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Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Armor. By Bo Echols. The Spear. t he main weapon of the period the spear was used by warriors of all ranks. Types of Spears. t he first type of spear is the javelin, or light throwing spear

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Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Armor

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    1. Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Armor By Bo Echols

    2. The Spear • the main weapon of the period • the spear was used by warriors of all ranks

    3. Types of Spears • the first type of spear is the javelin, or light throwing spear • some javelins were meant to be thrown into an enemy’s shield, which made the shield too much trouble to carry around, disabling him from battle • most javelins, because of their slow speed, were meant to be thrown into large groups of men, making it easier to kill them

    4. Types of Spears • the second type of spear is the thrusting spear • this spear had a stronger, broader head than the javelin that was attached to a wooden shaft • the thrusting spear was meant for close combat because it was nearly impossible to throw • the length of the spear was anywhere from five to nine feet

    5. Types of Spears • the last type of spear is the winged spear • this spear was more of a defensive weapon • the spear had two projections that were used to disable an opponent by rendering his opponent’s shields useless

    6. The Scramseax • carried by ALL warriors • a single-edged knife that ranged from 3”-30” long • used to finish off a wounded enemy • there are two types of scramseaxes that are based on size • had a curving blade • blades often contained gold, silver, copper, or bronze wire that were hammered into small grooves on the blade • the grip was made of wood, bone, or antler and sometimes had decorations carved into it • many different shapes and sizes • used until the blade was completely worn out

    7. The Hadseax • usually about 3”-14” • these were usually used as simple everyday tools • such as butcher knives, eating utensils, pocketknives, and woodwork tools

    8. The Langseax • usually about 22”-30” • very heavy and broad • unlike the Hadseax, the Langseax was used as a weapon

    9. Axes • had a wooden shaft (2’-3’) that was welded to a steel blade (3”-6”) • made for attacking someone, not defending • many different types of axes

    10. The Skegox • also known as the bearded axe • popular during the early Viking period • had a long lower edge

    11. The Francisca • popular among the Franks during the early Anglo-Saxon period • very small with a thick triangular section at the socket, which made it an extremely top heavy axe • designed for throwing in mass numbers • this would be enough to distract the enemy so that one side could charge at them

    12. The Broadaxe • also known as the Dane-axe • a two handed axe that was invented by the Vikings in the late tenth century that was later used by the Saxons • used to slaughter animals • the blade was about 9”-18” long and the wooden haft that was 4’-5’

    13. Bows and Arrows • a weapon that was used not only for warfare, but hunting too • made of yew, elm, or ash • usually were 66”-76” long • the draw weights ranged from 50lb-70lb • every shield contained a soft spot that archers would aim at and shoot through to try to kill the enemy • arrows had a broadhead tip that were made of iron or antler • Bodkins were arrows that were made to pierce armor • arrow fletchings were made up of three to four goose or swan feathers

    14. Slings • the sling was used mostly for hunting • only a direct shot to the face of an enemy would be enough to harm him • round stones from river basins were used for ammunition for the sling • the staff sling is a sling which had its actual sling placed on the end of a shaft

    15. Swords • used as a slashing weapon • most prized weapon of the Anglo-Saxon warrior • the blades were usually double-edged and were 29”-32” long and about 3” in width • had pommels and crossguards made up of layers of wood, bone, or horn • these layers could be covered by a sheet of gold, bronze, or silver • some special sword’s fullers were engraved with a warrior’s signature • swords were carried in a leather scabbard • Hrunting, the sword that Unferth lends Beowulf to fight Grendel, and Nagling, the sword Beowulf uses to fight the dragon, are two swords described in Beowulf that are examples of the typical Anglo-Saxon sword

    16. Anglo-Saxon Sword Diagram

    17. The Sutton Hoo Sword • part of a huge ship grave in Suffolk, England • the hilt of the sword is made up of gold • the sword has a cloisonné garnet pommel and cross guard • many scholars regard the sword as a decoration, not a weapon

    18. The Sutton Hoo Sword

    19. Armor • the most common type of armor was the riveted chain mail • mailshirts were short-sleeved and reached just below the waist • the mail would stop the penetration of a weapon, but it would not stop the crushing effects of it • padding, called gambesons, was worn under the mail to offset the crushing effects of a weapon • mail coifs were worn on the back of a warrior’s head and stretched around the face to protect the chin • these coifs were attached to the helmet of a warrior

    20. Helmets • helmets were made of either iron or bronze • usually dome-shaped • some rare helmets include the Sutton Hoo Helm, the Wenceslas Helm, the Benty Grange Helm, and the Jorvik Helm • a coif was attached to the helmet, as you can see in this picture

    21. Shields • shields were usually watchglass shaped • metal bands were attached to the back of a shield to strengthen them • they were constructed of lime wood, which is not inclined to split easily • shields could be up to four feet wide • a kite shield was used by a warrior riding a horse • smaller shields were worn over the shoulder of warriors and were used when their main shield broke • a round shield was also used as an umbrella, a chair, and a dining table • if a shield was struck by a winged spear, the warrior would just leave his disabled shield on the battle field

    22. Shields

    23. Bibliography • • • • • • • • •