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Best reference on old weapons, but brush up on german


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Ok even if you dont know german, these books are FANTASTIC. The complete archaeological journals from the Illerup Adal bog dig in Denmark are in 13 volumes (with volume 8 being all the maps) They're published by the Jutland Archaeological Society and I have no idea how many copies they printed of each, but I can not imagine it was a large number, being a rather specialty set of books.

 

They're not cheap, nor are they easy to find, and they're in german, but I HIGHLY recommend getting these books if you can. A full set is going to run you around six or seven hundered dollars and take up a large amount of your book shelf... but if you EVER plan on attempting to create historically accurate or styled weapons of almost any sort, or hardware, or anything... these books are worth their (quite considerable) weight in gold !

 

Books 1 & 2 - The lances and spears

Books 3 & 4 - The personal equipment (combs, etc)

Books 5-7 - The magnificent equipment (scabbard hardware, ornamented hilts, and shield bosses, spurs, etc)

Book 8 - the maps

Books 9 & 10 - The shields

Books 11 & 12 - The swords

Book 13 - The bows, arrows, and axes

 


books.jpg

Edited by Justin Mercier
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I have 11/12 and they are great.

I bough 1/2 expecting the same...they are not.

 

Justin,

Are the others comparable to 11/12?

 

Ric

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I have 11/12 and they are great.

I bough 1/2 expecting the same...they are not.

 

Justin,

Are the others comparable to 11/12?

 

Ric

 

books 3 & 4 are great, (imo) with a lot of very good pictures and drawings of the personal knives, belt fittings, hangars, and belt hardware, though a lot of the book is dedicated to the combs found.

 

5-7 is a mix. Books 7 is one of the best of the series for photography, being almost entierly full color photos of the ornamented and decorated fancy pieces, albiet there's not a whole lot in the way of weapons in it. Book 6 has some great photos of the in-place decorated sheaths as found before the hardware was removed from the ground. Book 5 contains a lot of great drawings showing where the various pieces of decorated hardware came from and how it was assembled (lots of horse tackle) and has a few good Xray photos of some decorated hilts

 

9&10 are probably the most booring, because it's almost entierly just smashed in shield bosses, and fairly plain ones. It's interesting seeing the shield hardware , and all the pictures of the intact wooden shields being excavated, but overall fairly plain.

 

Book 13 is kinda disappointing. There were not many axes found, bows tend to just be pieces of wood, and there's only so much you can get out of pictures of arrow heads =) I'm glad I have it for completeness though along with "book" 8 which is a big box full of maps.

 

Overall though i'm extremely happy with the entire series. It's a fantastic look at the weapons and gear from just before the Viking era. It's also apperant that the equipment from this period has a definate evolution to the viking period just a couple hundred years later in the scandanavian area

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