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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 4:08 am    Post subject: Rosenlund chamber grave with Ulfberth vikingsword.         Reply with quote

In 1978 a number a graves were investigated at Rosenlund, near Langeskov, Eastern part of Funen, Denmark.

11 graves were simple inhumation graves (DK: “Jordfæstegrav“) with few grave goods, whereas 1 were a chamber grave (DK: “Kammergrav“) of a high-status warrior.

Rosenlund chamber grave ~930-950 AD

Source: http://www.denstoredanske.dk/@api/deki/files/...ze=webview

The finds included (1) Sword, (2) Spear (without shaft), (3) Shield boss, (4) Sharpening stone & Knife (5) Iron Awl, (6)+(7) Knife, (8) Needle, (9)+(10) Spurs, (11) Small nails, (12) Axe, (13) Belt buckle, (14) Wooden bucket, (15) two stirrups, two strap outriggers, bridle/bit and buttons, (16) Iron lump containing two stirrups, cross shaped harness bracket, bridle/bit and strap outrigger.
The warrior himself has disappeared. All we can say is that he was buried with his riding boots with spurs on (15).

So clearly a high status guy as the mass of very high quality riding equipment indicates. Whereas you have found graves with riding equipment over most of viking age Denmark (not Falster, Møn, East Sjælland & Bornholm), the chamber graves shows a special western distribution (only two in the east, from Scania and none from Sjælland !).

Chamber graves in Viking Age Denmark:

Source: http://www.denstoredanske.dk/@api/deki/files/...ze=webview

So for the weapons you have two special finds:
The axe is a type normally found in the slavic areas and Hungary.
The Sword is an ulfberht (though not clear if +ulfberh+t or +uldberht+).

Pictures of the Rosenlund Ulfberht:

Source: http://natmus.dk/fileadmin/_migrated/pics/Ros...lswing.jpg

Pommel: [Silver ornamentation]

Source: http://www.denstoredanske.dk/@api/deki/files/...ze=webview

Full sword put together - big picture:
See: http://historiskatlas.dk/image/89/109489.jpg

Rosenlund Axe (and stirrup) - big picture:
See: http://historiskatlas.dk/image/2/60802.jpg

Furthermore close to the grave at Rønninge you have a rune stone, that can be dated 900-950 AD.
Tradition said it was removed from a mound in the area, but origin is still uncertain.
For specific details: http://runer.ku.dk/VisGenstand.aspx?Titel=R%C3%B8nninge-sten

It reads in English translation: “Sóti placed this stone in memory of Eileifr, his brother, Ásgautr Red-shield's son“ (or son of Asgautr with the red birthmark).
So maybe this “Ásgautr Red-shield“ - which surely is a very high status name - is the person in the chamber grave.

Ás = Singular (Æsir is plural). Gautr is the name of the mythological founder of the Goths, but is also regarded as one of the many Odin-names. Ásgautr could actually be seen as a kenning of Odin.
In fact Ás-Gautr as a dual mythological composite name points to warrior aristocracy.
A) In 900-950 AD - if he was from the Danish area - this would likely be a name of a highborn man connected with Odin.
B) Alternatively he had this name because he actually was from a gothic family (Väster-Götaland or Öster-Götaland) and so must have been part of a Danish Kings “Hird“. He likely received this area of Funen as reward for his service [In Denmark on Rune-stones called “heimþegi“ = Home receivers].
Furthermore famous for either a red shield (or red birthmark, even tattoo maybe?). Shame his shield hadn't survived, so we could have checked the colour of it.
Research by Magnus Källström (2014) makes it highly likely that the nickname indicates a red birthmark (neavus flammeus).


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Thu 12 Feb, 2015 2:21 am; edited 3 times in total
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for posting these details! Do you perhaps have any additional information regarding the dimensions of the sword?
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 800

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Thank you for posting these details! Do you perhaps have any additional information regarding the dimensions of the sword?


Sadly no, since I haven't figured out the specifics of the original publication of the diggings in 1978/79.

Could be just this very short publication:
Jacobsen, Jørgen A. & Sørensen, Bodil Holm (2000):
En viking under motorvejen.
In: Michaelsen ed.: Fynske Fund Fortæller – fra istid til rigstid.
Odense Bys Museer. Fynske Fortællinger. P. 84-85. Odense 2000.

or this one that concerns (Àsgautr or as he would be in Danish Asgot).

Jacobsen, Jørgen A. (2000): Asgot med det røde skjold.
In: Hvass ed.: Vor skjulte kulturarv. Arkæologien under overfladen.
Til Hendes Majestæt Dronning Margrethe II 16. april 2000.
Det Kgl. Nordiske Oldsktiftselskab og Jysk Arkæologisk Selskab. p. 142-143. København 2000.

I found out that the Rosenlund grave sketching I included in the first post is from this publication:
Thrane, H. & Jacobsen, Jørgen A. (1994) - sometimes the name order is the reverse:
Vikinger under motorvejen ved Langeskov.
In ”5000 år under motorvejen”
Vejdirektoratet og Rigsantikvarens Arkæologiske Sekretariat. p.72-75. København 1994

The sword has apparently undergone further examination is these publications:
Stidsing, Ernst (1999):
To pragtsværd fra vikingetiden.
Kulturhistorisk Museums Randers Årbog 1999. p. 93-97
[Unfortunately you can only buy yearbooks from 2004-> from Museum Østjylland's homepage].

The article just before this is about a La Tene sword from Isakslund IV around the birth of christ (by Ragna Stidsing) and that is available on Academia.edu:
Source: https://www.academia.edu/3433955/Isakslund_IV_en_brandgravsplads_med_La_T%C3%A9ne_sv%C3%A6rd_fra_omkring_Kristi_f%C3%B8dsel_in_Danish_

On the “Museum collection“ for the Danish “Kulturstyrelsen“ on the “Rosenlund“ finds the sword is apparently not even registered (so it's probably only for finds post 2004):
Source: https://www.kulturarv.dk/mussam/Tilknyttede.action?parentId=709139&listType=genstand&parentType=sag

[This article should highlight that with x-rays you can see the first three letters that comprise Ulfberht; so we only learn it is a ulf-?? sword].
Pedersen, A. (2010):
Bridging the Distribution Gap: inscribed swords from Denmark.
J. Sheehan & D. Ó Corráin (red.), The Viking Age. Ireland and theWest.
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Viking Congress, Cork. Dublin. 309-321, pl. 7-8


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Wed 11 Feb, 2015 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This publication might have new info and picture of the Rosenlund sword:

Pedersen, Anne (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 [Text + Catalogue]
Book:

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

So this publication should have 46 plates of weapons (swords, axes, spears) from the Danish area and 10 pages discussion on swords (p. 73-83).
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Jerry Monaghan




Location: melbourne australia
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Niels.
Fantastic find thank you for sharing great news and information love the sword with the inlay on the pommel

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2015 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the references. The "Bridging the Gap..." article was already on my list to track down next time I'm in Toronto. Maybe Pedersen will make it easy for me and put it online too! Her new book looks to be 66 Euros, with no copies in N. American libraries yet... Sad
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2015 6:22 am    Post subject: Thank you Neils         Reply with quote

Wow have to get a copy of that, thank you for sharing. Looks like a great subject and good source.

Craig
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 800

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2015 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are welcome Jerry, Mark and Craig.
I also have to wait a bit before I dig deep in the pocket to get the book!
But it looks like a book that no bookshelf can be without for long Laughing Out Loud

If anyone has the book I would love to hear a review of it.....
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Pedersen, A. (2010):
Bridging the Distribution Gap: inscribed swords from Denmark.
J. Sheehan & D. Ó Corráin (red.), The Viking Age. Ireland and theWest.
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Viking Congress, Cork. Dublin. 309-321, pl. 7-8


Pedersen has just now posted this article on academia.edu. Light on photos and measurements, but identifies a dozen or so inscribed swords from Denmark, mostly obscure or unpublished.

https://www.academia.edu/4148910/Bridging_the_Distribution_Gap_inscribed_swords_from_Denmark
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 2:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Pedersen, A. (2010):
Bridging the Distribution Gap: inscribed swords from Denmark.
J. Sheehan & D. Ó Corráin (red.), The Viking Age. Ireland and theWest.
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Viking Congress, Cork. Dublin. 309-321, pl. 7-8


Pedersen has just now posted this article on academia.edu. Light on photos and measurements, but identifies a dozen or so inscribed swords from Denmark, mostly obscure or unpublished.

https://www.academia.edu/4148910/Bridging_the_Distribution_Gap_inscribed_swords_from_Denmark


Great, thanks for the info.
Good to see a publication, where at least we have the sword lengths.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Thank you for posting these details! Do you perhaps have any additional information regarding the dimensions of the sword?


Got Anne Pedersens book, so now I can give the measurements of the Rosenlund chamber grave "Ulf-???" sword, which she also classifies as a Pedersen type S sword.

Preserved length: 91,0 cm.
Length of blade: 75,0 cm.
Width of lower guard: 6,5 cm.
Decorative metal is twisted silver wire emphasizing the division of the pommel into three lobes. Furthermore Birds' heads are seen on the pommel.

In the Danish area most of the swords located in graves are of the Pedersen type S, V and X.
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Got Anne Pedersens book, so now I can give the measurements

Thanks for the followup Niels. Happy
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