Bronze Age 'Axe'???

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Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby Bandraoi on Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:10 pm

An article in the latest edition (Issue No. 86, Winter 2008) of Archaeology Ireland, explores the research being done on the bronze age Halberd.

Halberd is a long copper or bronze blade, fixed at right angles to a wooden, or possiblly metal, shaft that ranges from .5 to 1 metre in length, with a restricted period of use (c. 2300-1900 BCE)

Traditionally, the 186 Irish examples of this find (and the other European examples, up to the total of about 600 finds) have been regarded as ritual or ceremonial objects. (in archaeology speak: we don't have a feckin clue so lets class it as ceremonial...) But the most recent research is not into whether they were used as weapons, but rather as to how they were so used (paraphrased from the article intro).

Fascinating study as to types of impact damage, plus recreation of impact scenarios that may have led the damage, is ongoing in Ireland and Scotland.

So, Question/s...

Could this be an Irish Axe type weapon, pre Viking? :mrgreen:
Has anybody thought about, or used, this type of weapon in re-enactment fighting?
Anybody have any more info or resources/ideas/thoughts on the re-creation or use of the Halberd?
~ Is minic a bhris beal duine a shron ~
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Re: Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby bannerman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:25 pm

Hello Bandraoi!

When archaeology in U.C.D. I heard there was a guy doing his thesis on the same subject and experementing by using hafted replica halberds on sheeps heads he got from a slaughter house. Could it be the same fella who wrote the article? I havent seen the article myself.

You could try writing with specific questions to a specialist in the period like Dr. Joahanna Bruck - then again this is also Mr. Mac gFhloinns field but Ive recommended him to a lot of people with similar queries lately so hes probably cursing me from a height!!!
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Re: Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby Dave Mooney on Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:39 am

Is that a repeat of the article around Boyd Rankin's one from a few years back?

The one where everyone is mentioned once at the start and given a number for the rest of the article, said the person in the first to the second. Would have saved ink to have just used ever ones names. :x
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Re: Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby Bandraoi on Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:09 pm

Article is credited to Ronan O'Flaherty, Paul Bright, John Gahan, and Michael D. Gilchrist.
~ Is minic a bhris beal duine a shron ~
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Re: Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby Bandraoi on Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:11 pm

Presumably this is 'the Irish team', and the scottish team is given as being headed by Trevor Cowie of the National Museums of Scotland.
~ Is minic a bhris beal duine a shron ~
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Re: Bronze Age 'Axe'???

Postby the_power on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:28 am

Bandraoi wrote:Could this be an Irish Axe type weapon, pre Viking? :mrgreen:
Has anybody thought about, or used, this type of weapon in re-enactment fighting?
Anybody have any more info or resources/ideas/thoughts on the re-creation or use of the Halberd?


I have no doubt that they were used as weapons. They would make excellent terror/scare weapons, similar to the Gallowglass spar axes - where 'spar' would now be called 'rafter' - the handles were considered to be long, like roof spars. The long handle meant they could be used from a reasonable distance, and threaten spearmen with death from above. I think you could use it from among spearmen..maybe we should try it.

I'm starting to build a bronze age kit, and I'm tempted to order a halberd from Mogh Roith, if they reckoned they could give one with a safely thickened tip. Though, my bronze sword and axe are both semi-sharp, so I don't think we could do anything other than very careful choreography.

John
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