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Early Medieval Sword from Maaseik, Belgium

Abstract 8th-12th century sword can be considered extraordinary and poorly published finds in Belgium, and only 5 demonstrable specimens have been known to date, all of which have been collected from waterways. The text presented below represents the sixth piece, apparently coming from the Meuse River from the site of Maaseik. The sword belongs to […]

Stool from Trondheim, Norway, 11th century

It is our pleasant duty to announce that, in cooperation with Scandinavian colleagues, a previously unrecognized stool from the 11th century has been found in the Norwegian archives. Specifically, it is a find from Trondheim. As far as we know, it is currently under-published and missing from both the basic literature on early medieval wooden […]

Rune bracelet from Liberec Region, Czech Rep.

Dedicated to Professor Klaus Düwel (October 10, 1935 – December 31, 2020). Abstract With increased detector activity in the last three decades, there are discoveries of runic jewelery in Central Europe that seem to have an early medieval feel. However, the runic inscriptions contain a curious and inauthentic composition of characters, which has aroused the […]

An extraordinary group of winged spears

Introduction In 2019, we presented the article Typology of Spearhead Wings (Vlasatý 2019), which represents the most comprehensive morphological overview of early medieval spear wings. Almost five years later, we return to the subject to report the discovery of a new and previously undefined group of winged spears that is absent in existing monographs on […]

The Wallet from Sigtuna, Sweden

Introduction The archaeological material relating to bags, satchels, wallets and pouches of the Viking Age from the territory of today’s Sweden is surprisingly extensive. We can divide it into: An example of a pouch. Source: Steuer 1997: Abb. 14b. An example of a folding wallet. Source: Václav Maňha, Ratatosk CRAFT. Examples of lyre-shaped wallets. Source: Sörling 1939: […]

Evaluation of potential helmets from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

As part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, in 2022 we approached the employees of the State Office for Culture and Heritage Care Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) from Schwerin, who documented the finds from the Schwerinsburg and Schulzenwerder near Babke to our request. These objects are […]

The Bag from Roswinkel, Netherlands

Introduction The following article aims to collect all known data on a bag found in Roswinkel, the Netherlands, dating to the end of the 9th century. It is most likely the most complete find of a Carolingian period bag from continental Western Europe to date. Despite the uniqueness of the find, the available data are […]

Reassessment of the Radim – Pod lipou cemetery

Introduction During our research in 2023, we came across Píč’s old descriptions of a surprisingly well-preserved grave from the locality Radim u Kolína – Pod lipou, which Píč dated to the early Christian era, literally to the early 12th century (Píč 1893: 437). The amount of preserved organic matter piqued our curiosity in this grave. […]

Identification of a potential hat cone from Tiszaeszlár-Újtelep, Hungary

Introduction In November 2023, during a cursory research of the literature, we found a mention of a silver object from Tiszaeszlár-Újtelep, Hungary, which is still identified as part of a horse’s bridle. However, in our opinion, the object is misinterpreted and in fact there is a high probability that it is actually an as yet […]

Early medieval double-edged swords from the territory of Bulgaria (800 – 1100)

Introduction In the following work, I want to focus on the revision of all swords and their construction elements, including the scabbard chapes from the territory of Bulgaria, dated to the period of the 9th to the 11th century. The list includes swords that can be classified in Petersen and Geibig’s classifications and scabbard chapes […]

The helmet from the Prussian site of Ekritten

Introduction In 2023, as part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, we approached the Museum for Prehistory and Early History (Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte) from the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), who examined the fragmentarily preserved helmet from the site of Ekritten for us. Due to the […]

The helmet from Nemiya, Ukraine

Introduction As part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, we had the the opportunity to personally view the helmet from Nemiya, Ukraine, one of the best-preserved one-piece helmets. The two-hour examination, which took place on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in the building of the Déri Museum (Déri Múzeum) in Debrecen with the […]

Viking Age garden features and farming tools

We present to you Johannes Weinbacher (, a high-quality Austrian reenactor from the Mannschaft der Ormrinn Brands group, who has been dedicated to representing early medieval crafts for a long time. One of the projects he perfected is a reconstruction of the life of a Scandinavian farmer. Johannes points out that early medieval reenactment usually […]

Replica of baldric fittings from grave 55, Stará Kouřim

In this article, I want to summarize my findings collected while making the functional replica of bronze baldric fittings from the Stará Kouřim stronghold. Description of the find In the years 1956-1958, during excavations at the former stronghold of Stará Kouřim under the leadership of Mr. Miloš Šolle, an important burial ground was discovered in […]

Bulgarian type sabre from Stará Břeclav, Czech Rep.

Introduction During the research, the remains of a single-edged palash or sabre-like sword from Stará Břeclav in southern Moravia have been found in old literature. This type of weapon is usually referred to in the literature as the Bulgarian or Byzantine type (Yotov et al. 2022); in this work we will refer to the weapon […]

Knives with riveted scales of 9th-12th century

Introduction Knives of the Early Middle Ages are very popular objects among academics, reenactors, craftsmen, collectors and other people interested in history. They combine functionality, aesthetics and an attractive story. At the very beginning, it must be said that the vast majority of early medieval knives, let’s say more than 95%, consist of a simple, […]

Top 200 works on 9th-11th Iceland

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of two hundred essential titles dealing with Iceland in the period of 9th-11th century. Because of its uniqueness, Iceland is the subject of study by thousands of archaeologists, historians, geneticists, geologists, linguists, lawyers, sociologists and other experts, and it is therefore extremely difficult to create any limited […]

Defining Slavic shields of 9th-11th century

The following text, which is dedicated to all reenactors, academics and those interested in history, is focused on a topic that repeatedly emerges over time – the shape, construction and materials of Slavic shields in the 9th-11th century. Our intention is to collect all types of sources and provide an updated evaluation of how the […]

Slavic shield from the Lenzen hillfort

„Saddles, bridles and short-lasting shields used in their countries are made in Prague.“Ibrahím ibn Jákub, 10th century We are happy to present the reader with fresh information that has reached us from our German colleagues Erik Panknin and Reiner Liebentraut, namely details about the shield that was found in the Western Slavic hillfort of Lenzen […]

Notes on Early Medieval Women’s Dress

We are repeatedly called upon to create a text that would be devoted to women’s clothing in the Early Middle Ages and that would be a certain counterweight to our typical articles, which are usually focused on general or exclusively male material culture. We are not deaf to this challenge, which is why we decided […]

Sleep in the Early Middle Ages

An example of Old Norse beds and bedding In response to the growing number of questions about how early medieval people slept and what means they used for quality sleep, I decided to write an overview article that would bring the issue closer to the English reader. For research, we can use both the archaeological […]

„I carve healing runes“

Old Norse runic prayers and healing After a hiatus, we are bringing a new article that loosely follows on from the article Friendship with the God, which discussed the function of figurines of gods carried in bags. In this post we will look at other cult objects, namely bones, sticks and bronze plaques with engraved […]

Parasites of the Viking Age

In 2015, we had the opportunity to read on the Internet that Danish scientists published a study (Søe et al. 2015), which is interpreted as “the Vikings from Viborg suffered from intestinal parasites that caused them great pain and that may have been the reason behind their excessive aggressiveness” (Mirror 2015). I would like to […]

Materials of early medieval spear shafts

The following text maps the analyzed materials of the European spear shafts in the period 0 to 1200 AD, while it is an evaluation of the data collection carried out in the years 2017-2023. The article is a continuation of our previous work, namely Wood species used for sword grips (Vlasatý 2020), Wood species used […]

Materials of medieval axe shafts

The following text is a presentation of the collection of analyzed axe shafts, which we have been working on continuously since 2016. We have included in the catalog only axes with the specified material and originating from archaeological finds from the period from 100 BC to 1600 AD from the territory of Europe. In total, […]

Transportation of axes in the early medieval Europe

The method of transporting axes remains a mystery that attracts many people interested in the Early Middle Ages. It is surprising that this remarkable topic has received only minimal attention in the academic community, which gives us a good opportunity to explore the fine details that have so far been neglected. Existing work in the […]

Construction of early medieval tunics

Introduction Early medieval clothing is an extremely popular topic that has attracted attention for more than the last hundred years. The question of what the clothes of the Vikings, Franks, Byzantines, Great Moravians or even the Rus’ looked like is asked by many of the lay and professional public. European 5th-12th century clothing research, however, […]

Decorated shield boss from Haithabu

At the beginning of April 2023, we had the opportunity to visit the Viking Museum in Haithabu (Wikinger Museum Haithabu) again. Our attention was naturally focused on the most famous finds from the locality, especially the militaria from the burial grounds. During a cursory examination of the objects from the Boat Chamber Grave (Bootkammergrab), our […]

Wooden cores of the long knife sheaths

Introduction The long knives spread around the Baltic Sea in the period of the 10th and 11th centuries represent a not very numerous group of weapons, which in recent decades has received increased attention from academics (e.g. Stjerna 2007; Kainov 2019: 102-112) and historical reenactors (e.g. Vlasatý 2020; 2021a; 2021c; 2022b). The joint efforts of […]

Vikings and Settlers in Cornwall

Archaeology and Documentary Sources John Fletcher( It is fair to say that, at least in the Anglophone world, the history of the Vikings and their activities is looked at primarily through the lens of their actions in Britain and Ireland. This phenomenon can be seen even in the dates used to define the period; with […]

Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Sweden and Gotland

The following article is a continuation of the two previous ones, in which the author Tomáš Vlasatý maps the typology of strikers from the territory of Viking Age Norway (Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Norway) and Denmark (Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Denmark). The catalog compiled below presents a […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th Gotland

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of one hundred most important titles that deal with historical Gotland in the period of 9th-11th century. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds, it is extremely difficult to limit to a mere selection. From this bibliography you can further explore Top 100 works on 9th-11th […]

Top 200 works on 9th-11th Norway

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the two hundred most important titles that deal with historical Norway in the period of 9th-11th century. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds or thousands, it is extremely difficult to limit to a mere selection – therefore our selection did not include the literature […]

Ropemaking from 800 CE to 1500 CE

Meet Erik Brinkman (, a seasoned craftsman from Sweden with a passion for preserving traditional techniques. For the past 20 years, Erik has been honing his skills in various crafts, but it was in 2016 when he stumbled upon historical reenactment that his world changed forever. As Erik delved deeper into the world of historical […]

Top 100 works on the mound of Gokstad

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles related to the mound of Gokstad, excavated in 1880. Our list includes the vast majority of published literature on this incredible find from the turn of 9th and 10th century. From this bibliography you can further explore Top 200 works on 9th-11th […]

Top 100 works on the mound of Oseberg

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles related to the mound of Oseberg, excavated in 1904. Our list includes the vast majority of published literature on this incredible find from the 1st half of the 9th century. From this bibliography you can further explore Top 200 works on 9th-11th […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th Sweden

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles related to historical Sweden in the period of 9th-11th century. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds, it is extremely difficult to limit our list to only one hundred. Therefore, the literature on Birka, which was processed in a separate […]

150 most important works on Birka

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the one hundred and fifty most relevant titles dealing with the site of Birka on the island of Björkö in central Sweden. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds, it is extremely difficult to limit our list to a mere selection. The selected literature is […]

Catalog of 8th-12th century perforated axes

Introduction This article is an extension of the work Axes with perforated blades, which was published on this website in July 2020 (Vlasatý 2020a). The reason for revisiting this material is both to inform the reenactor community and academic interest, which aims to: At the outset, we must mention that the detection of perforations encounters […]

Medieval European bone and antler axes

While reading Petr Luňák’s excellent work on Great Moravian axes, I was surprised by the sentence “While wooden swords occasionally appear during the Middle Ages (…), wooden axes are unknown to me. Perhaps it was unnecessary to imitate such a ubiquitous object in wood (…)” (Luňák 2018: 108). It shocked me especially because we know […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century sword scabbards

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European sword scabbards, baldrics and scabbard chapes from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It is an expansion of a similar bibliography on swords and does […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century mails

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European mails and mail fragments from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. In general, the literature on mails can be understood as extremely fragmented and decentralized […]

Amputation of the Lower Limbs of the Early Middle Ages and Their Prostheses

„Kolskeggr turned sharp round, and strode towards him, and smote him with his seax on the thigh, and cut off his leg, and said, ‚Did it touch thee or not?’‚Now,’ says Kolr, ‚I pay for being bare of my shield.’ So he stood a while on his other leg and looked at the stump.‚Thou needest […]

Decorated shield from Ness, Norway

The following article presents a preliminary publication of a shield that was discovered in 2010 in a ship burial from Ness, Norway. The presented text, which substitutes the currently missing detailed academic publication, uses photographic material taken in the permanent exhibition of the The Arctic University Museum (Norges arktiske universitetsmuseum) in Tromsø, a description available […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th Denmark

The bibliography attached below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles related to historical Denmark in the period of 9th-11th century. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds, it is extremely difficult to limit our list to only one hundred. Therefore, the literature on Haithabu, which was processed in a separate […]

100 most important works on Haithabu

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of one hundred of the most relevant titles dealing with the site of Haithabu/Hedeby in northern Germany. Since the number of titles counts many hundreds, it is extremely difficult to limit our list to only one hundred. The selected literature is based on the two most important series […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century archery

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European archery from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that slings are not included. In general, the literature on archery can be […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century shields

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European shields from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that shields are usually recognized by their metal components. In general, the literature […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century helmets

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European helmets from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that mail aventails and organic parts of helmets are not included. In general, […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century spears

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European spears from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that the sheaths are not included. In general, the literature on spears can […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century axes

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European work and battle axes from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that the sheaths are not included. In general, the literature […]

Top 100 works on 9th-11th century swords

The bibliography below is the author’s selection of the hundred most important titles dealing with European swords from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The list is an attempt to include all major authors, regions, and topics equally. It should be noted that scabbards and baldrics are not included and are discussed in a separate […]

Fire strikers with metal hangers

Previously published works Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Denmark and Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Norway show that early medieval European fire strikers often bear holes and loops that indicate their suspension. As a follow-up to these articles, we have collected 29 remarkable European strikers of the 8th-13th centuries that still preserve metal […]

Early Medieval Expert to Hire

Dear reader. My name is Tomáš Vlasatý, and I am an expert in the field of material culture of early medieval Europe. Over the past decade, I have published more than 600 articles on the pages of this electronic journal, focusing on the documentation of archaeological finds and their reproduction. In order to physically examine […]

Early medieval swords from the territory of Romania (8th-11th century)

Introduction Early medieval swords from the territory of Romania belong to a relatively often overlooked topic and significant attention is not paid to it even in the academic literature. For this reason, I decided to write a short article to make this topic more widely known. My ambition is not to write a professional academic […]

Wooden tableware from Slavic Germany

To regular readers of these pages as well as random visitors, I present a selection of wooden tableware from Slavic Germany, in which organic objects were found large numbers. If we did not limit ourselves to this region and whole of Germany would be included, the presented material would be extended by a cutting board […]

„Þorbjǫrn the Skald Carved the Runes“

On the creation of a runestone While browsing through academic publications, I accidentally came across an article that really interested me. Its title is „With Chisel or Pick Hammer : How were Runes carved?“ (Med mejsler eller pikhammer : Hvorledes blev runer ristet?) and was written by Danish archaeologist Ole Thirup Kastholm Hansen in collaboration […]

“Friendship with the god”

Some Viking Age amulets and their symbolism I have been dealing with protective items and pendants from the Viking Age for a long time and I try to draw attention to their misuse in the current reenactment. Most male reenactors, for example, only use hammer pendants, which are not made according to the originals and […]

Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Denmark

Following the previously published overview Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Norway, I decided to make a similar list for the territory of historical Denmark from the 8th to the 11th century. Apart from present-day Denmark, northern Germany up to the level of the Eider River and the southern Swedish province of Skåne […]

Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian hooked tags

The following article is an evaluation of the long-term collection of information on the fixation of European clothing worn on the legs during the Early Middle Ages. The main focus will be on hooked tags that are known in vast number of specimens and that are widely used by historical reenactors. Attention will be paid […]

The brooch from Székesfehérvár, Hungary

On May 6, 2022, I had the opportunity to personally examine one of the most beautiful early medieval brooches from the territory of Hungary, which was discovered in a cemetery in Székesfehérvár. The examination took place in the morning in the depository of the King St. Stephen Museum (Szent István Király Múzeum), in the presence […]

Lesser known aspects of the Viking shield

Greetings, faithful friends of history and of this blog that likes to reveal the ancient secrets and brilliance of the past! After a break, I am back with an article that not only presents my two-year collection of information in the Scandinavian environment, but also brings into the English language an international discourse on the […]

Customized stand for arms and armour

As my collection of historical arms and armour expanded to include very valuable pieces, I logically began to think about making or buying one or more stands for the collection. I had the following requirements for the stand: As a professional reenactor and former weapons dealer, I have seen many stands in my career, but […]

The use of chevron and herringbone twills in Europe, 700-1200 AD

Definition of the terms The weaves that will described in this work fall into two categories and are derived from the twill weave, which is the only weave that has a diagonal pattern (Hoffmann 1964: 183-4; Jørgensen 1986: Fig. 3). The first category is the so-called chevron or pointed twill, which is created by reversing […]

The helmet from River Somme, France

While writing the Rethinking the helmet from Yarm, we mentioned a helmet found in the River Somme near the town of Abbeville. With almost a year’s gap, the helmet was republished in print. From that reason we feel the time is ripe for a separate post on this helmet, which may hold the key to […]

Scandinavian metal wrapped axe shafts

The following text is a sequel to the article Latvian metal wrapped axe shafts, published on this site in the first half of 2022, which maps Latvian axes wrapped with long and narrow bands. The work presented below covers all remaining sheet metal wrappings of European axes from the period 9th-11th century, which we find […]

The shoe from Přerov, Czech Republic

Greetings, friends of long past times! Today I want to present to you an object so important that it deserves to be treated in a separate article. My goal is nothing more than to bring this artifact into wider awareness and outline the possible consequences that flow from it for the reenactor community. The position […]

Spear and axe from Caerwent, Wales

Introduction The following post presents the results of a personal examination of a spear and axe from the site of Caerwent, Wales, by reenactor Michael Hendry at the Newport Museum & Art Gallery on June 22, 2021. We will compare these results with existing literature. According to the literature, both objects were found during the […]

The shield from Liétor, Spain

While browsing Spanish literature, we found a remarkable and unknown find – an early medieval shield, which was discovered in a hoard from Liétor in 1985. The hoard, which provides a unique insight into the wargear of Córdoba Caliphate of the 10th-11th century, also included a short sword, a spearhead, spurs, a bit and metal […]

The nasal of the helmet from Stromovka

In connection with the creation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, I examined both helmets from Stromovka during the installation of the new permanent exhibition of the National Museum on 24th November 2021. To my surprise, the nasal is not part of the exhibition and therefore could not be examined. Its documentation […]

An attempt to replicate the helmet from Stromovka

Zdeněk “Sidney” Stárek, 2010 Editor’s note: The article follows on from the author’s older text Helmets of the Stromovka/Gnězdovo type, which was published on the website almost fifteen years ago. Although the work is outdated in some aspects – which is understandable considering the age of the work – it is still an interesting […]

Making of caphelmets

The following manual is a response to numerous questions we have received regarding the helmets that some of our group are equipped with and that we use at events. We call these helmets caphelmets – they are helmets that, in terms of functionality, protect against hits by iron weapons, but at first glance they do […]

Early medieval spear sheaths

Introduction to the problem It can be assumed that a spear of the Early Middle Ages was kept very sharp (Old Norse even knows the word geirhvass, literally “sharp as a spear”; Jesch 2012: 680). The sharpening of spear blades is a widespread phenomenon that is not emphasized by archaeologists and is easily recognized by the blades, […]

Wood species used for sword scabbards

As a follow-up to the previously published article Wood species used for sword grips, we decided to collect published information on the wood species used for building early medieval scabbards. This detail is often overlooked in publications as an insignificant redundancy or only a few specimens are mentioned in the main literature (Geibig 1991: 104-5; […]

The sheathed sword from the Gay collection

A re-evaluation of an old weapon In the 19th century, a sword from the 9th century was found in the bottom of the Seine near Paris, which was equipped with an exceptionally well-preserved scabbard and fittings. The set, which is not very well known in the literature, is a crucial find for understanding the wider […]

The helmet from Gorzuchy, Poland

Introduction As part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, we had the opportunity to personally inspect one of the best preserved helmets of the Black Mound type, originating from the locality Gorzuchy, Poland. The three-hour examination, which took place on Monday, May 9, 2022 in the building of the National Museum […]

The axe from Gromovo, Karelia

In recent years, a silver-decorated axe has regularly appeared on internet forums, bearing a label saying it as a “A 1000 year old Viking axe” (see link) or a “Viking axe from the 10th-11th centuries” (see link). The image, which is shared by many people interested in historical weapons, raises many questions due to the […]

The helmet from Mokre, Ukraine

Introduction As part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, we had the opportunity to personally inspect one of the best preserved helmets of the Black Mound type, originating from the locality Mokre, Ukraine. The examination, which took place on Monday, March 28, 2022 in the building of the National Archaeological Museum (Państwowe […]

Experthjälp till tidig medeltid

Kära läsare. Mitt namn är Tomáš Vlasatý och jag är en expert inom området materiel kultur från Europas tidiga medeltid. Över ett årtionde, har jag publiserat mer än 600 artikkeler på denna nättsiden, med fokus på dokumentation av arkäologiske fynd och rekonstruktioner av dessa. För att kunna undersöka dom arkäologiske föremålen, har jag besökt dom […]

Eksperthjelp til tidligmiddelalder

Kjære leser. Mitt navn er Tomáš Vlasatý og jeg er en ekspert innen området på materiell kultur fra Europas tidlige middelalder. Over et tiår, har jeg publisert mer enn 600 artikler på denne nettsiden, med fokus på dokumentasjon av arkeologiske funn og rekonstruksjoner av disse. For å kunne undersøke de arkeologiske gjenstandene, har jeg besøkt […]

Typology of Thor’s Hammers

In this overview, we present the typology of the Thor’s hammer amulets, as presented by Jörn Staecker in 1999. As stated in the articles “Friendship with the god” and “I carve healing runes“, a brief mention or depiction of the Þórr and his atributes had an apotropaic function in the Viking Age: the image of […]

Early medieval awls

Recently, I came across several early medieval awls in publications and on the Internet, which aroused my interest in writing a shorter article. I would like to dedicate it to all craft-oriented readers of this site. I do not want to create an overview of all the tools we have available from early medieval Europe. […]

The tray from Old Spandau, Germany

My colleague from the Marobud group, Tomáš Staněk, asked me if I could provide him with information about the so-called tray from Old Spandau, which he intended to replicate. I decided to write a shorter text about this piece, because it is not a very well-known find in reenactment. The tray was found during excavations […]

Latvian metal wrapped axe shafts

When we visited the National History Museum in Riga, Latvia, in 2016, we saw hitherto unknown axes with shafts wrapped in copper alloy band. After many years, we would like to look at this problem from an academic point of view, collect all the published material from the territory of today’s Latvia and evaluate it. […]

Wrapping of Norwegian Sword Scabbards

During the self-study of swords from early medieval Norway, I noticed that a large part of the specimens retained the organic remains of the grips and scabbards. Since these components are not usually preserved, I found it useful to gather these materials in comprehensive articles to enrich the sword enthusiats. In this article, we will […]

Knife sheaths with openwork and stepped edge

Although it is an extremely interesting topic for reenactors and craftsmen, knives and their sheaths are an academically overlooked problem. Knowing that every Early medieval reenactor uses at least one knife, we decided to open the question of knife sheaths decorated with openwork and stepped edges. This type of fittings is relatively numerous in the […]

Supplement to Androshchuk’s sword catalog of Viking Age Sweden

Almost a decade has passed since the publication of Androshchuk’s excellent sword catalog of Viking Age Sweden, which was first published in Russian (2013) and later reworked into English (2014). During this period, at least seven new swords or fragments of them were found or published. At the same time, we found eight pieces in […]

Eksperthjælp til tidlig middelalder

Kære læser. Mit navn er Tomáš Vlasatý og jeg er en ekspert indenfor området på materiel kultur fra Europas tidlige middelalder. Henover det sidste årti, har jeg publiseret mere end 600 articler på denne hjemmeside, med fokus på dokumentation af af arkæologiske fund og rekonstruktioner af disse. For at kunne undersøge de arkæologiske genstande, har […]

The helmet from Olszówka, Poland

Introduction As part of the preparation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, we had the opportunity to personally inspect one of the best preserved helmets of the Black Mound type, originating from the locality Olszówka, Poland. The three-hour examination, which took place on Monday, March 28, 2022 in the building of the […]

Costume passports

Dear reenactors, organizers, friends, let us present the result of a long-term international project, which was prepared in the years 2021-2022 and required considerable time and financial investment. The aim of the project is to offer the international reenactment community the so-called costume passport generator, ie a document that significantly facilitates the creation of costume […]

Baltic wide combat knives

While wandering the Baltics, I saw in the museums something I thought was unbelievable – the massive machetes of the Baltic warriors. I decided to write a short article about these knives, which I include in a series about early medieval long knives. My goal is not to create a catalog of all the finds, […]

Mails from Chernihiv, Ukraine

In the 1870s, two important mounds of the 10th century were opened in Chernihiv, which, in terms of size and richness of equipment, belong to the very top and are difficult to find any analogies in the area of Old Rus. We are talking about the famous mounds Black Mound and Gulbišče. In addition to […]

The axe sheath from Fribrødre Å, Denmark

The museum’s permanent exhibition in Moesgård, Denmark, has included an unusual exhibit since 2017, which was noticed by several reenactors – the hitherto unknown axe sheath. There are generally not many, less than thirty, organic finds of this type from early medieval Europe. Since a fan of the project, who does not wish to be […]

Mails from Gnězdovo, Russia

In the following overview article, we present two Old Rus mails from Gnězdovo, which are generally unknown. Both armours come from extraordinarily large mounds Дн-86/Серг-1901 and Оль-24/Абр-1905, which are among the ten largest mounds in the entire agglomeration. Both mounds date back to the 3rd quarter of the 10th century and show a Scandinavian material […]

The mail from Gjermundbu, Norway

The armour found in Gjermundbu, Norway, is one of the most famous mails in early medieval Europe. The reason is both good publication in the past and the fact that it is the only grave find of body armour from the European continent from the period after the 8th century, if we omit Eastern Europe. […]

The mail from Kazazovo, Russia

One of the best-preserved and most overlooked armours of the early Middle Ages is the nomadic mail found in Kazazovo, Russia. It is the best-published example from the Eastern Black Sea region and is one of the few European mails with the known cut. Nevertheless, it remains generally unknown. The position of Kazazovo on the […]

The sword pommel from Păcuiul lui Soare

Păcuiul lui Soare is the name of an island in the locality of Ostrov, in the county of Constanța, in the south of Romania, near the border with Bulgaria. In these places in the Middle Ages a fortress stood, which was built in the years 971 – 972 by Byzantines. It was to serve as […]

The mail from Mihailovo, Bulgaria

The mail presented below belongs to the absolute top of early medieval armour production. In terms of construction and material, it goes beyond everything we thought until recently on the basis of better-known European mails. Although it has already been published in English, it remains generally unknown. The position of Mihailovo on the map of […]

Byzantine mail from Chersonesus

One of the most remarkable mails of the early Middle Ages was found in the Byzantine settlement of Chersonesus, Crimea. It has been known to the public only since 2016, when it was published in Russian. It has not yet been published in foreign literature. The position of Chersonesus on the map of Europe. Finding […]

The mail from Lednica lake, Poland

One of the most completely preserved mail of the early Middle Ages is the mail that was discovered in the Lednica lake, Greater Poland. Although it has been published many times, it is almost never mentioned in a language other than Polish, and it is therefore appropriate to make this armour available to foreign audiences. […]

The mail from Borsod, Hungary

At the beginning of 2022, I was informed about a newly published of mail from the Old Hungarian fortified settlement of Borsod (Borsodi földvár), which was published for the first time since the discovery in 1990 (Wolf 2019: 23, 99-100). It is an important find that deserves to be published in other languages as well. […]

The mail from Stromovka, Prague, Czechia

In addition to the St. Wenceslas armour, which is probably the best preserved mail of early medieval Europe, another not very well-known and poorly published armour found in Stromovka park comes from Prague. In the following text, we will briefly introduce this find. The author of the article has long been striving for the opportunity […]

Early medieval brooch from Netvořice, Czech rep.

Context of the find At the beginning of June 2021, we were contacted by a person close to a detectorist who found an unusual artifact and who would like to consult it. From the attached photographs, it was obvious at first glance that the consulted object – a brooch with a schematic engraving of a […]

Hypothetical reconstruction of the Avar helmet found in the Zlín region

In 2018, a find of a helmet and lamellar armour was presented to the public as part of the exhibition “Seekers of Lost Time” in the Museum of Southeast Moravia in Zlín. This find of European significance was discovered by detectorists on the steep southwestern slope of Rysov hill in 2015 and subsequently went to […]

The Wallet from Trelleborg, Denmark

Archaeological material concerning bags, purses and wallets from the territory of historical Denmark of the Viking period is not extensive. The best-known examples of working bags come from Haithabu and Viborg (Petersen 2005: 407-409, Fig. 24; Schietzel 2014: 265; Ulbricht 1978: Taf. 42.1-2; Westphal 2006: 80, Taf. 59.1-4; see also the article Reconstruction of the “Viking […]

The helmet from Pécs, Hungary

Introduction In the second half of January 2022, I had the opportunity to personally examine the helmet from Pécs, Hungary, which is one of the most published Early Medieval items of Hungary and is the only 9th-12th century helmet found in Hungary. The examination took place in the morning on 21st January in the archives […]

Rethinking the helmet from Yarm

In the 1950s, a helmet was discovered that has been circulating extensively among experts and reenactors in the last decade – the Yarm helmet. When it was published in 2020, the article surprised with a not very elaborate comparative part, which attributed the helmet to the Viking period. In the following article, the Caple’s theory […]

Yelmos escandinavos del siglo X

En este artículo, echaremos un vistazo a las evidencias de yelmos usados en Escandinavia durante el siglo X. Imágenes de réplicas modernas también serán mostradas. Yelmos de antifaz: Gnëzdovo Gjermundbu Tjele Kyiv Yelmos Nasales: Middleton Prague Tipo desconocido: Lokrume Birka Yelmos rusos en Escandinavia: Birka Conclusión Bibliografía Yelmos de Antifaz Gnëzdovo Objeto, contexto Una cabeza […]

El yelmo tipo Stromovka de Pohansko, Rep. Checa

Traducido por Jovan Perea Introducción Cuando la muy esperada y bien ilustrada monografía „Břeclav – Pohansko. X., Sídelní areál na Severovýchodním předhradí: archeologické výzkumy v letech 2008-2016“ del profesor Macháček y su equipo (Macháček et al. 2021) fue presentada al final de septiembre de 2021, este libro se comenzó a difundir no solo entre los […]

Horns decorated with openwork metal edges

Introduction Drinking vessels made of cow and auroch horns are probably the most symbolic and best known vessels of the Viking Age, which appear both in written sources at feasts and ceremonies and are depicted in iconography. The horns had this tradition long before that period and were preserved until the Middle Ages (eg Bebre […]

New Great Moravian decorated axe from Znojmo

It is our joyful duty to inform the reader of a new unique find – the first decorated Great Moravian bearded axe, whose photographs were sent to us at the beginning of May 2021, immediately after its discovery. The head of the axe was found by a detector, who handed it over together with coordinates […]

Stromovka type helmet from Pohansko, Czech Rep.

Introduction When the long-awaited and well-illustrated monograph “Břeclav – Pohansko. X., Sídelní areál na Severovýchodním předhradí : archeologické výzkumy v letech 2008-2016” from Professor Macháček and his team (Macháček et al. 2021) was presented at the end of September 2021, this book began to spread not only among academics but also across reenactor communities, which […]

Inspiration #18, A Woman From Birka

„(…) and there was the wife o’er her fair arms wondering,smoothing her linen, stretching her sleeves.A high-peaked coif and a breast-brooch wore she,trailing robes and a blue-tinged sark.Her brow was brighter, her breast was fairer,her throat was whiter than driven snow.“ Song of Rígsþula, 28–29; 10th century. In the eighteenth part of inspiration series, I’d […]

Inspiration #17, Balto-Finnic warrior

“I don’t see any point in owning a nice costume that you can’t defend in front of others.“ Edvards Puciriuss In this part of the inspiration, I’d like to introduce Edvards Pucirius, a well-known Latvian reenactor and craftsman living in Tallinn, Estonia. It was actually Edvards’s photos (in the gallery below), that inspired me to […]

Los vikingos no eran racistas, pero…

Traducido por Jovan Perea En las últimas semanas, tuve la oportunidad de leer varios artículos que relacionan la era vikinga con movimientos racistas y antirracistas de diferentes países. Para una persona viviendo en Republica Checa, cuya escena recreacionista no está contaminada por racismo y está más enfocada en la autenticidad, este es un problema incomprensible. […]

El yelmo de Gjermundbu

Traducido por Jovan Perea En marzo 30 de 1943, Universitetets Oldsaksamling en Oslo recibió información sobre un granjero llamado Lars Gjermundbo quien encontró y cabo en un enorme montículo en sus tierras cerca de la granja de Gjermundbu, condado de Buskerud, al sur de Noruega. El lugar fue examinado por arqueólogos (Marstrander y Blindheim) el mes […]

Inspiración #1, mujer de Birka

Traducido por Jovan Perea Este artículo comenzara una serie de artículos que están enfocados en vestimentas concretas. El objetivo de esta serie es inspirar a la audiencia recreadora. Comenzaremos con mi conocida bielorrusa Julia Kovalevskaja, quien fue la primera en facilitar sus fotos y descripción de su vestimenta. La vestimenta de Julia representa a una […]

Inspiración #13, un noble noruego

Traducido por Jovan Perea En la decimotercera parte, presentaremos a un hombre de muchas cualidades, un amigable y diestro artesano, el líder del grupo Marobud y mi buen amigo, quien es bien conocido en la escena “vikinga” checa. No es otro que Jan Zbránek, alias “Jón”. Jan y su gemelo Jakub (Valgarð) han estado activos […]

La longitud de los cinturones altomedievales

Traducido por Jovan Perea Hay algunas “verdades” en la recreación que no son cuestionadas incluso debiendo serlo. A esto se le llaman “renactorismo” y son cometidos por ambos novatos y veteranos. En este artículo mostraremos uno de estos, el mito del largo cinturón europeo altomedieval, siguiendo el trabajo hecho por el recreador alemán Christopher Kunz. […]

La Cristianización del Reino de Noruega

En base a: Bagge, S. – Nordeide, S. W. (2007). The kingdom of Norway. In: Berend, Nora (ed.) Christianization and the rise of Christian Monarchy. Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus, Cambridge, pp. 121–166. Introducción La cristianización es una importante piedra angular en la historia de Escandinavia, en la cual países paganos se integraron al contexto […]

Chispero de la tumba del 3er patio del Castillo de Praga

Traducido por Jovan Perea En el tercer patio del castillo de Praga, el túmulo del guerrero fue descubierto en 1928, localizado a 50 cm debajo de la superficie. El foso media 292 × 154 × 78 cm estaba cubierto por madera de roble y tenía una tapa de madera suave (Borkovský 1969: 136-7; Sláma 1977: […]

La fabrication d’une ceinture authentique

Traduit par Thomas Guay-Vachon L’article qui suit est la suite de l’article sur la longueur des ceintures et présente mon parcours vers une reproduction idéale d’une ceinture médiévale et ce malgré des défauts et éléments incorrects en cours de route. Il peut également, d’une façon générale, servir d’inspiration pour d’autres voulant se procurer une ceinture […]

Pasos para un cinturon altomedieval autentico

Traducido por Jovan Perea El presente texto es una secuela independiente del artículo La longitud de los cinturones altomedievales y registra mi camino hacia una reproducción ideal de un cinturón altomedieval incluyendo vueltas y errores. A modo general, puede servir como recomendación para otros que quieran comprar un cinturón histórico. 15 años, 8 cinturones El […]

Vainas de espadas de un filo

Traducido por Jovan Perea Desde hace ya un tiempo, me he topado con regularidad preguntas sobre como las vainas de espadas altomedievales de un filo debían lucir. Estas preguntas son legítimas y relacionadas con el creciente interés en la forma autentica de las armas altomedievales, pero también la ausencia de literatura que discute el problema. […]

Dimensiones de los umbos continentales y escandinavos

Traducido por Jovan Perea Mientras a las espadas, sus dimensiones y principios anatómicos se les presta una gran cantidad de atención por académicos y espadachines, lo mismo no puede decirse de los escudos que se mantienen recluidos, lo cual es sorprendente por qué originalmente no son una parte poco importante del equipo. Como se afirma […]

Inspiración #6, un mercader de Gotland

Traducido por Jovan Perea La sexta emisión de nuestra serie inspiración nos presenta a Radomír Jelínek, un conocido recreador eslovaco. Radomír apunta a reconstruir un mercader de Gotland de finales del siglo X/ principios del XI. Podemos ver en las fotos que Radomír viste una túnica café de lana en sarga rota con bordes de […]

Inspiración #11, guerrero húngaro

Traducido por Jovan Perea En la undécima parte de la serie inspiración, echaremos un vistazo a la reconstrucción de un antiguo guerrero húngaro por el joven recreador ruso Nikita Bolbikov. Cuando escribí este artículo, Nikita tenía 22 años de edad, vive en Moscú y está haciendo recreación por noveno año. El comenzó –como muchos recreadores […]

Modificación de un hacha tipo M

Traducido por Jovan Perea Un fan del proyecto, Martin Hrdlička, por quien he sido consultado para la creación de una vestimenta curionia altomedieval por un largo tiempo, menciono su hacha tipo M (hacha danesa) in Agosto 2021, la cual era uno de los puntos débiles de su vestimenta. En el estado en el que el […]

Dimensions of Continental and Scandinavian shield-bosses

While swords, their dimensions and anatomical principles are given a great deal of attention by academics and swordsmen, the same cannot be said of shields that stand in seclusion, which is surprising mainly because they were originally no less important parts of the equipment. As stated in the article “Lesser Known Aspects of the Viking […]

Long knife from the grave Valsgärde 12

Together with the leading British reenactor Matt Bunker, it is our honour to present the article in which we release unpublished photographs of a knife from the grave Valsgärde 12, Sweden (3rd quarter of the 10th century) and its detailed description. This information has not yet been published in the literature. The article is also […]

9th-11th century spearheads longer than 50 cm

Introduction It would be difficult to find a weapon that would be as important in the past and now overlooked as the spear. The spear of the Early Middle Ages served as the primary formation weapon and, together with the shield and side weapon (axe, sword or another), was the standard armament. Contrary to popular […]

The shield handle from Myklebost

In 2021, when my friend reenactor Joakim Pakkala was given the opportunity to examine an artifact in the Bergen Museum, I asked him if he could document a hitherto poorly published artifact for the purposes of this blog – a shield handle from a boat grave from Myklebost. Joakim and the willing employees of the […]

Modification of an M type axe

A fan of the project, Martin Hrdlička, for whom I have been consulting on the creation of a Curonian Early medieval costume for a long time, mentioned his M type ax (“Dane axe”) in August 2021, which was one of the weaker parts of his costume. In the state in which the axe was presented […]

Craftsmen #7

Vítám vás u dalšího článku ze série Řemeslníci, tentokrát bych ráda představila Are Pedersena, veterána norské reenactmentové scény. Rekonstrukci doby vikinské se věnuje od roku 1994 jako člen skupiny Borre Vikinglag ve Vestfoldu v Norsku. Co se týče technik výroby, je neskutečně všestranný a nebojí se zkoušet nové věci. Areho práci lze definovat jako detailní čtení originálů […]

Craftsmen #6

Vítám Vás u šestého dílu série Řemeslníci. Tentokrát bych ráda představila velmi zručnou reenactorku Beatu Sigridsdotter. Na scéně historické rekonstrukce není žádným nováčkem, od roku 2009 je členkou SCA Kingdom of Drachenwald a od roku 2016 také Medium Aveum Hollence. Welcome to the sixth part of the Craftsmen series. This time I would like to introduce a very […]

Catalog of Migration Period ring-swords and sword-rings

Recently, I have been asked if there is any list of Migration Period swords whose pommel is equipped with a ring (also called ringed swords, Ringschwert), an interesting phenomenon from the 5th-7th centuries. List of up to 80 pieces can be found in the literature (Evison 1967; Steuer 1987; Vasilev 2018 and others). Although I deal primarily […]

Catalogo de espadas de anillo y anillos de espada del periodo de las migraciones

Traducido por Jovan Perea Recientemente, pregunte si existe alguna lista de espadas del periodo de las migraciones cuyo pomo este equipado con un anillo (también llamadas espadas anilladas, ringed swords, Ringschwert), un interesante fenómeno de los siglos V-VII. Una lista de hasta 80 piezas puede ser encontrada en la literatura (Evison 1967; Steuer 1987; Vasilev […]

Fire striker from the grave from the 3rd courtyard of Prague Castle

In the Third courtyard of Prague Castle, the warrior’s mound was discovered in 1928, located 50 cm below the surface. The pit measuring 292 × 154 × 78 cm was equipped with oak wood lining and a lid made of soft wood (Borkovský 1969: 136-7; Sláma 1977: 105). At the feett of the skeleton, there […]

Construcion de mangos de madera de espadas del siglo IX al XII

Introducción Este documento apunta a explorar las piezas de madera en los mangos de las espadas del siglo IX al XII. Este problema el cual fue desatendido en monografías previas – con la excepción de Geibig (1991: 100), quien toca el tema de manera decente – pudiendo ser de interés no solo para expertos y […]

The belt from Frøyland, Norway

Introduction Unlike the Swedish pieces, the Norwegian belts of the Viking Age belong to the generally poorly known and rarely replicated finds. A potential reenactor who wants to learn more about this type of object is dependent on combining several sources of knowledge, among which the following stand out: Petersen’s work Vikingetidens Redskaper (Viking Age […]

Construction of wooden sword grips of 9th-12th century

Introduction This paper aims to explore the wooden parts of the sword grips of 9th-12th century. This problem, which is neglected in previous monographs – with the exception of Geibig (1991: 100), who touches the topic very decently – may be of interest not only to experts and archaeologists, but especially to sword smiths, modern […]

Fragmentos de malla de la era vikinga en Dinamarca

Traducido por Jovan Perea Introducción Los hallazgos de armaduras altomedievales son el centro de atención no solo de muchos académicos y expertos militares, pero también de varios miles de recreadores, quienes vehementemente aceptan información sobre cada nuevo descubrimiento con el cual pueden apoyar sus vestimentas. Del siglo IX al XI en Escandinavia, que recibe mucha […]

Espada Petersen tipo W

Traducido por Jovan Perea En el siguiente artículo sobre espadas, nos gustaría presentarles la aun no muy bien conocida Petersen tipo W. Hasta donde sabemos, este tipo de espada es raramente reconstruido entre recreadores. A continuación haremos una descripción y mapa para revelar este interesante tipo. Descripción El tipo W denota una espada cuya empuñadura […]

Espada Petersen tipo G

Traducido por Jovan Perea En la siguiente parte de esta serie sobre espadas, decidí enfocarme en un raro y pequeño grupo de espadas no muy conocidas – Las Petersen tipo G. Este tipo de espadas es prácticamente desconocido entre los recreadores, probablemente debido a su apariencia poco convencional y limitada distribución. El objetivo de este […]

Cantidad de espadas europeas del siglo IX al XI

Traducido por Jovan Perea Recurrentemente encontramos la opinión de que las espadas en la Alta Edad Media son raras, descubrimientos excepcionales, por eso decidimos crear un documento que intentara estimar cuantas espadas europeas en el periodo del siglo IX al XI conocemos. Esta es una pregunta relativamente frecuente tanto en la academia como en la […]

Espada Petersen tipo M

Traducido por Jovan Perea Muchas espadas de la era vikinga están ricamente decoradas, lo cual vuelve muy cara la reconstrucción de calidad. Por esto mismo mis colegas me encargaron proveer un repaso de espadas sin decoración que serían más asequibles de reconstruir. Elegí la Petersen tipo M por su simplicidad y mayor representación entre los […]

El mitico “Yelmo de Weymouth”

Traducido por Jovan Perea En 2014, el Museo Británico de Londres albergo la espectacular exhibición temporal “Vikings: Life and Legend”, la cual se exhibió un año antes en el Museo Nacional de Copenhague y luego en Berlín en 2015 (donde tuve la oportunidad de verla en persona). Es una paradoja que la exhibición, que se […]

La longueur des ceintures en reconstitution

Traduit par Thomas Guay-Vachon Il y a quelques “faits” en reconstitution qui ne sont jamais remis en cause, même si ce devrait être le cas. C’est ce qu’on appelle des « reconstitutionismes » et sont appliqués autant par les nouveaux que les vétéran. Dans cet article, nous allons montrer l’un de ces reconstitutionismes, le mythe autour de […]

Early Medieval Shears Cases

A number of our previous articles dedicated to Early Medieval cases and sheaths lead to the conclusion that all sharp tools and weapons (swords, spears, axes, knives, needles and more) were equipped with holsters to prevent injury and wear of blades or points. In the following overview, we would like to look at shears and […]

Mythical “helmet from Weymouth”

In 2014, the British Museum in London hosted the spectacular traveling exhibition “Vikings: Life and Legend”, which was exhibited a year earlier at the Copenhagen National Museum and moved to Berlin in 2015 (where I had the opportunity to see it in person). It is a paradox that the exhibition, which focused on dispelling the […]

Wire wrapped knife handles of 9th-12th century

Introduction This article is a continuation of the work of Wire wrapped sword grips of 9th-11th century that was published on this website in November 2020. The reason for creating this article is both informing the reenactor community and academic interest, which aims to: revise this type of objects. organize objects according to the country […]

Steps to an authentic Early Medieval belt

The text presented below is a free follow-up to the article The Length of Early Medieval Belts and maps my path to an ideal reproduction of an Early medieval belt even with wrong twists and turns. As a whole, it can serve as a recommendation for others who want to buy a historic belt. 15 […]

Lagerevo helmet

During the creation of the Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century, I also included the helmet from Lagerevo, Bashkortostan, Russia, which is not completely unknown among Eastern European academics and reenactors. After an expert consultation with Adam Kubik and Oleksii Komar, who date the helmet on the basis of belt fittings to the second […]

Inspiration #15, Faroese farmer

In the fifteenth part of the inspiration series, I’d like to introduce my good friend, archaeologist and linguist Ľubomír Novák, the former curator of archaeological collections of the National Museum of Czech Republic and a member of the Skjaldborg group. Ľubomír’s name will probably sound familiar to those, who have been working in the field […]

Inspiration #14, A Varangian Guardsman in Byzantium

In the fourteenth part of the inspiration series, will be have a look at Russian reenactor Yevgeny Danilov, aka Hǫskulðr, who gained my admiration for his approach to historical reconstruction. Yevgeny comes from Kursk. With his wife Yuliya Danilova, they own a shop that is focused on medieval tents and hand-sewn costumes, named Familia Sartores. […]

Scabbards of single-edged swords

For some time now, I have regularly encountered questions about what the scabbards of Early medieval single-edged swords looked like. These questions are legitimate and are related to the increased interest in the real forms of Early medieval arms, but also to the absence of literature that would discuss the problem. This topic got my […]

Multifunctional combs from Birka

Recently, my sponsor Michael Weller drew my attention to an interesting find from Birka, which I overlooked for years and which has the potential to become quite popular in reenactment, although I have not seen its successful reproduction to this day – a multifunctional comb. I would like to briefly describe this interesting find in […]

Reconstruction of the “Viking bag”

In this short article, we will focus on the interpretations of the bags that are very widespread within the Viking Age reenactment. Our main goal will be to compare the informative value of archaeological finds with the usual procedure of how these artifacts are currently reconstructed not only by reenactors, but also the museums. The […]

Tribute to A. N. Kirpichnikov

Putting the story of human life in four small paragraphs is an impossible, painful, and undignified task, which I nevertheless put on my shoulders in the belief that a short bow to one great man and a look back at his life is better than burdensome silence and ignorance. As the world faces the greatest […]

Inspiration # 11, Hungarian warrior

In eleventh part of the inspiration series, we will take a look at excellent reconstruction of Old Hungarian warrior by young Russian reenactor Nikita Bolbikov. When I wrote this article, Nikita was 22 years old, living in Moscow and has been doing re-enactment for the ninth year. He began – just like most Russian reenactors […]

Number of European swords of 9th-11th century

As we often encounter the opinion that swords of the Early Middle Ages are rare, exceptionally discovered finds, we decided to create a paper that would try to estimate how many European swords from the period of 9th-11th century we actually know. This is a relatively common question in both academia and reenactment, to which […]

Petersen type G sword

In the next part of the sword series, I decided to focus on a small group of rare and not very widespread swords – Petersen type G. This type of sword is practically unknown among the reenactors, probably due to its unconventional appearance or limited distribution. The aim of this article will be to introduce […]

Catalog of European helmets of 9th-12th century

The question of when I will write my first book, I have met regularly for many years, but the idea of ​​implementing this plan began to mature only in the last three years. When I ended my employment at the beginning of 2020 and became independent thanks to the help of sponsors, it turned out […]

Mail fragments from Viking Age Denmark

Introduction The finds of the Early medieval armour are in the center of attention not only of many academics and military experts, but also of several thousand reenactors, who eagerly accept information about each new find with which they can support their costumes. From 9th-11th century Scandinavia, which is given a lot of attention in […]

Wire wrapped sword grips of 9th-11th century

Introduction In general, the base of the sword handle is a tang, which is covered with an organic (wooden, antler, straw / bast) or metal haft. As the following diagram shows, wooden handles in particular were often composites and were coated with leather, textiles, wire, sheet metal, cast terminals and rings: Wooden or antler handle […]

Inspiration #13, A Norwegian Nobleman

In the thirteenth part, we will introduce a man of many qualities, a friendly and skilled craftsman, the leader of Marobud group and my good friend, who is well known in Czech “Viking” scene. This is none other than Jan Zbránek, aka “Jón”. Jan and his twin Jakub (Valgarð) have been active in the Czech […]

Inspiration #12, A Khazarian Warrior

The twelfth part of inspiration series will be a bit more exotic – we’ll take a look at Alexander Panaskin’s costume. He’s a Russian reenactor, representing a 9th century Khazarian warrior. Alexander comes from Russian town of Bryansk, is the leader of the Kvetun group and historical reconstruction is his hobby since 2007. He makes […]

Helmets used in 9th-11th century reenactment

Tomáš Vlasatý, Martin Zbránek; Marobud During the year 2020 we asked more than 100 members of Viking Gear Facebook page these four questions: 1. Which country are you from? 2. Which helmet, out of those in attached pictures, do you use? 3. Do you use straps to tighten up your helmet onto your head? 4. Do […]

Inspiration # 10, A Varangian Guardsman

As a commander of raiders’ army at Wolin Festival, he is one of the most important figures in European early medieval combat reenactment. Those who were lucky enough to meet him will remember his uncompromising look, earrings, a tattooed body and a distinctive behaviour. At Wolin 2015, I had the opportunity to see his determination, […]

Inspiration #9, A Man From Birka

In the ninth part of the Inspiration series, we will introduce the costume of my friend Pavel Voronin, one of the leading Russian reenactors. Pavel, also known as Gunnar, is the leader of the NorraVind group, which is known for organizing a number of open and private events and for lending the equipment to museums. Pavel […]

Inspiration #8, A Woman From Birka

In the eighth issue of our inspiration we will look at Belarusian reenactress Olga Mazenkova who is a member of Naglfar historical reenactment club (КИР Нагльфар) and whose historical name is Alvitr. I’ve been exchanging letters with Olga for some time already and I know she takes her reconstruction seriously, has studied the sources and for […]

Decorative edging of mail armour

In the last years of my research, I came across several Early medieval fragments of mail armour with edging rings being made of non-ferrous metals. The topic of mail armour has a number of fans among the reenactors, so I was surprised that I was not able to find any comprehensive work that would process […]

Inspiration #7, A Woman From Novgorod

After a short pause we are continuing with our inspiromat. This time we are looking at a young Russian reenactor Yevgenia Andreyevna from the group White Lynx (Белая Рысь). Yevgenia aims to represent a Slavic woman from Novgorod in the period from half of 10th century to the beginning of 11th century. Due to the absence […]

The Helmet from Kyiv, Ukraine

I would like to present this article about a yet undocumented find of a helmet from the Viking age, which is a fragment from Kyiv. This object, currently deposited in the National Museum of the History of Ukraine under inventory label ДРА 1065, has eluded researchers’ attention for a long time and for that reason […]

Organic belt buckles and strap-ends

  Introduction Reenactors wishing to reconstruct the Early Middle Ages are often confronted with the fact there are no indications of belt components in about a half of all graves. The absence of any belt applies to both richly equipped and less expensive graves throughout Europe. It is, of course, possible that the belts were […]

Swords with organic hilts

When we talk about swords, we often imagine iron or steel blades with metal hilts and organic, mostly wooden grips (antler grips seem to appear rather sporadically after the fall of the Western Roman Empire; see MacGregor 1985: 165). The sword constructed in this way meets all requirements for safety and robustness, which ensures long-term […]

Evolution of Scandinavian long knives

Long knives – called seaxes or scramaseaxes by academics and reenactors – represent a largely neglected chapter of the Early Medieval arms tradition. In general, Scandinavian knives have the greatest popularity in the period, but half-truths and inaccurate information follow due to the absence of literature. We would like to bring this unhappy situation to […]

Swords worn beneath the mail in 11th and 12th century

Several iconographic sources from the area of modern France, England, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, dating to the 11th and 12th centuries, depict an interesting way of wearing swords in combination with chainmail armour. In contrast to belting the armor with a sword belt, which can be seen relatively commonly in 12th and 13th century […]

Methods of Mail Suspension Used on Early Medieval European Helmets

For about 15 years now, I regularly encounter attempts to reconstruct Early Medieval helmets and I myself am one of the owners and frequent users of these items. I observe that during this period there was a significant shift in our knowledge of Early Medieval helmets, which was caused both by the development of the digital […]

The Biography of a Sword

Mapping the sword lifecycle in Middle-ages This article is respectfully dedicated to my dear friend Jan Motyčka. The means of warfare in the past are an immensely popular topic, attracting both many laymen and experts. We as humans seek dramatic tales full of violence, using them as educational sources and lessons to pass on to […]

Théories sur l’Armure Matelassée chez les Vikings

À la demande de plusieurs personnes du milieu de la reconstitution historique qui sont intéressés par la guerre au début du Moyen-Âge, mes collègues Roman Král, Jan Zajíc, Jan Bělina, et autre ainsi que moi-même avons décidé d’écrire un article qui offrirait une vision d’ensemble sur l’utilisation de l’armure matelassée et de tissus au début […]

Privately owned axe from Kaliningrad

At the end of July 2019 I was contacted by a Danish collector who wanted to consult a few pieces of early medieval axes before a purchase. He bought the axe described below from a private collector in Germany on my recommendation, because in my opinion there was the lowest chance of a forgery. If […]

Axes with perforated blades

Reconstruction of a cross axe. Author: Jakub Zbránek. In the vortex of battle, we often encounter axes that have an atypical appearance – the center of the blade is cut and in some cases filled with a cross-like or hammer-like protrusion. This popular shape of axes has repeatedly provoked debates about authenticity, so we decided […]

Rethinking the wallet from Gokstad

The wallet from the rich grave of Gokstad, Norway (early 10th century), is one of the most frequently reconstructed objects of the Early Middle Ages and is sold by many dozens of manufacturers around the world. However, its proposed reconstruction repeatedly attracts the attention of reenactors due to its ambiguity. In this article, we will […]

Candle holders from Gokstad

In 1880, one of the two most magnificent mounds of the Viking Age was explored in Gokstad, Norway. Despite the extensive set of artifacts, including an almost complete ship, the whole find was published bilingually just two years later by Nicolay Nicolaysen. This haste has meant that the description of the objects is not detailed, […]

Wood species used for sword grips

In the internet discussions, I was asked whether I happened to have any source that would describe the wood species used for swords grips in 9th-12th century. As I went through the archaeological materials, I was surprised to find that this detail is rarely mentioned and is missing in the monographs. Therefore, I decided to […]

The Rebec from Haithabu

Among the wooden fragments from Haithabu, three pieces of musical instruments were found (Lawson 1984: 151–159; Westphal 2006: 83–84). These instruments, together with the bone flutes from Haithabu (Brade 1978), cast light on the music practiced in the town and in Scandinavia in general. In this article, we will describe one of the wooden instruments […]

Armura lamelară în Scandinavia

Această traducere a fost realizată de către Edwin-Sebastian Marc. Chestiunea armurii lamelare este un subiect de discuție atât între experți cât și între practicanții de reconstituire istorică. Eu, personal, m-am lovit de câteva ori de subiect și am strâns literatura aferentă. Studiile mele pe acest subiect au ajuns să mă conducă spre vestigiile aproape necunoscute […]

L’ Origine Del “Vegvisír”

Dopo aver pubblicato l’articolo sulle origini del “Kolovrat”, mi è stato chiesto di scrivere un articolo riguardo un altro simbolo, diventato noto come Vegvisír (letteralmente “segnavia”, “guida”). Ormai si vede ovunque: tatuati, indossati, o se ne cerca disperatamente il significato. Nel seguente articolo daremo un’occhiata alle varie interpretazioni odierne del simbolo, nonché alla sua vera origine. […]

Replicating the Viking Silver Alloy

My friend, crafter Aaron Richards from the Silverhand Jewelry workshop offered me a short article that revolves around the silver purity in Viking Age. I believe that the most interesting result of the work is that it shows the difference of the period silver alloy compared to the modern standardized alloy 925/1000. My journey into the […]

Le casque de Gjermundbu

Le 30 mars 1943, Universitetets Oldsaksamling à Olso fut avisé qu’un fermier, nommé Lars Gjermundbo, à trouvé et creusé un énorme tumulus sur sa terre près de la ferme de Gjermundbu, dans le conté de Buskerud au sud de la Norvège. L’endroit fut examiné par des archéologues (Marstrander et Blindheim) le mois suivant et les […]

Les armures lamellaires de l’Époque Viking

Cet article est une traduction de mon article en tchèque “Lamelové zbroje ze Snäckgärde?”. Cet article eut une bonne réception et fut traduit en espagnol (“Armadura lamellar en la Escandinavia vikinga“), allemand (“Lamellenrüstungen der Wikingerzeit“), polonais (“Pancerze lamelkowe w Skandynawii“), hongrois (“Lamellás vértek Skandináviában“), russe (“Ламеллярные доспехи эпохи викингов“), italien (“Armature Lamellari di epoca vichinga in […]

Les origines du « Vegvisír »

Après avoir publié un très populaire article à propos des origines du Kolovrat, on m’a demandé d’écrire un article similaire sur un symbol connu sous le nom de « Vegvisír » (littéralement « qui pointe le chemin », « orienteur ») au sein des adeptes de mythologie nordique. Dans ce cas-ci, la situation est beaucoup plus simple en comparaison avec d’autres […]

Inspiration #6, a trader from Gotland

The sixth issue of our inspiration series introduces Radomír Jelínek, a well-known Slovak reenactor. Radomír aims to reconstruct a trader from Gotland in late 10th/early 11th century. We can see from the photos that Radomír wears a brown tunic made from herringbone wool and hemmed with geometrically patterned silk. The tunic is belted with a […]

Inspiration # 5, A Retainer from Gnezdovo

In the fifth part of Inspiration series, we will show a rich men’s costume from Gnezdovo, Russia. This time we will look at the costume of German reenactor Alexander Kluge. Alexander tries to reconstruct a retainer from Gnezdovo, 2nd half of 10th century. It is based mostly on grave C-160 from Gnezdovo. At the pictures, […]

Long knives from Haithabu

Dear reader. Hereby I present another article from the series about long knives and seaxes. In the following translation, you can find the long knives from Haithabu / Hedeby. The article can be read or downloaded via the following button:  Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to […]

The Bag from Kyiv, Ukraine

When I was browsing through the literature, I came across the remains of a bag that seemed so unusual that I decided to describe it in a separate article. My hope is that it will gain more popularity among the reenactors and will help to better understand the topic of Eastern European organic material culture. […]

Inspiration #4, a retainer from Kyiv

Inspiration series continues and in its fourth episode, I will introduce Viktor Kralin, Russian reenactor, who is the leader of White Lynx group (Белая Рысь) and whom I greatly admire. As the Kievan Rus reenactment is quite popular in the world, I find it particularly interesting to show how Russian reenactors represent their own history. […]

Overview of Great Moravian lunulae

In the Slavic territories of the early Middle Ages, jewelry, which in today’s literature is called lunula or lunica, gained a significant popularity. In order not to be overwhelmed by only a few models that are distributed by e-shops, I decided to publish a selection of Great Moravian lunulae, from which a potential enthusiast could inform […]

Petersen type W sword

In the next article about swords, we would like to introduce the not yet well-known Petersen type W. As far as we know, this type of sword is rarely reconstructed among reenactors. In the following article we will describe, map and reveal this interesting type. Description Type W denotes a sword whose hilt consists of […]

Shoe fragments from Birka

Dear readers, we bring you an exclusive translation of the work written by Russian reenactors that describes the leather finds from Birka and proposes the reconstruction of the shoe. The original article can be found here. The find is very valuable, since the shoes from Viking Age Sweden are almost absent and the reenators usually […]

Inspiration #3, A Woman From Birka

The third episode of inspromat is reserved for rich female costume from Birka. This time we will look at the costume of Russian reenactor and my friend, Lida Gubareva. Lida sets her costume in the first half of the 10th century in Birka. Most of the equipment consists of replicas of items from grave Bj 965, which contains a […]

Metal Axe Sheaths

Almost five years ago, we published the article “Organic axe sheaths of 9th-12th century” at this website, which mapped poorly described phenomenon of axe protections. The article has gained great popularity among reenactors around the world. The conclusion of the article was that we were able to find 25 axe sheaths made of alder, birch, […]

Armature Lamellari di epoca vichinga in Scandinavia

Le domande relative all’uso dell’armatura lamellare sono frequenti sia tra gli esperti che tra i rievocatori. Io stesso ho voluto affrontare l’argomento in più di un’occasione ed ho raccolto diverse documentazioni a riguardo. Le mie ricerche mi hanno portato fino a reperti pressoché sconosciuti trovati a Snäckgärde, vicino a Visby, Gotland, che, nonostante non siano stati […]

Inspiration #2, A Man From Birka

In the second episode of inspiromat we will stay in Birka, but this time we focus on male costume. For this reason I asked my Russian friend Konstantin Shiryaev who willingly provided me his photos with description. The costume is based on finds from Birka, particularly grave Bj 644, but he also uses finds from surrounding regions. This is a […]

The Wallet from Iholm, Denmark

In March 2020, I was notified of an interesting find of a wallet from 11th century Denmark, which has not been paid much attention. This brief article will provide basic information on the entire find and the reconstruction attempts. Circumstances of the find and its content On a Sunday in 1853, an unnamed brick factory […]

“Vilborg owns me”

Runic inscriptions on Old Norse whorls The article we present to you in this way is a continuation of the articles “Þorbjǫrn the Skald Carved the Runes” and “I Carve Healing Runes“, which were created in previous years and which aim to realistically show everyday work with runes in the Early Middle Ages. This time […]

Decorated Axe from Bašnice

In May 2019, an extraordinary militaria was found in the Czech Republic, which has not yet been published in print – an axe inlayed with silver, found in Hořice Region in eastern Bohemia. In this short article, we would like to comment on this find, put it in the context of the Central European arms […]

„Be Sure You Have Ample Food“

It is my big honor to offer you a brand new translation of study written by Zdeněk Kubík “Be Sure You Have Ample Food”, which is a continuation of my article “Old Norse Food and Diet”. Zdeněk’s study is currently the most comprehensive work that deals the Viking diet in both Czech and English internet […]

Craftsmen #5

Zdravím Vás, přátelé! V pátém dílu série o řemeslnících si představíme jednoho z nejzručnějších šperkařů, kteří se věnují raně středověkému šperku – slovenského reenactora Pavla Francúza, který má s výrobou šperků více než dvacetiletou zkušenost. Jeho výrobky, které zdobí mnoho slovenských muzeí, jsou mezi československými reenactory vyhlášené pro svou věrohodnost a vysokou kvalitu zpracování. Greetings, […]

Great Moravian scale armors?

In the newly published anthology Bewaffnung und Reiterausrüstung des 8. to 10. Jahrhunderts in Mitteleuropa (“Arms and Equestrian Equipment of the 8th-10th Centuries in Central Europe”), which consists of nearly ten years old texts, some remarkable facts can be found, which will be interesting not only for the Czechs, but also for the foreign reenactor […]

The plate from Szczecin, Poland

Dear visitors, welcome to the next article! This time I would like to draw your attention to a find that is – as far as I know – unique and has no closer parallels. The artefact that I would like to discuss in this article is the plate from Szczecin, Poland. The plate from Szczecin. Stanisławski […]

Craftsmen #4

Vítám Vás u čtvrtého dílu série o řemeslnících! Tentokrát si představíme medailonek vynikajícího slovenského řemeslníka a šermíře Petera Kocúra, který se k reenactmentu dostal poté, co se zúčastnil archeologických vykopávek jako brigádník. V minulých letech se věnoval rekonstrukci vrcholně středověkého šlechtice, ale v tuto chvíli se zaměřuje na velkomoravské období. Welcome to the fourth part […]

Three peculiar Great Moravian swords

The Great Moravian period represents, in terms of swords, an epoch when high-quality swords of type X and Y appear in Czech and Moravian territories. Their increase is undoubtedly associated with the equestrian elite, which preferred these swords because of better functionality in cavalry combat. More information on this phenomenon is provided by Jiří Košta […]

Were plantfibers cultivated in medieval Iceland?

It is my honour to present the article “Were plantfibers cultivated in medieval Iceland?” that was written and offered to me by my friend Marianne Guckelsberger, a textile master active in Iceland. The article discusses the Icelandic textile production, especially the production of linen. The article can be downloaded via the following button: I hope you […]

Inspiration #1, A Woman From Birka

This article will start a series of articles that will focus on concrete costumes. The aim of this series is to inspire reenactent audience. We will start with my Belarusian acquaintance Julia Kovalevskaja, who was the first to provide her photos and description of her costume. Julia’s costume represents a rich woman from Birka in […]

Craftsmen #3

Vítám Vás u v pořadí třetího dílu série o řemeslnících! Tentokrát se zaměříme na výrobu mečů a představíme si svět mého přítele Jana Motyčky, který se již řadu let věnuje výrobě výborných zbraní pod jménem Elgur. Welcome to the third part of the Craftsmen series! This time we will focus on the production of swords […]

Craftsmen #2

Vítám Vás u druhého dílu série o řemeslnících! V tomto díle se podíváme na práci mého letitého přítele Romana Krále, který se historické rekonstrukci ve nejvyšší úrovni věnuje přes deset let. Roman je zřejmě nejvýraznějším představitelem reenactora, který se věnuje Velké Moravě, tedy rekonstrukci proto-státního útvaru na území rozkládajícím u řeky Moravy  při moravsko-slovenské hranici. […]

Etymology behind objects

or objects behind etymology? We, 21st century people, often use language only as a means of understanding and do not think about the origins of words. As the result, we often miss interesting connections, which tell us about the state of things that is already gone. In this short article, I would like to draw attention […]

Возможное назначение «топоров Перуна»

Перевод выполнила Владимирцева Василина, КИР «Усталые Лисы». В данной статье мы сфокусируемся на раннесредневековых фигурках топоров, так называемых «Топориков Перуна», которые в последнее время всё больше привлекают к себе внимание реконструкторов и нео-язычников. Мы попробуем обозначить ключевые источники информации и поразмышляем над возможными функциями этого символа, который, несомненно, является очень противоречивым. Важно отметить в самом […]

Craftsmen #1

Zdravím Vás, přátelé dob minulých! Již po dlouhou dobu jsem chtěl v život uvést sérii článků, která bude doporučovat kvalitní řemeslníky věnující se ranému středověku a která bude přibližovat jejich výrobky, vyráběné zpravidla na zakázku. S radostí oznamuji, že tento příspěvek je pilotním článkem takové série, a budu velmi nadšen jakoukoli odezvu z řad dalších […]

Lathed Tableware with Metal Brim

This short overview is an amendment to the article Drinking Vessels of Viking Norway. It contains specimens of a specific type of lathed wooden cups, plates, bowls and buckets that has the brim reinforced or fixed with metal clasps or staples. From the distribution, it is clear such a tableware was quite popular in Early Medieval Northern, […]

Typology of Spearhead Wings

When I wrote an article called “On Viking Age spearhead wings“ a few years back, I did not expect returning back to the topic and revising the content due to heavy new evidence. Wings on spearheads are often debated by fighting reenactors, while experts only give it little attention. In general, the feature is both […]

Drinking Vessels of Viking Norway

Thanks to Michael Caralps Robinson,whose persistence has no limits. Introduction Dear reader,rather than a complete list of Norwegian drinking vessels of Viking Age, this short article is a summary of types of small personal drinking vessels and the sources we can use for learning more. Before making any step further, I have to stress that we […]

Possible function of the “Perun Axes”

In this article we shall focus on Early Middle Ages axe miniatures, so called “Perun’s Axe”, which have recently come to a great attention from reenactors and neo-Pagans. We will attempt to outline key sources of information and will reflect upon possible function of the symbol, which sure will bring a lot of controversy. It […]

Petersen type M sword

Many Viking Age sword are richly decorated, which makes quality reconstruction very expensive. That is why I was asked by my colleagues to provide an overview of undecorated swords that would be more affordable to reconstruct. I chose Petersen’s type M for its simplicity and major representation among Scandinavian sword finds. Because this type is […]

Origins of the “St. Wenceslas Helmet”

In December 2016, an extraordinary sword of Petersen’s type S, known for its rich decoration, was found in Lázně Toušeň in Central Bohemia. Although swords of the type were found in locations ranging from Ireland to Russia, this specific piece is the very first example from the Czech Republic. Thanks to my cooperation with Jiří […]

The Period Transport of Liquids

The transport and the storage of liquids are one of the biggest problems in the reenactment of any time period. Archaeological finds are only a few and making a keg or flask needs skill. For a person living in 21st century, it is much easier and cheaper to load a barrel of beer and some […]

Jakobsson’s Hilt Typology

Jan Petersen’s revolutionary thesis De Norske Vikingesverd (1919) became a basis for many authors, who attempted to adjust or complete the work, or replace it with a typology of their own. Such an example is Mikael Jakobsson, who chose a different approach in his thesis Krigarideologi och vikingatida svärdstypologi (Stockholm, 1992), which we analyse in […]

Origins of “kolovrat” symbol

Over more than a decade, during which I have been intensively interested in studying the Early Middle Ages, I have sought to uncover disinformations and set straight mystifications that has been created and used by both laymen and professional public. After all, one of the main points of creating this website was to set up […]

Origins of the “vegvísir” symbol

After publishing the very successful article regarding origins of the “kolovrat” symbol, I was requested to write a similar article about a symbol, which came to be known as “vegvísir” (literally “The pointer of the way”, “Wayfinder”) among those interested in Norse mythology. In this case, the situation is much simpler in comparison to other […]

Scandinavian cloak pins with miniature weathervanes

During my research work, I have long been coming across an unusual type of artefacts, which are being described as miniature weathervanes (Swedish: miniatyrflöjel, miniflöjel, German: Miniaturwetterfahne). After many years, I have decided to take a deep look into these interesting objects and provide the readers with thorough analysis, comments and further references. A revised form […]

The Length of Early Medieval Belts

There are some “truths” in reenactment that are not questioned even though they should be. These are called “reenactorism” and engaged by both newbies and veterans. In this article we will show one of these, the myth of a long belt in Early medieval Europe, following the work done by German reenactor Christopher Kunz. It […]

Early Medieval Mittens and Gloves

Just like in modern population, early medieval people wore mittens and gloves for various reasons. In this article, we will show how these mittens and gloves looked and what was their possible function. By material LeatherThis material section contains leather and fur mittens and gloves. Presumable fragments of leather mitten, find and reconstruction.Museum of Hjørring, […]

The forms of Norwegian sword grips

While self-learning about swords from Early Medieval Norway, I noticed quite a number of specimens having well-preserved organic remnants of hilts and sheaths. Because normally these components do not remain, I considered useful to gather these materials into coherent articles to enrich sword enthusiasts. In this article we will follow up on Norwegian sword hilts […]

Bronze Anglo-Saxon Sword Pommels

In the last months, I have been in touch with Dr. Lee Jones, the early medieval sword enthusiast and collector ( Our cooperation led to two articles published on these websites (see Private Sword with a Wooden Hilt and A Curonian Sword from a Private Collection). This time, Mr. Jones shared another interesting piece from his collection. This article […]

The Helmet from Bojná (?)

Dear reader, this article represents something special for me. It describes the helmet from the 9th or 10th century that was found in Slovakia. Moreover, analogies are also mentioned. The type of the helmet that I call “Prague-Bojná-Gnezdovo” is described in English for the first time. I spent almost four years gaining the information. The […]

The Viking Rangle

Steve Mijatovic This article is to discuss this reasonably common yet rarely recreated Viking Age item. So what exactly is a rangle? A rangle is a type of sliding rattle consisting of a large metal ring which has other smaller rings attached to it, it often has a socket or hasp by which a handle can […]

Vikings were not racists, but …

In last few weeks, I had the chance to read several articles that connect Viking Age with racist and anti-racist movements of different countries. For a person living in the Czech Republic, whose re-enactment scene is not contaminated by racists and is more focused in authenticity, this is an incomprehensible problem. However, I feel the need […]

Реконструкция пояса из Гокстада

Дорогой читатель, добро пожаловать на сайт, посвящённый исследованиям и реконструкции! В этот раз мы рассмотрим фрагменты ремня из могильника Гокстад, находящегося в южной Норвегии. Будучи скрытым под курганом 50х43 метра, он содержал богато украшенный корабль, что сделало его одним из наиболее известных скандинавских захоронений эпохи викингов (больше здесь и здесь). Погребённый был, вероятно, высокопоставленным, приближённым […]

Interview with Ragnar L. Børsheim

“Making reconstructions is a way to how to understand the past.“ Ragnar L. Børsheim is Norwegian archaeologist and artist. After doing his thesis in 1995, he participated several excavations and started to make illustrated reconstructions as a hobby. In those days, he was also learning himself digital and 3D illustrations. After 12 years, in 2007, Ragnar launched his company […]

Gokstad belt recreations

Dear reader, welcome back on this site that is dedicated to research and reenactment! This time, we will examine belt components from Gokstad mound, Southern Norway. Being covered with 50×43 meters big mound and consisting of a richly furnished ship, the grave is one of the most well-known Scandinavian burials (more here and here). The […]

Ламеллярные доспехи эпохи викингов

Перевела Виктория Заблоцкая. Пластинчатая броня до сих пор является популярной темой для обсуждения как среди историков-экспертов, так и среди реконструкторов. Я и сам занимался этим вопросом. Мои исследования привели меня к малоизвестным находкам из Снексгярде, располагающемуся неподалёку от Висбю. Они не сохранились, однако были подробно описаны Нильсом Йоханом Экдалем (1799-1870), так называемым «первым исследователем Готланда”. […]

Lamellás vértek Skandináviában

Fordította Füle Dénes. A lamellás vértezet kérdése nagyon gyakori a szakértők és a hagyományőrzők körében is. Személy szerint gyakran találkoztam ezzel a problémával, ezért összegyűjtöttem néhány irodalmi anyagot. Kutatásaim rekonstruálatlan leletekhez vezettek,a gotlandi Snäckgärde-ből, ami nem messze helyezkedik Visby-től. Ezek a leletek nem maradtak fent, de a lelkészként praktizáló Nils Johan Ekdahlnak (1799–1870) hála a […]

Lamellenrüstungen der Wikingerzeit

Übersetzt von Johannes Bühling. Das Thema Lamellenrüstungen ist unter Fachleuten und Reenactoren gleichermaßen diskutiert. Ich selbst habe mich bereits mehrmals mit diesem Thema auseinandergesetzt und Literatur gesammelt. Bei meinen Nachforschungen stieß ich auf praktisch unbekannte Funde aus Snäckgärde, das in der Nähe von Visby auf Gotland liegt. Die dortigen Funde existieren heute nicht mehr, aber […]

Pancerze lamelkowe w Skandynawii

Przetłumaczone przez Huberta Pieszko, Tyr Hird. Pytanie o pancerz lamelkowy jest popularne zarówno wśród ekspertów jak i rekonstruktorów. Ja osobiście miałem do czynienia z tym problemem kilka razy, dlatego zebrałem na ten temat literaturę. Moje badania doprowadziły mnie do nieznanego w internecie znaleziska z leżącego niedaleko Visby w Gotlandii Snäckgärde. Znaleziska te nie przetrwały, ale […]

Vápnatak 2017

Dva roky poté / Two years later Nacházíme se pod hřebeny Nízkých Tater na pastvinách lemovaných lesy. Kolem táborového ohně se točí ženy připravující jídlo, zatímco někteří muži poměřují své síly v taflu, jiní zápasí a trénují zbraněmi, další se myjí v chladné, zurčící říčce, a ostatní se psem pročesávají okolí. Nezaujatý pozorovatel by mohl […]

The helmet from Tjele

I am very grateful to Mogens Larsen for his help. In 1850, an extraordinary find was discovered by a young farmer in the forest called Lindum Storskov, near Tjele, Denmark. The find consisted of a set of blacksmith equipment – two anvils, five hammers, three tongs, sheet metal shears, two files, a wedge, two nail headers, […]

“The man from Voll”

After a month of hard work, I would like to present my article named “The man from Voll : An example of a well-preserved Norwegian male grave“. In this short article, I provided a summary of the rich and well-preserved content of the 10th century inhumation mound from Voll, Overhalla municipality, Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. The work is supplemented […]

The exhibition “Vikings in Poland?”

I would like to write a short review of an event I had the honour to participate few days ago. As The Museum of the Origins of Polish State in Gniezno (Muzeum Początków Państwa Polskiego w Gnieźnie) kindly asked the group Marobud for some photos of quality costumes, I was invited as a guest to […]

Viking Age crampons

For my entire reenactment career, I have encountered the problem of slippery shoe soles. Some reenactors solve the problem with rubber soles or metal hobnails, but these are not period solutions. Leather soles are extremely slippery on the wet or frozen surfaces, especially when they are a bit used and scuffed, which means the problem has […]

Theories on Norse Padded Armour

Translated by Greg Rice from the Czech original. At the request of many reenactors, who are interested in early medieval warfare, my colleagues Roman Král, Jan Zajíc, Jan Bělina, et al. and I decided to write an article that would provide a comprehensive commentary on the use of padding under armor and fabric armor in […]

O Elmo de Gjermundbu

Esta é uma tradução autorizada de um artigo publicado por Tomáš Vlasatý, colega historiador e recriacionista histórico da República Tcheca, mentor do projeto Forlǫg e membro do grupo Marobud. Você pode apoiar o autor através de seu perfil no site Patreon. Em 30 de março de 1943, a Universidade de Oldsaksamling, em Oslo, obteve informações de que um fazendeiro chamado Lars […]

The Early Medieval Forum, Slovakia

The Early Medieval Forum / Fórum včasného stredoveku (FVS) will take place on February 3, 2017 in Archaeological Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava, Slovak republic. The project is organised by Marobud reenactment group from the Czech Republic and Svjatogor from the Slovak Republic. For a longer period of time I and some of […]

The helmet from Lokrume, Gotland

Since I am deeply interested in Viking Age helmets, I realized there is no comprehensive article about the helmet from Lokrume. That’s why I decided to translate my Czech article, “Přilba z Lokrume“. I believe this might help to reenactors looking for new kind of helmet evidence. The first information about the fragment from Lokrume, […]

The interview for Hella the Viking blog

Recently, I have been offered the chance to answer several questions asked by Marta París Boix (alias Marþa Skogsdottir) from Spanish projects Clan Hávamál and Hella, the Viking blog. When she was making her interview with Maxim Makarov, Marta found the interview I made with him, she contacted me and offered me an interview. The original version in […]

Petersen Type O sword replica

Bringing a thousand years old sword to life In this article, I would like to present the work of my friend and colleague, craftsman Jan Zbránek from Marobud group. With my cooperation, he made an excellent blunt version of the Petersen type O sword from Dukstad (B 1103).   The start The whole project started […]

Algumas Observações Sobre Escudos da Era Viking

Traduzido por: Lucas Carvalho, Vestanspjǫr      Esta é uma tradução autorizada de um artigo publicado por Tomáš Vlasatý, colega historiador e recriacionista histórico da República Tcheca, mentor do projeto Forlǫg e membro do grupo Marobud. Trata-se de uma entrevista com Rolf Warming a respeito dos escudos da Era Viking, especialmente na região da Dinamarca. Você pode apoiar o […]

The helmet from Gjermundbu

On March 30 1943, Universitetets Oldsaksamling in Oslo gained the information that a farmer named Lars Gjermundbo found and dug into a huge mound on his land near the farm of Gjermundbu, Buskerud county, southern Norway. The place was examined by archaeologists (Marstrander and Blindheim) the next month and the result was really fascinating. The mound was […]

Karel’s journey – pilgrimage to Rome

In the time of fast way of living and the focus on making money, one young man decided to break the yoke of modernity, to leave his home and set off for Rome, only in early medieval clothing and with limited knowledge of English. The will to live is his weapon, an unbeatable sense of […]

Interview with Rolf F. Warming

A few notes on Viking Age Shields Rolf Fabricius Warming is Danish archaeologist, whose studies have preeminently been on the subject of combat and conflict in the past, ranging from Mesolithic violence to organized state formation in the early modern period. He holds an MA degree in Maritime Archaeology and is currently finalizing his dissertation project […]

Archaeology of Viking Age Faroe Islands

I have to privilege to present you the article of Czech archeologist, linguist, re-enactor and my friend Ľubomír Novák. This article is an English translation of his two previous articles on Faroese archaeology: Archeologie bez nálezů: nejstarší minulost Faerských ostrovů and Archeologie (skoro) bez nálezů: doba vikinská na Faerských ostrovech. Archaeology of Viking Age Faroe Islands «Maðr er nefndr […]

Lamellar Armours of the Viking Age

This article is a translation of my Czech article Lamelové zbroje ze Snäckgärde?. The article was well accepted and was later translated to Spanish (“Armadura lamellar en la Escandinavia vikinga), German (Lamellenrüstungen der Wikingerzeit), Polish (Pancerze lamelkowe w Skandynawii), Hungarian (Lamellás vértek Skandináviában), Russian (Ламеллярные доспехи эпохи викингов), Italian (Armature Lamellari di epoca vichinga in […]

The sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche

ANALYSIS Sarskoe Gorodishche (Hillfort on the bank of the Sara River) is one of the few settlements on the territory of ancient Russia, where a large amount of Scandinavian material culture occured. Both quality and quantity bears witness of not only trade contacts, but also of direct Scandinavian presence on the site. The most representative collection of Scandinavian objects […]

Scabbard Chapes From Viking Age Norway

I would like to present my catalogue of scabbard chapes used in Viking Age Norway. The catalogue is based on Grieg’s, Paulsen’s and Androshchuk’s lists and an unpublished detector find. The catalogue is not complete and is supplemeted by a map, a graph and tables. Please, let me know if you find what I missed. Thank you. […]

Bag handles

Dear readers, let me present the text about bag handles (bag frames or bag closures) from Haithabu. Below the first picture, you can find the original German text and English and Czech translations. In the end of the post, you can find the table that we prepared for you and that maps Scandinavian bag handles. Correct […]

Scandinavian helmets of the 10th century

In this article, we will have a short look at evidences of helmets used in Scandinavia during the 10th century. Pictures of modern replicas are added as well. Spectacle helmets: Gnëzdovo Gjermundbu Tjele Kyiv Nasal helmets: Middleton Prague Unknown types: Lokrume Birka Russian helmets in Scandinavia: Birka Conclusion Bibliography Spectacle helmets Gnëzdovo Object, context A head on the […]

Organic axe sheaths of 9th-12th century

Axes are popular weapons and tools in Viking Age reenactment. However, their owners do not often care about them and we can see a lot of rusted axe heads during historical festivals. Every hiker knows that a sheath is necessary in order to keep the blade sharp and in good condition. Nevertheless, the best is, as always, a responsible […]

Jan Petersen

Můj přítel Šimon Tesař, který studuje norštinu, se rozhodl napsat shrnující článek o významném norském archeologovi Janu Petersenovi, jehož jméno je v českém prostředí poměrně neznámé. Tuto práci jsme doplnili obrázky a přeložili jsme ji do angličtiny. Doufáme, že se Vám článek bude líbit! Článek si můžete stáhnout zde (v českém PDF): My friend Šimon Tesař […]

Inspiration #16, The Birka Warrior

The 16th part of so-called “inspiromat” will be a little bit special because it is the first bilingual article I have written so far. We are going to meet impressive Swedish reenactor Fredrik Hellman, who kindly answered my questions. Fredrik calls himself “a free Viking”, which means that he is not a member of any group. […]