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viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:53 am
by the_power
So, ages back I was asking about any references to a viking glaive (the Atgeir) in an Irish context. The answer is... maybe! Seems a number of (well, two..) long-bladed single-edge spearheads were found around Dublin, including one with a 228mm blade in Islandbridge (11thC) and a 115mm one from Ballinderry Crannog (9thC)! They were called 'socketed knives' in the archeological description, I think the 228mm one must be *way* too big for a domestic use. Most references of the Atgeir were either England in the 9thC or 8thC Sweden.

However, I don't have a photo or drawing of the Islandbridge find. Anyone know where I'd look ? It seems it's at least mentioned by O'Floinn in "The Archaeology of early viking age Ireland", but I can't find a copy online anywhere (and don't have any cool acedemic library access). I did find some mention that it was made of bronze, which is...amazing.

Does anyone know of complete finds, with a 'socketed knife', where we see a short handle, that means it's not for military use, but a gardening tool or similar ?

Incidentally, while researching, I found a book "An Account of the Danes and Norwegians in England, Scotland, and Ireland", which when published in the 1850s pretty much defined the concept of the "Viking Age". I've added a reprint to my Amazon wishlist if anyone feels the need to thank me for removing ads from livinghistory.ie :)

John

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:57 pm
by Leinsterman
John. Any chance that the finds were scramasax? How 'socketed' were they?

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:42 pm
by the_power
Details are pretty light in anything I've read; sockets are usually used when there is a risk of the tang being damaged. Most incendary arrowheads are socketed, as are spearheads. It's hard to damage the handle/tang of a seax, though Paul & Neil from Fainne FĂ­ain did manage to destroy mine in an hour or so one day.

If I could see one, I'd know if was a seax or not. So..show me photos!

John

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:21 pm
by Guthrum
the_power wrote:<snip> They were called 'socketed knives' in the archeological description, I think the 228mm one must be *way* too big for a domestic use. <snip>

Does anyone know of complete finds, with a 'socketed knife', where we see a short handle, that means it's not for military use, but a gardening tool or similar ?


Seen another socketed single edge knife somewhere (read way too many archaeological reports), but can't recall where. I do remember that it was interpreted as an early form of hedging bill, rather than a weapon.

Mind you, I remember finding a plough coulter in a report which had been wrongly interpreted by the finder as a scramaseax.

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:55 pm
by oleg
It's been a while since 2008...
A couple of Islandbridge finds are on display at NMI, as well as the find from Ballinderry I.

Our friend-blacksmith has made a couple of such devices for us, based on Ballinderry sizing.

Image
Image

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:24 pm
by Billy
Cracking work lads. Well done.

Re: viking glaive, finally ?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:28 am
by oleg
Thanks, Billy. I'll pass your kind words to Ros, the blacksmith.