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Holtmann on European Knives 750-1650 CE


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If you're interested in medieval European knives, you probably know Cowgill et al.'s book on knives from London and the Archaeology of York volumes on early medieval and late medieval knives from Coppergate, York. A little less famous in the English-speaking world is a PhD thesis by Gerhard Folke Wulf Holtmann. It covers 1300 knives from the Netherlands, both Germanies, Poland, the western former USSR, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The typology is a bit opaque (88 categories with names like IIIb1.1 which become 17 Auswertungsgruppen!) and the drawings are not as nice as in Cowgill's book, but it has lots of measurements and it has some types of knife which were missing at London and York. It also has more big knives for whatever reason.  I wish the author had been able to turn it into a book because it seemed like he was rethinking his typology but ran out of time.

Gerhard Folke Wulf Holtmann, Untersuchung zu mittelalterlichen und frühneuzeitlichen Messern. Dissertationsschrift, Fachbereich Historisch-Philologische Wissenschaften, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen (1994) http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-1735-0000-000D-F215-B

Edited by Sean Manning
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