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.
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.