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View Full Version : Some Viking swords were just ceremonial



Angela
15-04-17, 15:22
See:
http://www.archaeology.org/news/5482-170412-viking-swords-analyzed

"KONGENS LYNGBY, DENMARK—Three Viking Age swords from the National Museum of Denmark have been examined with neutron scans, according to a report in Live Science (http://www.livescience.com/58654-viking-sword-scans-reveal-norse-culture.html). “This is the first study which allowed us to virtually ‘slice’ Viking swords, showing how different materials have been combined together,” said materials scientist Anna Fedrigo of the Technical University of Denmark. All three swords date to the ninth or tenth century A.D., and came from the Central Jutland area of Denmark. And, all three swords were crafted with the pattern-welding technique, which folds, twists, and forges together thin strips of different kinds of iron and steel. But Fedrigo said that these kinds of swords may not have been designed for combat, since an iron core edged with harder steel would have made a better weapon. The high temperatures of the pattern-welding technique could also have left the weapons vulnerable to rust. She suggests that swords may have become symbols of power and status to elite Vikings, while more affordable axes, spears, and lances may have been used by seafaring raiders."

LeBrok
15-04-17, 17:01
See:
http://www.archaeology.org/news/5482-170412-viking-swords-analyzed

"KONGENS LYNGBY, DENMARK—Three Viking Age swords from the National Museum of Denmark have been examined with neutron scans, according to a report in Live Science (http://www.livescience.com/58654-viking-sword-scans-reveal-norse-culture.html). “This is the first study which allowed us to virtually ‘slice’ Viking swords, showing how different materials have been combined together,” said materials scientist Anna Fedrigo of the Technical University of Denmark. All three swords date to the ninth or tenth century A.D., and came from the Central Jutland area of Denmark. And, all three swords were crafted with the pattern-welding technique, which folds, twists, and forges together thin strips of different kinds of iron and steel. But Fedrigo said that these kinds of swords may not have been designed for combat, since an iron core edged with harder steel would have made a better weapon. The high temperatures of the pattern-welding technique could also have left the weapons vulnerable to rust. She suggests that swords may have become symbols of power and status to elite Vikings, while more affordable axes, spears, and lances may have been used by seafaring raiders."
Makes sense. For the most time they were rather poor peasants, looking to rob others off their wealth and land.

Fire Haired14
15-04-17, 17:11
I don't have a strong opinion on this specific subject. I may sound like a grumpy old man, but I I think liberal archaeological and historians try to pipe down the violence that existed in the ancient world. I have heard this same narrative many times: "Ancient people weren't violent. The weapons archaeologist find were just ceremonial and status symbols."

Archaeologist who say that i'm sure are also the ones who didn't believe mass migration occurred in pre-historic Europe, dislike discussion of human genetics/diversity/race, and exaggerate the intellectual victories of societies we view as primitive or violent(eg, Vikings, Native Americans).

LeBrok
15-04-17, 17:19
I don't have a strong opinion on this specific subject. I may sound like a grumpy old man, but I I think liberal archaeological and historians try to pipe down the violence that existed in the ancient world. I have heard this same narrative many times: "Ancient people weren't violent. The weapons archaeologist find were just ceremonial and status symbols."

Archaeologist who say that i'm sure are also the ones who didn't believe mass migration occurred in pre-historic Europe, dislike discussion of human genetics/diversity/race, and exaggerate the intellectual victories of societies we view as primitive or violent(eg, Vikings, Native Americans).
They don't claim such things. They just said that expensive swards were used in ceremonies, and I guess by elite Vikings. Ordinary Vikings used axes and spears.

Angela
15-04-17, 17:32
I don't have a strong opinion on this specific subject. I may sound like a grumpy old man, but I I think liberal archaeological and historians try to pipe down the violence that existed in the ancient world. I have heard this same narrative many times: "Ancient people weren't violent. The weapons archaeologist find were just ceremonial and status symbols."

Archaeologist who say that i'm sure are also the ones who didn't believe mass migration occurred in pre-historic Europe, dislike discussion of human genetics/diversity/race, and exaggerate the intellectual victories of societies we view as primitive or violent(eg, Vikings, Native Americans).

No, you sound like someone who sees a liberal conspiracy under every bush.

Plus, you didn't understand what they said, which also may be attributable to looking for bias instead of carefully reading the findings. They never said there wasn't a lot of violence in the Viking world. They just said most of the violence wasn't committed by those kinds of swords. The peasants would obviously not have been able to afford them. As for the leaders, a lot of those very expensive, decorated swords were for show and not all that useful in combat. Think about it, would you pay the equivalent of a king's ransom for a bejeweled sword and then take the risk of losing it or damaging it in battle? Plus, a warrior doesn't want to spend half his time cleaning his sword of rust. If these were the only swords the Vikings had, then their sword making technology wasn't adequate to the job yet.

Diomedes
15-04-17, 21:15
Yeap, the article makes sense. Only the wealthier people, aka nobility, were able to buy good equipment back in the day.

Diomedes
15-04-17, 21:18
Modern people are equally "violent". Of course, they use another kind of "violence" nowadays.


"Ancient people weren't violent. The weapons archaeologist find were just ceremonial and status symbols."

LeBrok
16-04-17, 05:11
Modern people are equally "violent". Of course, they use another kind of "violence" nowadays.The genetics can't change, at least that fast, but the ideas, the state of mind can.

Ukko
25-06-17, 00:23
A much better and extensive study, Moilanen is also a smith himself and made several copies of the swords for the study.



This study explores swords with ferrous inlays found in Finland and dating from the late Iron Age, ca. 700–1200 AD. These swords reflect profound changes not only in styles and fashion but also in the technology of hilts and blades. This study explores how many of these kinds of swords are known from Finland, how they were made and where, what their status was in Late Iron Age Finland, and where the Finnish finds stand in accordance with other areas of Europe.

The various methods included measuring of the finds and statistics. The main method of revealing the inlaid marks was radiography due to its non-destructive nature. In cases where inlays were visible without radiography, their details were inspected via microscopy. To study the materials and manufacture of inlaid swords, a sample of them was metallographically analysed to determine the forging technologies and nature of used materials. Furthermore, the manufacture was also studied with experimental approaches.

As a result, a catalogue of 151 swords with ferrous inlays was created. This number is relatively high compared with other European countries, although systematic studies have been conducted in only some countries. The inlaid motifs were classified into five distinct categories to help the classification. To summarize, almost every documented inlaid sword was unique in some respect including measurements, inlaid motifs and materials of blades and inlays. Technological variation was also present, some blades being poorer and some of higher quality in spite of the inlaid motifs. Misspelt inscriptions as well as letter-like marks were common in Finland and also in Scandinavia. Furthermore, the provenance of iron and steel used in some blades hints at Scandinavian ores.

The above observations, along with the experimental results indicating the existence of multiple alternative techniques of inlaying, suggest that these swords were manufactured locally in Scandinavia, most likely in imitation of Continental European models. Inlaid swords were valued partly for their assumed functionality in combat, as evidenced by damage on some examined blades, or they were valued for their inlays, which could have had fashionable or symbolical meanings bound to local beliefs.


http://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/119919