual. So it's from late viking age to early middle age period.

About the Rosenlund type axe:
So 3 of this type from Denmark and now 1 from Sweden:
I found out that they recently (2013) at Birka, they had found an axe and sword from a chamber grave (as the Rosenlund chamber grave, that also had a sword and this type of axe and both from around 900 AD).
Source: [with axe and bend sword] https://kristinafaxen.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/yxa-och-svard-spektakulart-fynd-pa-birka/

Big image: https://birkaproject.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/f-95-yxa.jpg
That is a really long necked one like the Rosenlund axe, but this example is very long downwards (more like the Over Hornbæk one).

As usual no size informations from archaeologist when reporting their finds, neither sword nor axe.
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