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Forged to kill – the re-creation of a Viking axe

See original and copy of the Viking axe, photographs and videos of the forging process in the Viking Ship Museum.


© Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo/ Kirsten Helgeland

An unusual grave

In 2011 archaeologists discovered a burial ground near Langeid in the Setesdal valley. Among a dozen graves, one stood out. It had substantial post holes in the corners, possibly originally supporting a roof. A magnificent Viking Age sword and a large broadaxe was found in the grave.

A broadaxe

In the latter part of the Viking Age, the Vikings designed an axe intended for use in battle: the broadaxe. This was a streamlined and elegant weapon, yet hard-hitting and lethal. People feared the professional broadaxe-wielding warriors.

Recreated from bog iron

The Vikings produced iron from rust deposits collected from boggy ground. This iron formed the starting point of our axe-making project. Through viking age blacksmithing techniques we recreated the Langeid broadaxe.

The axe-projects webpage contains videos and picture galleries of the axe making process. 

Published Mar. 19, 2020 10:32 AM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 8:27 AM