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From "S".

The sword comes from North Germany.



The offset arrangement of hilt and blade, in my opinion, has a meaning, a purpose: I wrote some notes on it and I attached a pdf with my opinions about this asymmetry.



The Migration period blades had often parallel edges till the tip, you can observe this on Behmer's classification of these swords, and a clear example of this are the Langobardic swords  (till the 8th) century that were parallel: many of them are inIitalian museums and at least 5 are in Milan's Archaeological Museum (the swords of Langobard aristocratic tombs of Trezzo d'Adda).



These parallel blades were typical of cavalry barbarians, as far as I know, as the Langobards or the Goths were.



The weight is huge, but many Viking swords had a comaparble weight, many swords with a blade of 75 cm could weight kg. 1,5, and you can see this in Pierce's "Viking Swords". It looks too thick, but it's so thick because of the crusty shell that encloses it, in the stripped parts you can see that it's not so thick.



The "silver" surface is not gleaming metal, the "naked metal" is not visible at all, if you look under this "silver paint"  you see that the metal is rusted and patinated. The rust comes from under the paint and the paint oxydizes in a blue/black colour. This is not a patina like the one you see on iron, it is a layer of material that covers the painted surface but that also protects it.



Oakeshott talkes about this phenomenon in "The archaeology of weapons" p. 230, referring to a sword that showed this blue black layer, that, once taken away (not by cleaning, it falls away in scales if you prick it with an awl) revealed a painted surface. I saw this happening with this sword. I wil send some photos of iron knives, undoubtely genuine, with the same "silvery paint", that I discovered in the same manner.



Another clue is that I saw some runic writings under the "shell" and not those well-done decorative runes that we can see on some famous artifacts, but roughly writings in a chaotic way, more the job of an ancient owner than that of a modern  fake-workshop.



This "shell" has protected the metal underneath, maybe it could be a muddy crust, and mud avoids that oxygen reacts with metal, that's why river finds are better that the others, and I suppose that this is why the edges are not pitted or corroded.





The second photo of the guard surface is in different lighting.



An interesting hypothesis!


I wonder if the fact that this example does have an unusually long tang, it was meant to be used two handed, whether ancient or  not. That might also account for the fact that the whole piece seems on the heavy side.


From "S".

I wondered  about the two-handed use too, maybe it could have been used one-handed on horse and two-handed on foot.


All cavalry barbarians used to fight on horse and as infantry, so this double utilisation is at least possible.


I also wondered about the fact that a cavalry sword needed to be thicker than others because a downward blow from up on the horse  suffers the effect of gravity and the force that the blade has to bear is much bigger than the one of a sword used in a "horzontal" fight, between two infantry warriors.



Well, many thanks for this contribution to the website.

I do hope that others reading this will want to contribute to the discussion.

I will post  a message on the yahoo group: I'm sure that there are many there who will be interested.


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