Large Pictures 1    Chapter 11.3

Here are some replicas of old pattern welded swords. They were made by master smith
Patrick Barta. This link leads to a huge picture.
From left to right:
  • 9th century AD. Found 1876 near the village Turcianská Blatnica in Slovakia.
    Now in the Hungarian National Museum, Budapest. The original looks like this
  • 6th century AD. blade: Vehmaa, Finland; pommel and scabbard fittings: Aker, Norway; grip: Roes, Norway
  • around 575 AD; Valsgärde grave 7/I, Sweden
Pattern welded swords
Link to text
  From left to right:
  • Around 575 AD. Valsgärde grave 7/I, Sweden
  • Around 500 AD. Found in Pleidelsheim (grave 71), next to my home town, Germany
  • 3rd century AD. Roman sword of Podlodow type. Podlodow museum, Poland.
Pattern welded swords
Link to text Source: From the Internet pages of Patrick Barta;; with permission.
The time line of Danish bog treasures or war booty sacrifices. "Defined dates" means that a radio carbon analysis
or some other quantitative analysis like dendrochronology has been done. Undefined dates means that I have found
relatively precise dates somewhere but without a clear reference to how they were obtained.
Different places are often treated as groups; this is indicated by a certain color. The "Vimose 3 group", for example is
dark yellow and includes Thorsbjerk and Porskjær. Some places belong to two groups.
Archaeologists like to define certain periods, like B1a, B1b, and so on; they are given relative to the normal time scale.
The major non-Roman cultures / ethnities / tribal entities are also given. While the Merovingians ruled the "South", the
"North" experienced the "Vendel period" (There are no "Vendels", however). All these cultures were into pattern welded
swords. The Vikings came after the "Vendel period"; they are outside the scale of the drawing.
Time-line of Danish bog treasures
Link to text Source: Constructed with data from "Sieg und Triumph" and from all over.
The "common" classification of swords from about 0 AD - 500 AD and mostly found in Northern Europe, e.g. in
Danish Bogs, Scandinavia, Poland, ... (the "Barbaricum).
Refer to the main text for the abbreviations.
Sword types 1st millennium
Link to text Source: Based on figures in Illerup Ådal; Vol. 11, 12
A map of (Northern) Europe, defining some terms and showing where swords of the "Canterbury-Kopki" type had been found.
Map of Canterbury- Kopki sword findings
Link to text Source: Based on a figure in Illerup Ådal; Vol. 11, 12
Typical hilts during certain periods.
Hilts of early 1st millennium swords
Link to text Source: Based on a figure in Illerup Ådal; Vol. 11, 12
A rather badly corroded part of a sword from the Nydam treasure.
Complex pattern welded Nydam sword part
Link to text
Percentage of sword type within a certain time period.
The color gives the type, the length of the lines the percentage assigned to a certain time slot.
The position of the lines on the time scale is more or less arbitrary within the proper time slot(s).
Timeline of sword types, 1st millennium
Link to text Source: Based on a figure in Illerup Ådal; Vol. 11, 12
An excellent overview ot the patterns found on swords from Danish bogs
These swords are from around 150 AD - 400 AD; see the picture right above.
All except the ones with red names were fond in Illerup Ådal
Details to some of these sword in this link.
Pattern welding patterns; overview
Link to text Source: Based on a figure in Illerup Ådal; Vol. 11, 12
Here are two large versions of the "Illerup" sword with an incrustation of the god Mars:
Illerup sword with incrustation
Illerup sword with incrustation
Link to text Source: Internet, from (Danish) museum site
  We can see that the blade is indeed riveted to the tang and that the incrustation is
rather not from (pure) copper but possibly from two metals, one being brass (?).
In particular, however, it becomes very clear that the cutting edges were made from faggoted steel.
It also appears that the part containing the figure consists of homogeneous iron or steel that was
welded to the main blade.
Plate VI "Damascened Swords of Iron 1 (Nydam)" in Engelhardt's 1856 book
Engelhardt plate Nydam swords
Link to text 1 Link to text 2 Source: Engelhardt; photographed in the library of the "Schleswig-Holstein Landesmuseum".
Plate VII "Damascened Swords of Íron 2 (Nydam)" in Engelhardt's 1856 book
Engelhardt plate Nydam swords
Source: Engelhardt; photographed in the library of the "Schleswig-Holstein Landesmuseum".
Some objects form Vimose 2 (around 70 AD - 150 AD)
Vimose 2 finds
Link to text Source: Compiled from pictures in "Sieg und Triumph"
Some finds from Thorsbjerg
Finds from Thorsbjerg
Link to text Source: Booklet to the special "Opferplätze der Eiszeit" exhibition, Schleswig, 2000
Drawings of Alemannic swords form the Sindelfingen area; mostly from 550 AD - 700 AD
Alemannic spathae / swords from South germany
Link to text Source

With frame With frame as PDF

go to Books and Other Major Sources

go to Damascene Meanings

go to Fire Welding

go to

go to Critical Museum Guide: Landesmuseum Schleswig-Holstein in Schleswig, Germany

go to Critical Museum Guide: "The Vikings" Special Exhibition from Oct. 2014 - Jan. 2015 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau

go to 11.3 Pattern Welding 11.3.1 Background to Pattern Welding

go to Radiocarbon (C14) Dating

go to Nydam

go to Danish Bog Sacrifices

go to 11.4.2 Blades of Viking Era Swords

go to Sword Polishing and Revealing the Pattern / Structure

go to Faggoting

go to 11.3.3 Evolution of Pattern Welding

go to "Damascene" Patterns

go to 11.3.2 More to Pattern Welding

go to Illerup Swords with Special Patterns

go to Northern Sword Types of the First Millennium

go to Serpent in the Sword

go to Käthe Harnecker and Wootz Blades

go to Additional Pictures

go to Illerup Ådal

go to Making Palmette Patterns

go to 11.6 Japanese Swords 1.6.1 The Myth and the History of the Japanese Sword

go to Some Less Important

go to Maps of Various Cultures

go to Mythology of Wootz Swords: Cutting a Stone

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