Do we know much about knives attributed to the Vikings?
Hello everyone,

I know that some re-enactors playing the role of Vikings tend to carry a seax of some form as representing their side-knife. These could be utility type tools or even larger seaxes being carried as weapons.

I have read that this can represent a problem of some folks over-applying the seax form when it wouldn't be an accurate accompaniment for a Viking in period per se.

So do we have historical examples of knives which can be reliably attributed to the Vikings- knowing the the Vikings spanned a good period of time and lived and traveled over a vast area?

Does anyone here have a high quality reproduction of such a knife drawing form archeological information?

Well, I did find this article which looks pretty good and does have some archeological examples.
This would be late Viking age. It's the only thing I remembered reading about a specific type of knife.

85. Of Hrorek's Assault

When the mass was finished Olaf stood up, held his hands up over his head, and bowed down before the altar, so that his cloak hung down behind his shoulders. Then King Hrorek started up hastily and sharply, and struck at the king with a long knife of the kind called ryting; but the blow was received in the upper cloak at the shoulder, because the king was bending himself forwards. The clothes were much cut, but the king was not wounded.
This is a rare example of layers of material stopping a blade in the sagas. I've always wondered why they stopped wearing cloaks in battle when maille became standard. I was thinking that maybe the gathered material on the left shoulder might help protect against a sword coming over the shield?
Ok, technically, it didn't stop the blade, but it did save him. Though re-reading this I'm not sure whether the point made solid contact with the body or not.
Well, I might have to check in on this later if no one else does (I'm on my way to work) but if you are looking for archaeological finds of knives from the viking period there is a lot. The image database of the Swedish national history museum should turn up some. We also have a couple of rather famous and often reproduced knives from Gotland, that where found in graves intact with sheaths and bronze fittings.
From Gotland
Len Parker wrote:
From Gotland

That's the one I talken about!

I did a quick search for "knife" and "viking age" in the image database the Swedish History museum have online, and it returned 375 hits. Many are small tools or fragments. (An archaeologist friend of mine told me that many knife finds are slim shards of blades that have been sharpened over and over again...)

A few samples:
(A really nice find of seax-sheath fittings)

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