Some Less Important Danish Bogs

First items, including swords, were found by a fishermen in 1849. The offerings had been ritually destroyed and are heavily corroded.
10 sword fragments, heavily corroded but with some pattern welding and of probably Roman origin, were found.
Newer and superficial investigations did not yield new results. Dallerup seems to offer nothing that is of interest for iron steel and swords. Forget it.
Esbjøl is a big side - physically and with regard to the discoveries made there. When parts of the bog was drained in 1955, many (around 1700) objects were found, most of it general army stuff including swords. In the wrong believe that everything of interest had been found, the area was partially flooded again - big mistake!
Some digging was resumed in 1988 and one might presume that swords of interest were found. However, there is not much I could find out about the Esbjøl swords. Here are a few numbers:
  • About 130 swords from deposits around 300 AD and 400 AD
  • A few with "factory stamp"; one with incrustations.
  • Often badly corroded. More than 20 % definitely Roman, possibly most.
  • At least 12 swords are pattern welded (seen on X-ray analysis) possibly most.
There is also a book:
Source: Amazon
In 1998 pieces of a precious belt with lots of gold, silver precious stones etc. were found, and there is probably a lot more to be found in times to come.
Large bog, 1901 some systematic digging. About 100 objects including swords, spear and lance points were found. They are form the C2 period, i.e. around 20 Ad
I couldn't find anything about the swords Let's forget it - for the time being.
Illemose is huge - 60.000 m2 or more - and has yielded artifacts for a long time. In 1845 the Celtic "Rynkeby cauldron" was found, a silver cauldron akin to the world-famous Gundestrup cauldron if smaller an heavily damaged.
1893 some professional digging took place, a first publication appeared 1901.
The 50 known objects today are form the C1 period ( arond 200± AD). Only 1 sword of the Vilmose-Illerup type is know; it carries a stamp and is certainly Roman.
There might be more, far more, but until digging is resumed we will not know.
Kragehul is a big place covering about 10.000 m2. Engelhardt already dug in the central area between 1864 and 1877; since then no more digging was done.
The site contained five deposits of military equipment from the period 200 AD to 475 AD. including a (famous) spear with a runic inscriptions that reads:
"I, the nobleman of A-sugi-salaz, am called Muha, ga-ga-ga!"
The "ga-ga-ga" part has triggered many fancy research papers.
Engelhardt mentions 10 swords, 80 spear and lance points, and so on. The general appearance is similar to Nydam.
Here is an elaborate silver hilt from Kraehul:
Sword hilt from Kragehul
Sword hilt from Kragehul
Source: Copenhagen museum
First finds in Porskjær were made around 1870 by peat diggers and induced Conrad Engelhardt to do some systematic digging in 1979 / 80. The precise position is a bit unclear today, the potentially interesting area is huge.
  Since iron objects were found the environment must have been basic, probably from lime deposits on the sea floor. The finds must have come from several deposits in different periods; the oldest from "C1b" or 230 ± 20 AD the youngest from the migration period (380 - 490 AD).
There might have been sword blades but I couldn't find any data.
Thorsbjerg is special for 2 reasons:
  1. It is not in Denmark but in Germany.
  2. It was he first bog to be "scientifically" excavated - by Engelhardt.
The bog is acidic so no iron parts could be found. However, plenty of other objects - including sword hilts, perfectly preserves wooden sword sheaths, and a silver mask!
Thorsbjerg finds
Thorsbjerg finds
Large picture
Source: Ruth Blankenfeldt und Andreas Rau: "Skandinavische Kriegsbeuteopfer Befunde, Funde und Interpretationen"; Internet; no citations given
The publications of these finds not only started the interest in Danish bogs but a kind of "gold rush".
Find around 1880, no iron weapons, but parts of a wooden wagon!
Tranebaer wagon
The wooden wagon parts from Tranebær
Source: Danish History site; © Magnus Petersen,
Otherwise: Forget it!
Trinnemose is a small and acidic bog - no iron objects survived. It was already cleared out in the 19th century. Some bronze stuff survived, including fittings from sword sheaths.
It appears that just one sacrifice of army things took place around "C1b" or 230 ± 20 AD.
Forget it.
Again, some stuff (iron lance points, horse gear, bronze and silver: about 40 objects) were discovered already in the 19th century. That's it.
Let's forget it - for the time being.

With frame With frame as PDF

go to Books and Other Major Sources

go to Early Metal Technology - 2. Silver and Lead

go to Critical Museum Guide: Dresden

go to Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung"

go to Nydam

go to Danish Bog Sacrifices

go to Large Pictures 1

go to "Damascene" Patterns

go to Large Pictures chapter 11.4

go to Large Pictures 2 - Chapter 11.3

go to Sword Names

go to Migration Period Swords and Fancy Hilts & Pommels

go to Northern Sword Types of the First Millennium

go to Old Sagas, Heroes and Swords

go to Metallography of 8th / 9th Century Swords and Saxes

go to Analyzing the Forging of a "Viking" Sword

go to Radiographie Study of Pattern Welded Swords

go to Theoderic's "Thank You" letter

go to Large Pictures 3

© H. Föll (Iron, Steel and Swords script)