River Witham sword

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There are two notable swords known recovered from the River Witham, both kept in the British Museum.

The River Witham "Viking sword" (actually a blade of German/Ottonian manufacture, with hilt fittings added by an Anglo-Saxon craftsman), also known as the "Lincoln sword",[1] British Museum 1848,10-21,1 is dated to the 10th century. It is classified as a Petersen type L variant (Evison's "Wallingford Bridge" type). It was found in the River Witham opposite Monks Abbey, Lincoln. The guard is inlaid with silver and copper alloy, in a series of lozenges, each lozenge of copper surrounded by a bronze border and hammered on to a cross-hatched, prepared field. The sword is remarkable for being one of only two known bearing the blade inscription Leutfrit (+ LEUTLRIT), the other being a find from Tatarstan (at the time Volga Bulgaria, now kept in the Historical Museum of Kazan). On the reverse side, the blade is inlaid with a double scroll pattern. The sword weighs 1.214 kg, at a total length of 91.5 cm.[2] Peirce (1990) makes special mention of this sword as "breath-taking", "one of the most splendid Viking swords extant".[3]

The River Witham knightly sword, BM PE 1858,1116.5 was found in 1825 in the River Witham near Lincoln.[4][5] is dated to the later 13th century. It is likely of German origin[6] The blade bears an inlaid inscription reading +NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+[7] The weapon's length is 960[8] or 964 mm (38 in.) [9] in length. The hilt of the weapon measures 165 mm or 6.5 inches.[10] The blade itself is 815 mm in length.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Antiquities from the River Witham, Archaeology Series No. 13, Lincolnshire Museums Information Sheet (1979)
  2. ^ Britisn Museum 1848,1021.1. Kendrick, T. D. (1934): 'Some types of ornamentation on Late Saxon and Viking Period Weapons in England', Eurasia Septentrionalis Antiqua, ix, 396 and fig. 2; Maryon, Herbert. (1950): 'A Sword of the Viking Period from the River Witham', The Antiquaries Journal, xxx, 175-79; '
  3. ^ Peirce, Ian (1990), "The Development of the Medieval Sword c.850–1300", in Christopher Harper-Bill, Ruth Harvey (eds.), The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood III: Papers from the Fourth Strawberry Hill Conference, 1988, Boydell & Brewer Ltd, pp. 139–158 (p. 144).
  4. ^ Palmero, Elizabeth. "Medieval Sword Carries Mysterious Inscription". news.yahoo.com. Yahoo News. Retrieved 13 August 2015. The 13th-century weapon was found in the River Witham in Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom, in 1825.
  5. ^ "Double-edged sword". www.bl.uk. The British Library. Retrieved 13 August 2015. This example was found in the river Witham, Lincolnshire, in July 1825, and was presented to the Royal Archaeological Institute by the registrar to the Bishop of Lincoln.
  6. ^ "Double-edged sword". britishmuseum.org/. The British Museum. Retrieved 13 August 2015. It is likely that the blade was manufactured in Germany, which was the centre of blade manufacture in Europe at this time.
  7. ^ Starr, Michelle (9 August 2015). "British Library asks for help deciphering a medieval sword". www.cnet.com. CNet. Retrieved 13 August 2015. On one side, it also bears an inscription:+NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+
  8. ^ "Double-edged sword". www.britishmuseum.org. The British Museum. Retrieved 13 August 2015. Overall length: 960 mm
  9. ^ "Double-edged sword". www.bl.uk. The British Library. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 165 mm (6½ in.) across the hilt, it has a double-edged blade and
  10. ^ "Double-edged sword". www.bl.uk. The British Library. Retrieved 13 August 2015. Weighing 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz), and measuring 964 mm (38 in.) in length and 165 mm (6.5 in.) across the hilt, it has a double-edged blade and, if struck with sufficient force, could have sliced a man’s head in two...
  11. ^ "Double-edged sword". www.britishmuseum.org. The British Museum. Retrieved 13 August 2015. Blade length: 815 mm