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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,237

PostPosted: Sat 27 Feb, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Interesting "Viking" sword from Croatia         Reply with quote

I recently found this article about a Petersen type K sword found in a grave in southern Croatia and I was fascinated by it's beauty and the fact it has a bronze inlayed marks in the blade, a feature I have not yet seen in a sword of a so early date. Do you guys know any similar examples from 9th or 10th century?

Here is the abstract of the article, link to the complete article in Croatian and pictures of the sword before and after conservation.

A RECENTLY RECOVERED SWORD AT KOLJANI NEAR VRLIKA
SEEN IN THE LIGHT OF CONTACTS WITH NORDIC COUNTRIES
IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
Ante Milošević
In the past ten years, several interesting examples of weapons and military equipment have been found in the
valley of the River Cetina. Taken as a whole, they display morphological and typological characteristics observed in
relevant finds from the early Carolingian period. We are talking here about accidentally recovered finds: a winged
iron spearhead and a bronze spur recovered from the riverbed of Cetina at Trilj, and a sword with a silver belt fitting
recovered at Koljani which is the third such find from this small area near Vrlika in the Dalmatian hinterland. We
can assume that the sword belonged to the inventory of a grave. The grave itself has not yet been investigated, because
its site is currently at the bottom of the artificial lake of the “Peruča” hydroelectric power plant.
According to the most frequently used classification, that of J. Petersen, the recently recovered sword from
Koljani belongs to the K-type group. So far, there have been thirteen examples belonging to this group recovered in
Croatia and the neighboring early medieval Sclaviniae. The usual interpretation is that they are an early Carolingian
legacy, or more precisely, weapons imported from workshops located in the Rhine basin at the very time that
Croatians were under the influence of or in some sort of alliance with Charlemagne’s empire.
The recently recovered sword from Koljani offers a subject for debate that adds to the simplified archaeological
and historical picture that has been firmly etched for decades. This is so because, taking into consideration the
workmanship, it could be linked with examples originating from Nordic (Viking) armouries. How such a product
could have arrived in the Central Adriatic hinterland in the early medieval period is a particularly interesting question.
One of the possible answers is that it was the result of trade to which the Vikings might have contributed. At
the time, the Vikings, with their long and fast ships (which also sailed the large rivers of the Euro-Asian mainland),
covered vast areas starting from Scandinavia and Greenland in the north west to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea
in the south east. Another possibility, which seems to have more historical foundation, is that such a sword possibly
arrived in the area of what is now the Dalmatian hinterland at the time the Croatians arrived, at the end of the 8th
century AD. How the sword might have arrived was explained in a very successful exhibition “The Croatians and
the Carolingians”, that drew on written historical sources, some ten years ago.

Novi mač iz Koljana u svjetlu kontakata s nordijskim zemljama u ranom srednjem vijeku. A Recently Recovered Sword at Koljani near Vrlika seen in the Light of Contacts with Nordic Countries in the Early Middle Ades



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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sat 27 Feb, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, but I don't see where there is "room to debate" concerning the Carolingian theory. Aren't there enough surviving swords from Carolingian finds elsewhere in Central Europe to exemplify the links between the two cultures? Isn't it clear that contemporary Frankish blades already had much in common with their Scandinavian counterparts, and the lines between regional styles already obscured by the variety of forms and social conditions of the period? There are already swords on display in the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split that are associated with graves that contained a variety of Carolingian artifacts. One displays a similar style of vertical gold inlay. Another exhibits the same sort of rib design on the pommel.

This sounds to me like a theory without much substance, being promoted to highlight a particular find as being more significant than it really is. However, I am no expert on the period and would happily change my perspective if some clear differences between Frankish and 'Viking' swords of this sort are determined with evidence.

-Gregory

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,237

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Their theory is not logical to me and I'm not really interested in researching it because it is impossible to prove. And my question is not about it, I'm merely interested if there are any other swords from 9th or 10th century with bronze inlay in their blades. Happy I would like to have a 9th or 10th century sword with bronze inlay replicated and I'm looking for more possible inspiration than this sole example. Wink
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject: Interesting "Viking" sword from Croatia         Reply with quote

I think the settlement's name is Koljane, not Koljani.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,237

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb, 2016 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is true. Koljani is a place in Bosnia, not Croatia. Croatian place is Koljane.
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