Army Assists With Study of Anglo-Saxon Sword – Archaeology Magazine

Following on with this weeks theme of the Celtic Forge, I just came across this article which I thought may be of interest. This is more of an early medieval sword, so not quite so early, but still fascinating for demonstrating how techniques evolved with time.


Army Assists With Study of Anglo-Saxon Sword – Archaeology Magazine.

11 Comments on “Army Assists With Study of Anglo-Saxon Sword – Archaeology Magazine

  1. Homer describes a particular shield in Iliad. It was of a composite design, consisting of several layers of metal, including a gold one. I was reading the other day an article about some archaeologists reconstructing it, and being amazed by the fact that it was highly effective at protecting from both spears and arrows. Apparently, the composite design made it virtually impervious to both high and low velocity charges.

    When it comes to matters of life and death, I guess it’s only natural that human ingenuity shines through.


    • How on earth did they discover such knowledge?!! So much for ancient people being primitive. I have never thought that, but I guess most do. Ill have to dig out that article. Thanks Nick!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I remembered the details better, but it was amazing: one layer gave the shield tensile strength, while another gave it enough bounce to ensure that arrows were deflected instead of penetrating it. Each layer had a single purpose, and the composite result was an impenetrable barrier.

        Naturally, the shield was a gift from the gods, although archaeologists believe it merely demonstrated the epitome of 9th century BC metallurgy. The fact that is was carried by a king is also not a coincidence; such a weapon was certainly too expensive for commoners (and don’t forget that back then soldiers bought their own weapons).


        • Damn those archaeologists and their assumptions! Cant live with ’em, cant live without ’em! I hate when they scream ‘ritual’ for everything they cant understand. But of course I love them really because they care about the past. They have to… theres no money in being an archaeologist!

          That shield certainly sounds amazing, definitely a King’s weapon. Who did the Gods give it to?


  2. Nice find Ali, I know that this was a common practice amongst many sword smiths, pretty clever eh. The history of the evolution of sword making amongst different cultures is truely fascinating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • And the sword was actually made for the individual. Mass production only came later. But a skilled Smith would tailor make you weapon of choice to suit your strength, height and reach. No point in giving a claymore to Danny de Vito, or a skinny little blade to Conan the barbarian 😃


        • Lol! No! It must have been very exciting commissioning your new weapon and then observing it being made… no doubt with ‘fittings’ along the way.

          Liked by 1 person

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