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Thread: The Oldest Sword/Axe to Have Been Found in Northern Germany

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    Question The Oldest Sword/Axe to Have Been Found in Northern Germany

    Could somebody provide me with a link or pictures of the oldest sword/axe to have been found in Northern Germany,specifically around the Schleswig-Holstein region?
    Thank you.

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    I don't know about Schleswig-Holstein specifically, but these are from South Jutland in Denmark, which borders Schleswig-Holstein. They are from Hjortspring Mose and are the oldest I can think of.

    http://www2.rgzm.de/Navis/Ships/Ship...ge/006f004.jpg

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    I didnt find a Sword or an Axe, but i did find the oldest Spear found in Schöningen, Germany.

    http://www.bookofjoe.com/2005/05/worlds_oldest_w.html

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    Oh wait. For some reason I was thinking only in the Iron Age context. There are Bronze Age swords in the area too... I'll get back to you on that one.

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    Thank you all

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    Graduate Student Discovers One of World’s Oldest Swords in Mislabeled Monastery Display


    At 5,000 years old, the weapon predates the era when humans first started using tin to make bronze.





    Serafino Jamourlian of the monastery of San Lazzaro degli Armeni and Vittoria Dall'Armellina with a newly rediscovered 5000-year-old sword (Andrea Avezzu)
    h a newly rediscovered 5,000-year-old sword (An

    Just weeks after a team of German researchers announced that an archaeology intern had unearthed a spectacular, 2,000-year-old Roman dagger in North Rhine-Westphalia, headlines are touting another student-led discovery centered on one of the oldest swords ever found.


    Italian archaeologist Vittoria Dall’Armellina stumbled upon the blade in a monastery-turned-museum during her tenure as a graduate student at Venice’s Ca’ Foscari University in 2017. Billed in its display as medieval—perhaps several hundred years old at most—the sword struck Dall’Armellina, an expert in Bronze Age artifacts, as something far more ancient.
    “I was pretty sure of the antiquity of the sword,” Dall’Armellina tells
    Live Science’s Tom Metcalfe in an email.


    Housed at a monastery on the Venetian island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, the blade boasted a distinctive shape that reminded the young archaeologist of some of the oldest swords known to humankind, which date back to around 3,000 B.C. and were recovered from sites in western Asia. To confirm her suspicions, Dall’Armellina and her colleagues spent the next two years tracing the artifact’s origins back in time through a series of monastic archives.


    After much digging, the team realized that the sword was discovered at Kavak, a settlement near the ancient Greek colony of Trebizond in what’s now eastern Turkey, some 150 years ago. Shortly after, it fell into the hands of Armenian art collector Yervant Khorasandjian, who then gifted it to a monk named Ghevont Alishan. Upon Alishan’s death in 1901, the monastery acquired his belongings—including the sword, which they mistook for a recent construction.




    This 5,000-year-old weapon, made of an alloy of arsenic and copper, may be among the world's oldest swords.

    (Ca 'Foscari University of Venice)
    A chemical analysis of the sword solidified its ancient roots. Fashioned from a combination of copper and arsenic—one of the earliest forms of bronze—the weapon almost certainly predates the late third millennium B.C., when humans first transitioned to blending bronze using tin. The blade’s sculpting resembles that of a pair of twin swords found at Arslantepe, another archaeological site that’s been dated to about the third or fourth millennium B.C., according to a statement.


    Believed to be among the first swords ever constructed, the Arslantepe duo now has company—though a few lingering questions about the San Lazzaro degli Armeni blade remain. After millennia of degradation, the weapon no longer carries traces of use, if any ever existed at all. Though swords were certainly invented for their utility on the battlefield, they also served as commemorative symbols, following warriors into the grave.


    “Local chiefs were buried with a lot of weapons and other precious objects,” Ca’ Foscari University archaeologist Elena Rova tells Live Science. “They probably wanted to emphasize their status as warriors.”


    Separated from its human partner, the sword still has much of its story to tell. But Dall’Armellina’s discovery, at least, adds a few thousand years to a history formerly forgotten.


    Graduate Student Discovers One of World's Oldest Swords in ...


    17 III 2020.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurfaxt View Post
    Could somebody provide me with a link or pictures of the oldest sword/axe to have been found in Northern Germany,specifically around the Schleswig-Holstein region?
    Thank you.
    You might visit Gottorf Castle , which is a museum , with artefacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages .

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottorf_Castle
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    That is not a sword. It is a dagger.

    And when we compare it to modern examples we see a total lack of evolution in anything except materials. Double edged tapered blade, check. (I would bet that it even has a decent distal taper.) Cross-guard, check. Pommel, check. In every bit the modern pattern. If you had asked a 15th century smith to cast a dagger in bronze, this is more or less what he would have come up with. And his customers would have approved.

    If there were any form of evolution it must have taken place long before this example was manufactured. And I do not believe that we, the human species, came up with the perfect dagger at the first attempt. So there is a long tradition, at least a few generations or so, of metal weapons that predate this specimen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    That is not a sword. It is a dagger.

    And when we compare it to modern examples we see a total lack of evolution in anything except materials. Double edged tapered blade, check. (I would bet that it even has a decent distal taper.) Cross-guard, check. Pommel, check. In every bit the modern pattern. If you had asked a 15th century smith to cast a dagger in bronze, this is more or less what he would have come up with. And his customers would have approved.

    If there were any form of evolution it must have taken place long before this example was manufactured. And I do not believe that we, the human species, came up with the perfect dagger at the first attempt. So there is a long tradition, at least a few generations or so, of metal weapons that predate this specimen.
    It is probably not the very first of its kind, but I don't see a huge difference in form between this copper dagger and some late Neolithic flint daggers. Take this dagger found in Norway, for instance, dated do around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC (only around 500 years older than the copper dagger in question) :



    I'm sure they didn't use flint daggers completely bare like we see them today, but probably fitted with guards, handles and pommels (depending on their intended area of use) of wood, leather and various fabrics, similar to the swords we find from the Medieval era. In that case, it doesn't take a huge evolution of form to go from flint daggers to these copper ones, by casting the same shape in a mold, and making the whole piece out of a single integral material, instead of several different components.

    I don't know much about the history behind swords and daggers, but that's just my hypothesis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ţoreiđar View Post
    It is probably not the very first of its kind, but I don't see a huge difference in form between this copper dagger and some late Neolithic flint daggers. Take this dagger found in Norway, for instance, dated do around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC (only around 500 years older than the copper dagger in question) :



    I'm sure they didn't use flint daggers completely bare like we see them today, but probably fitted with guards, handles and pommels (depending on their intended area of use) of wood, leather and various fabrics, similar to the swords we find from the Medieval era. In that case, it doesn't take a huge evolution of form to go from flint daggers to these copper ones, by casting the same shape in a mold, and making the whole piece out of a single integral material, instead of several different components.

    I don't know much about the history behind swords and daggers, but that's just my hypothesis.
    Probably true to a certain degree. Mush of what is effective for flint dagger is probably also effective for a bronze dagger.

    But, also, look at the craftsmanship displayed in the dagger; that is not the first go, and whoever made that certainly learnt his trade from someone else.

    The flint daggers probably had their handles wrapped with cord and leather, and so on. But looking at the specimens, and searching through the Internet, I cannot find any examples of cross-guards other than in modern "inspired" flint daggers. Not do we see pommels, because I do not think that a stone dagger, having about 40% of the density of a copper dagger, would need one. No, what we see here is the end of an evolutionary process. Since that dagger, not much has happened in the design of dagger. In fact, it seems to be a better design than the famous Fairbairn-Sykes with its round handle.

    It has some semblance to a medieval rondel dagger. It is clearly designed to be used with a hammer grip, tip up or tip down, to punch through thick materials. That is what you would carry if you expected an opponent with a gambeson or other type of thick fabric armor. It was made for a specific purpose, to defeat armor and protection designed to protect against it.

    This is clearly the advanced product of a long evolutionary process. History began earlier that ẃe commonly think.

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