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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject: New bow finds from Denmark:         Reply with quote

In 2012 in Horsens Fjord (Hjarnø), Jutland, Denmark, underwater archaeologists located a settlement from the Late Mesolithic (~4700 BC - Older/Middle Ertebølle).

Among the finds was a 1,6 meter tall bow made of ash (!).

The bow in situ.
Source: http://www.horsensmuseum.dk/~/media/Instituti...&w=450

Here is a bigger picture of the bow "on land":
Source: https://marinmoesmus.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/2011-12-14-13-51-44.jpg

Other special finds were three ornamented paddles and the skull of a dog.
Picture of one of the paddles in the water:

Source: http://www.horsensmuseum.dk/~/media/Instituti...ashx?w=450

Picture of one of the paddles:
Source: http://www.horsensmuseum.dk/~/media/Instituti...&w=450

Conservation of the paddle:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2IoaxSNL1s

Axe:

Source: http://videnskab.dk/sites/all/files/imagecach...are2_0.jpg

Dog skull:

Source: http://www.horsensmuseum.dk/~/media/Instituti...ashx?la=da
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing Niels.
Éirinn go Brách
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The bow looks very similar to a 'waisted' bronze age bow found at Meare Heath, Somerset.

http://digitaldigging.net/the-meare-heath-bow-reconstruction/

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At Rødbyhavn, Lolland, Denmark, archaeologists work intensively to salvage as much as possible before the bridge/tunnel to Germany is build. They have found a bow fragment and a well preserved arrow (oct/nov 2013) from around 2800-2600 BC (Neolithic).

Bow fragment in situ. It has been ritually pushed into the mud and so everything above the mud has disappeared.

Source: http://www.aabne-samlinger.dk/femernforbindel.../bueoffer/

Bigger picture of the bow fragment: [Sadly no mention of what kind of wood]
Source: http://www.tveast.dk/sites/www.tv2east.dk/fil...13-bue.jpg

Out of 4 arrow finds the following were the best (86 cm!):

Source: http://www.aabne-samlinger.dk/femernforbindel...ammel-pil/

Sadly while digging they cut of the tip (which they couldn't find).
The arrow has grooves coloured black and showed traces of plant-fibers to fasten the guiding feathers. They speculate that the black colour could be birch-tar. The arrow looks like the other types of arrows found in Denmark and they are all “tværpile", meaning a flint arrowhead with a broad edge.

Tværpil flint arrowhead example:

Source: http://www.museum-sonderjylland.dk/BILLEDERNE...g4-004.jpg
NB: This is not a find from Rødbyhavn, but I just give it as an example.

In april 2015 they might have found the missing tip (though it could be from another arrow):
Big image. Source: http://www.tveast.dk/sites/www.tv2east.dk/fil...ter2-2.jpg

Some of the flint and and the fastening material for it is still on the arrow!
Source: http://www.tveast.dk/artikler/finder-knaekket-pil-fra-stenalderen

Since this new find is 10 cm, if it is the missing front part it will give a 96cm arrow all-in-all (without feathers).


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 16 May, 2015 10:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Among Mesolithic bow finds in Denmark you have at least now the following:

Holmegårds Mose, Zealand.
Maglemosegård, Zealand.
Tybrind Vig, Vest Funen.
Ronæs Skov, Vest Funen.
Ringkloster, East Jutland.
Horsens Fjord, East Jutland.

I'll try to get more info up here on this thread.
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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 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
The bow looks very similar to a 'waisted' bronze age bow found at Meare Heath, Somerset.

http://digitaldigging.net/the-meare-heath-bow-reconstruction/


In dating the Meare Heath bow is from the same age period as the Rødbyhavn bow fragment (not the mesolithic ones).

This article gives it a date of 2690 BC +/- 120 years, so more neolithic than bronze age.
Source: http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/hes/down...pter_4.pdf

Since I'm no bow expert I don't know the exact differences between mesolithic and neolithic bows. It could very well be different since it is ethnically entirely different populations in Denmark. The mesolithic hunter-fishers were ousted by the neolithic farming people (Funnelbeaker Culture) migrating in from the south (by Germany, but originally from Anatolia) ending the Mesolithic Ertebølle Culture around 4000-3900 BC and then actually from 2800 BC the early neolithic people were ousted themselves by incoming likely Indo-european speaking people (Corded Ware Culture) from Germany (but originally from Ukraine), bringing on the late neolithic.
So it is likely these three ethnically totally different peoples would have had quite different bow traditions [unless they all three stayed very conservative with a common ancestor model]

But I would love to be enlightened.
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Was the flatbow in use during any part of the medieval period in Europe?
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2015 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Among Mesolithic bow finds in Denmark you have at least now the following:

Holmegårds Mose, Zealand.
Maglemosegård, Zealand.
Tybrind Vig, Vest Funen.
Ronæs Skov, Vest Funen.
Ringkloster, East Jutland.
Horsens Fjord, East Jutland.

I'll try to get more info up here on this thread.


So here is some info about the Mesolithic bows:
This article on academia.edu by Jan H. Sachers.
"Mesolithic bows from Denmark and Northern Europe".

Source: https://www.academia.edu/11765815/Mesolithic_Bows_from_Denmark_and_Northern_Europe

Neither the Horsens Fjord or the Rødbyhavn finds are discussed in this article.

As all the Danish bows mentioned in this article is made of Elm (+ 3 german and 1 dutch example made of yew all from the neolithic), it is quite surprising that the the recently found bow in Horsens Fjord is made of Ash.

Most of these bows seems to continue the basic Holmegård flatbow design from 6500 BC. Most impressive is the late mesolithic Ertebølle bow from Maglemosegård, Vedbæk around ~194 cm long (that is certainly what you would call a longbow!).

Pieter B. wrote:
Was the flatbow in use during any part of the medieval period in Europe?

It quite possible that hunters in Northern Europe continued building hunting bows like these far up in time, but beside the Iron Age Nydam bows and the early viking age bow from Hedeby I'm not aware of bronze age or medieval archaeological bow finds filling out these gaps.

Since the Welsh apparently too made bows of elm and it quite likely that the "welsh longbow" were perhaps a "Holmegård tradition", whereas the English longbow was made a yew (as the neolithic german/dutch finds).


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sun 17 May, 2015 5:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2015 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A further special find from the mesolithic is the Møllegabet II miniature bow (settlement from 5250-4800 BC).
It is made from red cornel (!) and was only 86 cm long (preserved today is 83 cm). Another almost identical bow (preserved to 75 cm) has been find in Ageröd in Scania.

Also from Møllegabet you have an elm-bow fragment - 34,6 cm preserved of a “horned longbow“.

They are described on page 89-90 with drawings in this publication:
Jørgen Skaarup & Ole Grøn (2004)
Møllegabet II. A submerged mesolithic settlement in southern Denmark
.
Source: https://www.academia.edu/5700957/M%C3%B8llegabet_II._A_submerged_Mesolithic_settlement_in_southern_Denmark
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Henrik Zoltan Toth




Location: Hungary
Joined: 18 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 1:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing them, Nils!


Pieter, that's from the old Hungary. At that period (15 th. Cent.) mostly composits were used, but the artist surely got his inspiration from somewhere (Germany, Czech kingdom, Poland?).

http://biblia.hu/a_biblia_a_magyar_kepzomuves...ig/217.jpg
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Thu 21 May, 2015 5:35 am    Post subject: New bow finds from Denmark         Reply with quote

I should say that this Danish bow is a rare archaeological find. I've ever heard of weapons like swords found underwater but rarely, bows.

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

- Marcus Aurelius


Last edited by Shahril Dzulkifli on Fri 22 May, 2015 5:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 800

PostPosted: Thu 21 May, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: New bow finds from Denmark         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
I should say that this Danish bow is a rare archaeological find. I've ever heard of weapons like swords found underwater but not bows.


Yeah, but it is possible to find a lot more. Apparently Danish archaeologist have registered 3.000 stone age settlements, that are today under water just waiting for marine archaeology [the assessment is around 30.000 in all].

So there is work for several of hundred of years for the 5 museums that have specialized underwater archaeology sections: Viking Ship Museum (Roskilde - responsible east of Storebælt) is the far biggest of the 5.

The other four takes care of diggings west of Storebælt:
Second biggest marine archaeology group is "Øhavsmuseet" (Svendborg).
These two museums takes developer-funded projects.

Then the three minor underwater archaeology groups are Nordjyllands Kystmuseum (Frederikshavn), that is specialized in early modern wrecks; "Moesgård Museum" (Århus) are responsible for the survey of stone age sites and "Strandningsmuseet S. George" (Thorsminde) are responsible for stone age finds and historical wrecks.

So we can expect a handful of underwater digs pr. year, so it wouldn't surprise me if we will see some more finds in the near future.
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