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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Illerup; A Scandinavian migration period army Reply to topic
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Illerup; A Scandinavian migration period army         Reply with quote

Sometime in the late roman period, an army was defeated in denmark. As a offering to the gods, the victors destroyed their equipment, and sacrificed it in a nearby lake.
The lake later dried out, and was recently excavated, yielding some 15000 items, some in very good condition.


http://www.illerup.dk/deepweb.php?top=29&language=0





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Allan Senefelder




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a HUGE find. I suspect it will take years to catalog and learn all that is to be learned from this find and I can imagine how much new information there will be from it.
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Risto Rautiainen




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that. Great stuff. Now to find someone danish to translate that whole site for us. Big Grin
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Wolfgang Armbruster




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting!
Any info on who the combatants were? Was it Danes against Danes (if we can even call em that already) or was it an enemy from somewhere else?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Astonishing! The reconstruction details of the baldrics and shields alone is enough to keep us occupied in the workshop for years! Thanks for the link!
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Morten Lundsteen




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto Rautiainen wrote:
Thanks for posting that. Great stuff. Now to find someone danish to translate that whole site for us. Big Grin


Hi there

I will not promise to translate the whole site Big Grin - but have you any specific txt you want to read - let me know.

Kind regards
Morten
Copenhagen Denmark
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Felix Wang




PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A very interesting site. Thanks for posting it. I do have a question, though, which I have posted on Swordforum: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=66095
It refers to a sculpture shown on one of the linked articles, which shows something that looks very much like ring armour. I don't know if you could comment, but I would appreciate it if there is any useful information about this armour.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This page has an English language article about the weapons found at the site (two versions, PDF and HTML):

http://www.illerup.dk/deepweb.php?top=30&language=0

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Risto Rautiainen




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, here goes. I'm particularly interested in the runes.

Quote:
Lansespids med runer: Næroptagelse af lansespids. WAGNIJO, stemplet med runer, læses fra højre mod venstre.

Quote:
Høvl med runer: Delvist ulæselig indskrift på en stagehøvl, afilad??

Quote:
Drikkehorn med runer: Fu??R – fra, to uforståelige indskrifter på bronzebeslagene til drikkehorn.

Quote:
Lansespids med runer: wagnijo, mandsnavn på lansespids, læses fra højre mod venstre.

Quote:
Skjoldhåndtag med runer: nithijo tawide, mandsnavnet nithijo og udsagnsordet gjorde på et skjoldhåndtag af sølv, læses fra højre mod venstre.

Quote:
Skjoldhåndtag med runer: laguthewa, mandsnavn på et skjoldhåndtag af sølv, læses fra højre mod venstre.

Quote:
Skjoldhåndtag med runer: swarta, mandsnavn på et skjoldhåndtag af bronze, læses fra venstre mod højre.

Quote:
Dupsko med runer: firha(?), delvist ulæselig indskrift på dupsko (sværdskedebeslag) af bronze.

Quote:
Ildstål med runer: gauthR, mandsnavn (?) ridset på et ildstålshåndtag af træ, læses fra venstre mod højre.


Some of it I understand through my inferior knowledge of swedish, but I'd still like a translation
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Wolfgang Armbruster




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice, there's a German version as well. Happy
I'll read it and then try to sum up the important things.

Edit: The article I've just read suggests that the spears,lances and shields were all made in Denmark or northern Europe. The swords however include a large number of Roman imports which sounds very plausible if you look at the hilts.
Alltogether far more spears were found thand swords.


Last edited by Wolfgang Armbruster on Wed 26 Apr, 2006 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been to the display at moesgård, wich is very nice. The excavation reports fill several large tomes.
They have a lot of stuff on display, including sword blades, some of them pattern welded.

Concerning the mail picture, it looks like a stone carver who didn't think it worth it to chiccle out mail, and drilled holes instead Wink

Edit: Judging by the style of the craftmanship on the personal items, the army was from norway. (or, rather, what is to become Norway)
Swords could have been bought in bulk from roman merchants in england or gaul.
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Benjamin Larsen




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hey Risto

sorry about my english, i have not used it for a couple of years.
ok here we go:

[Lansespids med runer: Næroptagelse af lansespids. WAGNIJO, stemplet med runer, læses fra højre mod venstre.]

Lancehead with the runes: close up of lancehead. WAGNIJO, stamped with runes, Is read from right to left.

[Høvl med runer: Delvist ulæselig indskrift på en stagehøvl, afilad??]

Plane with runes: partly illegible inscription on a (pole plane?), afilad??

[Drikkehorn med runer: Fu??R – fra, to uforståelige indskrifter på bronzebeslagene til drikkehorn.]

Drinking horn with runes: Fu??R, two illegible inscription on the bronze plate for a Drinking horn.

[Lansespids med runer: wagnijo, mandsnavn på lansespids, læses fra højre mod venstre.]

Lancehead with the runes: wagnijo, male name on a Lancehead, Is read from right to left.

[Skjoldhåndtag med runer: nithijo tawide, mandsnavnet nithijo og udsagnsordet gjorde på et skjoldhåndtag af sølv, læses fra højre mod venstre. ]

Shieldhandle with the runes: nithijo tawide, the male name nithijo and the word tawide (did) on a shieldhandle of silver, Is read from right to left.

[Skjoldhåndtag med runer: laguthewa, mandsnavn på et skjoldhåndtag af sølv, læses fra højre mod venstre.]

Shieldhandle with the runes: laguthewa, male name on a shieldhandle of silver, Is read from right to left.

[Skjoldhåndtag med runer: swarta, mandsnavn på et skjoldhåndtag af bronze, læses fra venstre mod højre.]

Shieldhandle with the runes: swarta, male name on a shieldhandle of bronze, Is read from right to left.

[Dupsko med runer: firha(?), delvist ulæselig indskrift på dupsko (sværdskedebeslag) af bronze. ]

Ferrule with runes: firha(?),partly illegible inscription on a ferrule of bronze.

[Ildstål med runer: gauthR, mandsnavn (?) ridset på et ildstålshåndtag af træ, læses fra venstre mod højre. ]

Firesteal? with runes: gauthR, male name (?) carved in wood, Is read from right to left.

Hope it helps

best regards[/quote]
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Benjamin Larsen




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hey again

have you seen that three of the articles is in english?

http://www.illerup.dk/deepweb.php?top=30&language=0
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Arne Focke




PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Normaly i am just reading in this forum (please excuse my rusty English), but since i have just worked (well, not just, bust several months ago) with the lance heads in the moesgård museum i might give you a few advises.

There is an english book about this bog find called: Illerup Adal: Archaeology as a Magic Mirror, written by Jørgen Ilkjær.
It is just an overview, but it will give you a good idea what this bog find is about.
The main publication on this topic will consist of 11 volumes, also by J. Ilkjær. Ten are available already, the last one (about the swords) should be published shortly. Sadly, for you (i don't mind it Wink ) they are only in German an Danish.

Some of the Material points to the scandinavian region as origin of the attackers, whose weapons where deposited there.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Felix Wang




PostPosted: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very useful stuff, everyone - thanks.

If I am reading the material correctly, there is nothing resembling a helmet or body armour in the entire collection. Is this right, or are there other pieces of military gear in the 10 volumes of published material?
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Arne Focke




PostPosted: Thu 27 Apr, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I know, there is no such piece in Illerup.

I think it might be helpful to give you a quick overview of the find, because the term "migration period" only suits the smallest part of the find.


The deposits were buried in a small lake of 250 x 400 meter.
There are four main deposits from different periods. The first one, Illerup A, can be dated to 200 A.D.. This one is the biggest of the four. Here material belonging to about 400 warriors was excavated.The second, Illerup B, dates around 230 A.D.. The youngest deposit from the roman iron age, Illerup C, dates around 375 A.D.. The last one, Illerup D, is the first one from the migration period and dates around the fifth century.

It is also important to keep in mind that, although it appears that the main part of the deposit has been excavated, only 40 % of the former lake has been excavated.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Apr, 2006 1:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Felix Wang wrote:
Very useful stuff, everyone - thanks.

If I am reading the material correctly, there is nothing resembling a helmet or body armour in the entire collection. Is this right, or are there other pieces of military gear in the 10 volumes of published material?



I have this theory that scandinavians as a rule did not sacrifice armour. It could be one explanation why there are no helmets and armour in viking age graves. (Yes, there is Jermundbu, but this is ONE site, out of hundreds..)

Maybe it was the pragmatic view that the armour is doing a better job maintaining the glory of the linage by keeping you alive, that accompanying you to the next world, where you do not need it anyhow...
Or it could be supply and demand; Everybody has a Hand Weapon™. You can make them at home. Whereas armour is something you would have to go through lots of trouble to replace.
Maybe they didn't wear any, but I would find that odd. Cultures shunning armour when it is available mostly belongs in fantasy literature... (as real combat experience would most likely disperse with the illusion of immortality quite swiftly)

There are some finds from the migration period, but, then again, it IS the migration period, which means that peoples and cultures are mixed up and moving all over the place...
It is quite posible to have cultural pockets, where customs are different.

But, its imposible to know for sure...
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Apr, 2006 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

edit: Double post.

Last edited by Elling Polden on Thu 27 Apr, 2006 4:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Arne Focke




PostPosted: Thu 27 Apr, 2006 3:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You have to remember that the main part of Illerup, as well as the other bog sacrifices, is not from the migration period, but from the roman iron age. The germanic tribes of that time seldom wore armour in battle. Sometimes roman armour from a slain enemy was used (it may also have been traded). There are helmet pieces and pieces of chainmail from the sacrifice of Thorsberg. More chainmail was found in Vimose.
Earlier roman authors also describe that fighting habit.
With the start of the migration period these bog sacrifices come to an end.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Apr, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the most intresting topics so far for me, and hopefully to others. I vote for it to be promoted to spotlight status, but hey that is just me:)!!

Martin

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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