VIKING WEAPONS Spears and Shields
Spear Facts This weapon was made by using a rivet to secure a spear head to a shaft. There were many variations of spears. These variations included differences in spear head sizes and shapes, and differences in the length of the shaft. Spear heads of the early Viking Age were usually around eight inches (20 cm) long, where as later ones could be up to twenty four inches long (60 cm). Some spear heads had "wings". Spears with this feature are called barbed spears.
The Vikings were also known to throw their spears at the enemy. There are many examples of this in the Norse Sagas. Vikings would often carry several spears so that they would have a few to throw and at least one to hold on to for hand to hand combat. Throwing a spear could be a risky thing to do. If you missed your opponent he could pick up the spear and use it against you. Some Vikings were so well trained at fighting with spears that they could throw two at the same time. There were also warriors who could catch a spear in flight.
Thrusting the spear at an enemy was the most common method the Vikings used for this weapon. This method is mentioned in many of the Norse Sagas. For example in one Saga it is written that Helgi had a spear which he thrust through Bolli's shield, and through Bolli. The Norse warrior could thrust the spear with one hand or two. In the Norse Sagas it is mentioned that Vikings would often sling their shields over their shoulders so that they could hold their spear with two hands. By doing this they of course became more vulnerable.
DID YOU KNOW? The longest spear is 39 inches long that is the size of 4 Mini Coopers!
Fun Facts! Viking armour was not always guaranteed to be safe. If they didn’t have the correct equipment to make the spears they used alcohol that apparently lasted for centuries.