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The Viking Axe from Langeid recreated

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In March 2016, the Langeid Broadaxe was recreated using the forging techniques that were on hand at the time of the Vikings. The replica was produced from scratch, from bog iron blooms. The work involved refining the raw iron, producing hardenable steel for the cutting edge, and forging the actual axe head. Finally, the axe was hafted and tested on a leg of pork.

The blacksmiths were Vegard Vike and Anders Helseth Nilsson.

Exclusive and well preserved

The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo holds only six axes of this type in its collection – broadaxes with brass haft banding. Of the six, the Langeid Axe is best preserved; it was found in an extraordinary grave from the latter part of the Viking Age.

The project

The making of the axe gave us numerous challenges, some surprises and much new knowledge. The journey from bog iron to finished axe is presented here in a number of short articles, each focusing on one of the many part processes. Read more ...

Gallery

The project was documented as it unfolded, with hundreds of pictures providing a detailed photographic record. The selection available here provides a step-by-step guide to the making of the axe. The menu gives access to more extensive sub galleries, each dedicated to a specific part process. See more photos ...

Video

Our documentation strategy included the making of a video for the purpose of dissemination. Consequently, the various processes were captured on film. There is a long version (24:04 min), an edited short version (4:23 min) and a number of film clips. See more video ...