Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Iron Age Swords of Kragehul Mose (Bog), Funen, Denmark Reply to topic
 
Author Message
Niels Just Rasmussen




Usergroups: None

Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Spotlight topics: 14
Posts: 317
PostPosted: Mon 02 Feb, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject: Iron Age Swords of Kragehul Mose (Bog), Funen, Denmark         Reply with quote

The lille bog “Kragehul Mose“ east or Assens on Funen was excavated very early.

The first finds were the result of peat-digging and was reported by Søren Abildgaard (the father of the famous painted Nikolaj Abildgaard) in 1761. Items with runic inscriptions were uncovered, but are all sadly lost today.

During the 1800's more stuff was found and in 1864-65 Conrad Engelhardt made an 40 square meter excavation (the rest had already been harvested by the peat diggers). Some important finds of weapons were unearthed and a few more in later 1870's diggings.

The Yearbook for “Nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie“ from 1866 is here (in Danish):
https://ia600502.us.archive.org/0/items/aarbgerfornord1866norduoft/aarbgerfornord1866norduoft.pdf
Engelhardt's Kragehul Mose report is from page 157.
It is interesting that the area was full of weapons (spears, swords and arrows, some in bundles) deliberately vertically pushed into the bog without any seemingly plan except for some spears that seemed to form a perimeter of the site.
The bog was not excellent for preservation of iron since bog acid had attacked it.

Most of the weapons were deliberately destroyed. Many spears has several hacks on the edges and most weapons were also bent. On page 162 is a picture of a sword half drawn from it's scabbard.
He reports the recovery of 9 swords. All are double edged and all pattern welded. 30 wooden spear-shafts were decorated with patterns. 80 iron spears, 1 bow and numerous arrows were also recovered.

He then wrote a major report about Kragehul Mose in 1867 “Kragehul mosefund. 1751-1865: et overgangsfund mellem den ældre jernalder og mellem-jernalderen“: Online here:
Source: http://books.google.dk/books?id=JJoNAAAAQAAJ&...mp;f=false

Studies have shown that Kragehul Mose was used several times for sacrifice:
1) 150-200 AD: Very few items recovered.
2) 300 AD : Large deposit.
3) “Latest Roman Iron Age“ - 400 AD: Large deposit.
4) Continuous smaller deposits until the ~500's AD: Fewer items

The hourglass-formed hilts were from the 3rd deposit period, though it is unclear whether the cylinder formed hilts are from period 2 or 3?

So here are a picture of the three most famous swords:

Source:http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Danmarks_Oldtid/%C3%86ldre_Jernalder/Angreb_fra_%C3%B8st_200-400_e.Kr/Fortsatte_v%C3%A5benofringer

The cylinder formed sword-hilt can be seen up close here:
http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2098
A gorgeous copy is made by Patrick Bárta:
http://www.templ.net/pics-weapons/148-sword/148-corpus-v.jpg

A bend sword without hilt (likely the sword that Engelhardt reported was half drawn from scabbard?): http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/2199

One of the hourglass hilted swords:
http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/1589
Here a closer picture of the hilt:
http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/736

Scabbard:
http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DO/1584

On a spear shaft from Kragehul dated 400-500 AD you also have an early fairly long runic inscription:
ek e͡rila͡z asugisalas m͡uh͡a h͡aite g͡ag͡ag͡a ginu g͡ah͡e ... lija ... hagala wiju big- .
[A concave line over the letters indicate binding runes]
Picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kragehul_I#media...agehul.jpg

Translation of the first part is fairly easy [though nothing with runes is easy)
“I ErilaR (Earl or Heruli?) of Asugislas (= Æsir-hostage, stands in genitive), Muha (personal name, “service“?, servant) called“
OR
“I Asgisl's “Eril“ called Muha“.

The latter part is way more tricky to translate: “g͡ag͡ag͡a ginu g͡ah͡e ... lija ... hagala wiju big-“ .
gagaga is likely a magical incantation:
The remaining part have many possible translations, as can be seen here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kragehul_I

One of the more cool inscription. Certainly a lot of sacred focus in that spear.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Tue 10 Feb, 2015 7:13 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message
Niels Just Rasmussen




Usergroups: None

Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Spotlight topics: 14
Posts: 317
PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forgot to add that a recent book about the finds was released in 2010, by the Archaeological Society of Jutland. It is in German with an English summery: I do not own it, but it should contain pictures of the swords (at least the front page does).



Jysk Arkæologisk Selskabs Skrifter (73)
Iversen, Rasmus Birch
Kragehul Mose - Ein Kriegsbeuteopfer auf Südwestfünen
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Bunker




Usergroups: None

Location: Somerset UK
Posts: 422
PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can confirm that the recent publication includes photographs and line drawings of all of the swords, scabbard elements, spears, shield fittings etc from the Kragehul excavations.
The English summary is 10 pages long and enough to allow the book to be easily usable for those who struggle with German.

It is one of many recent publications relating to the Danish bog deposits, published as part of the 'Järnålder i Nordeuropa' project.

I've taken a lot of pictures of bog finds from the various museums, if you're interested.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
View user's profile Send private message
Niels Just Rasmussen




Usergroups: None

Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Spotlight topics: 14
Posts: 317
PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
I can confirm that the recent publication includes photographs and line drawings of all of the swords, scabbard elements, spears, shield fittings etc from the Kragehul excavations.
The English summary is 10 pages long and enough to allow the book to be easily usable for those who struggle with German.

It is one of many recent publications relating to the Danish bog deposits, published as part of the 'Järnålder i Nordeuropa' project.

I've taken a lot of pictures of bog finds from the various museums, if you're interested.


That would be great to see some of these picture. Wink
Many of the finds are on exhibition in local museums, so it takes some effort to get a good picture collection.
Nice to get confirmed that the recent publication have good description of the finds with both pictures and drawings. I assume that the pictures I gave the link to from the Danish National Museum might be the same used in this publication, or do they differ?
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Iron Age Swords of Kragehul Mose (Bog), Funen, Denmark
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2015 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum