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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 12 May, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Baltic (?) Grave Find Information         Reply with quote

Does anyone have more information or sources if more information about this grave find from what I understand to be the Baltic area?


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"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
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PostPosted: Fri 12 May, 2017 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the book that page is from. But I don't know the language. A small portion of the book, expanding on Petersen's typology, is in English. What would you like to know?

Book is IX-XIII a Baltu Kalavijai by Vytautas Kazakevicius, 1996. ISBN 9986002-115-4

https://www.librarything.com/work/14120481
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
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PostPosted: Fri 12 May, 2017 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The description in English from page 139:
"A classic example of a type-Y sword was found at the burial ground of Priekulu Gugeri, inhumation grave 135, dated to the second half of the 10th century."

That seems to be the only specific information concerning the sword and grave site in the English language section. Priekulu Gugeri is in Latvia, NE of Riga.

Some interesting general information about the type Y from the section.

pg 138:
"Type Y. Hilts of swords of this type have a saddle-shaped pommel, and a straight or slightly down-turned crossbar. Their blades are double edged. They are 75-90 cm long and 4.5-6 cm wide...The lands of the Balts have yielded 16 type-Y swords:10 are known from the territory of the former East Prussia, 5 were found in Latvia, 1 in Lithuana and 1 in Poland."

pg 139:
"Type Y swords found in the Baltic lands are dated to the 10th-11th century. Swords of type Y are not frequent finds in Europe. According to J. Petersen, they are found in northern and western Europe, where they are dated to the Viking period. These swords were in use in central and eastern Europe up to the beginning of the 11th century. Scholars believe them to have originated in western Europe and to have spread all over the continent, including the lands of the Balts.
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 15 May, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you! That is all very helpful, and the book title will let me do research later. Is there any indication that the type Ys found in the Baltic region seem to be imports or from burials of non-locals, I.e. Artifact or isotopic analysis? The longer warknife in the image looks Gotlandic or Baltic to me, which makes me think that the person buried might have been from roughly that area, but he could have been from further afield.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed 17 May, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
Thank you! That is all very helpful, and the book title will let me do research later. Is there any indication that the type Ys found in the Baltic region seem to be imports or from burials of non-locals, I.e. Artifact or isotopic analysis? The longer warknife in the image looks Gotlandic or Baltic to me, which makes me think that the person buried might have been from roughly that area, but he could have been from further afield.


Hey Kai,

It's a little beyond my ability to answer these questions since the English portion is pretty brief. Type Y doesn't seem to be either especially rare or widespread; there should be a table or similar information that goes over the statistical grouping of the swords overall, but I have not found it yet. Some information like this may be in the book and if I find it I'll let you know. For example, the Antennae form seems to be a extremely native form to the Baltic area (as seen on the sword on the cover of the book), so at least we know that the distribution and frequency of these sword types, and perhaps their native/introduced status of hilt form, is a consideration of the author.

The war knife sheath and suspension is really interesting to me too, but I'm not familiar enough with the artistic motifs to be any help.

However, I looked at the caption of the photo, and cross-referenced it with the book's bibliography and found another source for us both. There seems to be an article on the Priekulu grave site, and it may give more information about the specific sword and war-knife if we can track it down:

Apala Z. Gugeru arheologiska kompleska izpete// Zinatniskas atskaites sesijas materiali par arheologu 1990. un 1991. gada petijumu rexultatiem. Riga, 1992. Lpp. 8-15.

Of course since I can't type the diacritical marks, that may not really get us anywhere. Z. Apala is the author, etc. I don't even know which Baltic language this is actually, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian. There's another part of the book in Russian, or at least in the Cyrilic alphabet, but that's even worse for me to try to guess about.

If I could type the marks I could try google translate, but I'm a bit useless with this. If you want me to photocopy a page or two I will, but I don't want to do anything wholesale due to the writer's rights.
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 17 May, 2017 8:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have some random .pdf pages from the book you cited first, but I would appreciate any further source scans you can provide. Obviously don't violate any copyright or print rights, but if you can post some sources with diacritics, I'm willing to start digging.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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