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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Seems like there have been some good discoveries of late! Reply to topic
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2017 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Thanks for tracking down these details and references! Big Grin

If that illustration accurately represents the appearance of the inscription, it seems to require a fair bit of imagination to get any meaning from it, unfortunately... Also it does make me think that the inscription is iron-inlaid after all, since it specifically shows how the letters are formed of broad strips of metal, which I don't you find with precious metal inlays.


Yeah have to agree that to me the inscription is more and less impossible to decipher.
Also the reading must start from the "+" and onwards, if we compare with the great majority of other swords.
So it is rather +??? ? WN N

You are absolutely correct about the inscription inlay.
Found this danish article where it is stated that it's iron and steel used as inlay.

"I Næsby ved Løgstør blev der i 1950erne fundet et tveægget sværd i en ryttergrav fra sen
vikingetid. Sværdet kom ind på konserveringsværkstedet midt i 1990erne, da røntgenoptagelser af
sværdklingen havde afsløret en mønstersvejset inskription på den øverste tredjedel af klingen, hvor
små brikker af jern og stål var lagt ned i en allerede udhugget bogstavslignende inskription
".
Source: http://www.bcnord.dk/download/artikler/et_usynligt_moenster.pdf

Translation of bolded part: "...a pattern-welded inscription on the upper third part of the blade, where small pieces of iron and steel in laid into already out-chisseled letter-like inscription".

So the report of copper and silver must be from the pommel.
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Mark Lewis wrote:
Thanks for tracking down these details and references! Big Grin

If that illustration accurately represents the appearance of the inscription, it seems to require a fair bit of imagination to get any meaning from it, unfortunately... Also it does make me think that the inscription is iron-inlaid after all, since it specifically shows how the letters are formed of broad strips of metal, which I don't you find with precious metal inlays.


Yeah have to agree that to me the inscription is more and less impossible to decipher.
Also the reading must start from the "+" and onwards, if we compare with the great majority of other swords.
So it is rather +??? ? WN N

Translation of bolded part: "...a pattern-welded inscription on the upper third part of the blade, where small pieces of iron and steel in laid into already out-chisseled letter-like inscription".

Great, thanks for the confirmation! "Pattern-welded" I expect will be referring to the strips of inlay and not the blade itself.

The cross could also be at the end of the inscription, if it is reversed? And the (presumed) opposite cross at the other end has been lost... either way you read it there seems to be at least one upside-down or garbled letter. Some of these inscriptions really do seem to be illiterate imitations of the "in nomine" phrase. I bet the too-specific "in nomine dei" is just journalistic misunderstanding of some comment of the archeologist about this general type of inscription. Confused
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 751

PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Mark Lewis wrote:
Thanks for tracking down these details and references! Big Grin

If that illustration accurately represents the appearance of the inscription, it seems to require a fair bit of imagination to get any meaning from it, unfortunately... Also it does make me think that the inscription is iron-inlaid after all, since it specifically shows how the letters are formed of broad strips of metal, which I don't you find with precious metal inlays.


Yeah have to agree that to me the inscription is more and less impossible to decipher.
Also the reading must start from the "+" and onwards, if we compare with the great majority of other swords.
So it is rather +??? ? WN N

Translation of bolded part: "...a pattern-welded inscription on the upper third part of the blade, where small pieces of iron and steel in laid into already out-chisseled letter-like inscription".

Great, thanks for the confirmation! "Pattern-welded" I expect will be referring to the strips of inlay and not the blade itself.

The cross could also be at the end of the inscription, if it is reversed? And the (presumed) opposite cross at the other end has been lost... either way you read it there seems to be at least one upside-down or garbled letter. Some of these inscriptions really do seem to be illiterate imitations of the "in nomine" phrase. I bet the too-specific "in nomine dei" is just journalistic misunderstanding of some comment of the archeologist about this general type of inscription. Confused


Yeah the text say that it is the inscription that is pattern welded.

What I meant was that almost always you read from cross-guard down the blade, so +??? ? WN N
Off course it is possible that it should be read from blade tip towards the crossguard; but I agree it could also be a garbled christian message. To make it even harder a lot of the inscription is (probably) missing as well.
One thing is certain though - it is at least 3 latin letters on the blade (not runes).
So the "IN NOMINE D" hypothesis is very tentative, sadly.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Mar, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indications for the first Late Iron Age/Early Viking Age tower discovered in Jutland, Denmark.
15 km west of Viborg a settlement with post holes indicating a perhaps ~10 meter high structure as part of a settlement "Toftum Næs" was discovered in 2014.
It seems to be a tower that marks the entrance into an enclosed space where you also find a hall all part of a settlement.
It was actually built in 700's AD and the site was active until 1000 AD.

NB: The article goes into explanation that the site was built by "slaves" and the tower construction was raised so the chieftain could keep an eye on the working slaves.
"The tower construction was probably built by a chieftain who wanted to watch over his workers, says PhD student Torben Trier Christiansen"
Source: http://sciencenordic.com/%E2%80%9Cviking-towe...ed-denmark

A) I find it pretty hard to believe that construction of great halls was done by foreign slaves or even domestic thralls, since construction of these monumental wood buildings demands extreme degree of expertise and knowledge. The pyramids were not build by slaves either, but perhaps this myth is still prevalent in some circles?
B) Furthermore the idea that you would construct a 10 meter tower to supervise is preposterous in my opinion, when you can assign men to keep eye(s) on the workers. Does the chieftain not have better things to do, like politics and ruling?

Furthermore "thralls" in the viking world are not exactly "slaves" in the modern understanding by more like "indentured servants". Thralls are all those people that cannot provide for their own subsistence and doesn't own land (legally having no kin); so basically those who need to have salaries from the person they work for and was owned as such [though we have basically no clue for 700'S AD laws in Denmark].
Though they later did own their own possessions and had their own money (they would have to rent land) and could buy eventually their own freedom (or be released before that).
Also you have varying social status of thralls just as you had in the Roman empire with some actually being rich and powerful. The Bryti (stewards) of royal farms would qualify as thralls in the viking world.

Some vikings were engage in slave TRADE. That doesn't all all mean they captured slaves abroad and brought them back home to Scandinavia. What's the point to bring someone from another place in Europe to an area, where they have no clue about anything (not even language so you can't give them orders and even a different religion)?
Slaves are useful in huge agricultural plantations - like Roman villas - but that is not likely the case for late Iron Age Scandinavia that is way more based on cattle farming. Only important crop is barley for brewing. You don't have the need for a lot of thralls.

In 700's AD you basically only have villages in Denmark - Ribe as the first town in Denmark is created 704 AD and Fysing (a forerunner to Hedeby) also at some time in the 700's. I really don't see any need for "real slaves" in Scandinavia as compared with moving them from one location abroad to another location abroad where you have an actual marked for it?
Anyways at 700's AD we are before any real evidence of Scandinavians doing international slave trade.
Vikings were later engaged in slave trade in for instance the Irish sea -> selling Irish slaves to Welsh magnates and Welsh slaves to Irish magnates back and forth. Here it makes sense as the people are broadly within the same culture.

So what is this tower structure?
My guess would be a Seidr-tower for a Vǫlva and if this is the case it is a spectacular discovery.

Already Tacitus describes the prophet-woman Veleda of the germanic Bructerii tribe as living in a tower. In the sagas the Vǫlva is seated on a raised platform when performing. A tower of 10 meters height with a platform inside would make an excellent seat for such a woman connected with the chieftain ruling the site; just as Veleda was connected with the Romanized Batavian Gaius Julies Civilis.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veleda

The tower seems to be part of an enclosure connected with a hall also inside the enclosure.
This enclosure seems to indicate a sacredness of some kind (at least for the possible rituals taking place in them), it's clearly not for keeping animals in.


Source: http://sciencenordic.com/%E2%80%9Cviking-towe...ed-denmark

The Danish articles shows more of the coin findings and other things. This site is clearly rich.
See: http://videnskab.dk/kultur-samfund/danmarks-f...aer-viborg
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Mar, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Antler Armor in Siberia         Reply with quote

From time to time we discuss organic or non metallic armor usage from the past or in cultures where metal working is not a focus. This would seem to be something that would have influenced the central asian cultures for quite a long time. Not sure how exact the reconstruction drawing is but one can definitely see similar across cultures. Pretty cool find.

Craig

2,000- Year-Old Warrior Armour Made Of Reindeer Antlers Found On The Arctic Circle
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Mar, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fascinating link to that reindeer antler armour - most interesting Happy
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Mar, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was also about to ask, but got side-tracked: What do you think they are? Torso plates? Helm plates? They are about the right size for arm bracers or lower leg greaves, but I don't think they would have used those. I could be wrong though. WTF?! ...McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Mar, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Antler Armor in Siberia         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
I was also about to ask, but got side-tracked: What do you think they are? Torso plates? Helm plates? They are about the right size for arm bracers or lower leg greaves, but I don't think they would have used those. I could be wrong though. WTF?! ...McM


hmmm good question but I fear from the scant info in the article its tough to tell. I love the fact that there is so much reporting on these matters today, but the clarity of information given is often scant. What I really hate is the supposition of the authors when you can tell they are misconstruing something said in the interview.

In this case I think the size of the plates is impressive some of these are 8ish inches long. Also note the good wear marks on these hopefully they will be able to provide some interesting details of how they where put together.

Best
Craig
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2017 5:39 am    Post subject: Chariot in UK and Crystal Weapons in Spain         Reply with quote

A great Iron age chariot and horse burial at the Burnby Lane site vey cool. It will be interesting to see the artifacts when this is conserved.

Rock crystal spear head, arrow heads and dagger blade found in megalithic tomb in Spain Really interesting to see the pieces and context of this find. I would suspect this will be great detail for writers and movies for some time to come. Warrior kings with crystal weapons sounds like a fantasy novel or game. Pieces are really exceptional.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow....those crystal weapons are amazing! Craig--Would that movie or game be...uhh...."Game of Stones"--? Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Apr, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Chariot in UK and Crystal Weapons in Spain         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
A great Iron age chariot and horse burial at the Burnby Lane site vey cool. It will be interesting to see the artifacts when this is conserved.

Rock crystal spear head, arrow heads and dagger blade found in megalithic tomb in Spain Really interesting to see the pieces and context of this find. I would suspect this will be great detail for writers and movies for some time to come. Warrior kings with crystal weapons sounds like a fantasy novel or game. Pieces are really exceptional.

Thanks for these links, Craig.
Very interesting. Really excited what specifics they can extract from the Burnby Lane site.

Translucent quartz (rock crystal) with a hardness of 7 (Mohs scale) would be equivalent to flint (cryptocrystalline form of quartz) for uses, but with lesser sharp edges, but more sturdy.
The items has to be regarded (in theory at least) as both practical and prestige (since they apparently were not any local quarries of translucent quartz)!
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

12th Century sword found at site of Battle of Fornham -

http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/battle-of...-1-7903524
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lovely find! Interesting too, given that manuscript art often gives the impression that England during the second half of the 12th century mostly has Type G or perhaps H pommels. Here is clear evidence that Brazil nut pommels were still in use. From the image, I have the impression it's a Type XI.a.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Apr, 2017 7:21 am    Post subject: Quiver of arrows - Fregerslev Viking grave         Reply with quote

Archaeologists excavating the Fregerslev Viking grave have found a quiver of arrows, pretty rare for viking context find of this nature. Interesting dig of high status individual.

Click pic for link

Very cool stuff
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 30 Apr, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are actually currently digging out this chamber grave of an elite warrior from the pagan time of the Jelling dynasty (under Gorm the Old around ~950 AD).
As so often before this chamber grave is located in Jutland (near Skanderborg).

They have also found a spectacular horse bridle (Danish: hovedtøj) with fittings of bronze and silver and also a silver bit, which really shows this to be a high status grave.

Bundles of arrows (indicating quivers - uncertain in how many instances they are preserved) are quite rare with only 4 other finds from Denmark (in viking age including Hedeby). You most often find single arrows - 50% of finds (11 instances).

Ladby shipgrave: 45 arrows outside starboard side of the ship. [actually only weapons in the grave]
Hedeby boat chamber grave: At least 9 arrows. [actually only weapons in the grave]
Stengade I chamber grave: 15 arrows
Kumlhøj: 9 arrows.
Source: Anne Pedersen (2014): Dead warriors in living memory. Book 2, list 4, page 137.

So Fregerslev with at least 6 arrowhead is the smallest bundle of them.
So we do have two other instances of very high status graves, where arrows were the only weapons deposited.
Arrows is actually quite rare to find; either single arrows often being missed or that it was regarded as high status.
Besides from Hedeby, still no viking age bow finds sadly.

Skanderborg Museum is currently digging the grave:
Website: http://www.vikingfregerslev.dk/Forside-2938.aspx


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Wed 03 May, 2017 7:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 03 May, 2017 5:54 am    Post subject: Norwegian Bronze Age Axe Find         Reply with quote

Thank you for the extra info above Neils great stuff.

Here is another find that is recent. Nice hoard of bronze items mostly axes. Find spot near Trondheim.

Gemini research news, includes some xray pics

The History Blog
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 03 May, 2017 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Norwegian Bronze Age Axe Find         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
Thank you for the extra info above Neils great stuff.

Here is another find that is recent. Nice hoard of bronze items mostly axes. Find spot near Trondheim.

Gemini research news, includes some xray pics

The History Blog


Thanks Craig - got also this extra info on the Trondheim bronze age find.

The type of small bronze axe found is of a type called a "celt" (after latin celtis = chisel -> it has nothing to do with celtic people) which are very numerous in Denmark and Sweden.
It has generally been seen as a work-axe/chisel (and/or weapon axe by some), but it's appearance in wet-lands has showed that it was not always "lost examples", but also something used in deliberate deposition.
This major find from Norway with 24 celts certainly shows this to be the case.
Picture of one of the found celts.

Source: http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/47093

In Denmark the largest celts are from the older Bronze age (probably most from 1300-1000 BC) and then the become smaller in the younger bronze age (1000-500 BC).
The type is continued into the iron age, just now made from iron.
The edges in the bronze age ones are strengthened by cold hammering.

The local Danish collection of Kalundborg Museum numbers 16 examples.
Of those the smallest is only 4 cm and the largest 14 cm.
The width of the edge varies from 1,4 cm on the small one and 4,3 cm the large.
Source (Danish): http://www.vestmuseum.dk/Files//Filer/Kalundb...0celte.pdf

They are very rare in grave finds in Denmark, hence the idea, they are work axes.
Only 3-4 examples still had the haft attached and one found in Musse Mose, Lolland, showed that the haft was made of yew (Danish: taks).

Overall you have around 1000 bronze celts from Denmark and 1600 celts from Sweden, so Norway is pretty far behind since they only have 800 metal finds including all types of items from the whole Bronze age.
So this addition of 30 new metal artifacts (among them the 24 celts) is great for the Norwegian bronze age scholars.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 24 May, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:

Bundles of arrows (indicating quivers - uncertain in how many instances they are preserved) are quite rare with only 4 other finds from Denmark (in viking age including Hedeby). You most often find single arrows - 50% of finds (11 instances).

Ladby shipgrave: 45 arrows outside starboard side of the ship. [only type of weapon in the grave]
Hedeby boat chamber grave: At least 9 arrows. [only type of weapon in the grave]
Stengade I chamber grave: 15 arrows
Kumlhøj: 9 arrows.
Source: Anne Pedersen (2014): Dead warriors in living memory. Book 2, list 4, page 137.

So Fregerslev with at least 6 arrowhead is the smallest bundle of them.
So we do have two other instances of very high status graves, where arrows were the only weapons deposited.
Arrows is actually quite rare to find; either single arrows often being missed or that it was regarded as high status.
Besides from Hedeby, still no viking age bow finds sadly.

Skanderborg Museum is currently digging the grave:
Website: http://www.vikingfregerslev.dk/Forside-2938.aspx


Just to update from the dig.
A C/T scan has showed there are 22-23 arrows (seemingly leaf-shaped) present at the Fregerslev grave, which makes this find the second largest arrow bundle after the ship grave at Ladby!

The scan also shows traces of the quiver...presumed of leather.

Source: http://www.vikingfregerslev.dk/Nyheder-2966.a...p;PID=7022

The dig is finished and they will try to see if the can piece together the many horse harness fragments into an overall picture.
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