early Irish iron swords

Viking, Saxon, and Early Christian Irish cultures

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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby Jason H on Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:27 pm

I know there is another thread on sword forum that shows illustrations of exisiting handles pieces, but I can't find it. I'll keep looking though. :)
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby Jason H on Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:02 pm

Hilts...
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby Jason H on Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:05 pm

last of it...
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby oleg on Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:15 pm

Very interesting hilts. Thanks for posting, Jason.
http://www.bran-deas.kiev.ua
Bran-Deas - group, focused on Ireland(IX-XI) located in Kiev, Ukraine.
Goddammit, sign up for free!
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby oldrat on Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:14 pm

maybe someone have more information about the swords...Publications, photos.Who have this "A Classification of Pre-Viking Irish Iron Swords"?
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby oldrat on Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:36 pm

Can't anybody help? I think it would be great if we could use the original irish swords
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby Billy on Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:14 pm

here's something that might be useful...

An Early Iron Age Sword from Lough Gur, Co. Limerick
Author(s): Joseph RafterySource: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Seventh Series, Vol. 9, No.3 (Sep. 30, 1939), pp. 170-172
Published by: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland



MISCELLANEA
An Early Iron Age Sword from Lough Gur, Co. Limerick.

It is a well-known fact that remains of the Early Iron Age in
Ireland, though outstanding in quality, are poor in quantity.
With the exception of two distinct provinces, those of N.E. Ulster
and Connacht, the country has only a few sporadic finds to show.
Donegal and the North-west form an area completely devoid of
Iron Age material, and in Munster and the South generally not
more than half a dozen objects have come to light. For this reason
the sword I am about to describe provides a very welcome addition
to our knowledge.

It is not a recent find, having been acquired by the Royal Irish
Academy in 1852 (Reg. No. F690). It was found in the townland
of Loughgur, Co. Limerick. Since then it has been lying, neglected
and unknown, in one of the drawers of the National Museum, where
it was recently discovered by the present writer.
The sword is of iron, of the double-edged variety. It has a pro-
nounced midrib, which begins just below the guard. The tang
is normal, narrowing towards the end. The guard is bell-shaped
and of bronze. It is loose on the sword, and from the absence of
any traces of soldering material it is probable that the two had
been originally "sweated" together, but that the decay of the
blade by oxidation had loosened the guard.

The total present length of the sword (which is really only a
fragment) is 33.65 cms. The guard is 4.5 cms. wide from tip to
tip. The blade, to judge from the width of the opening in the
guard, must have been originally 0.6 cm. wide at the centre.
The really interesting feature of the sword, however, is its bone
handle.* As the illustration (Fig. I, 2) shows, it is complete save
for one of the two ferrules of bronze which helped to keep it fixed
on the tang (though they may, of course, have been merely deco-
rative). Slight depressions had been cut in the bone to allow these
metal mountings to slip into place. The whole must have been
capped by a pommel of bone, horn or stone (such as Fig. I, 1, from
Dungarvan), but this is now missing. Generally speaking, Iron Age swords in Ireland
are outstanding on account of their rarity. The literature, and in particular the
saga of the Tain Bo Cuailgne, contains many references to swords
of iron, and the " claidhimh soluis " have become legendary. In
spite of that, however, we cannot point to more than seven iron
swords which are definitely Iron Age in date. An eighth, from Lough
Derravaragh, Co. Westmeath, is too doubtful to be included.


* I am informed by Miss Geraldine Roche, M.Sc, of the Natural History
Division of the National Museum, that it is made from a sheep metatarsal.


Fig 1 Fig 2
Image
Fig. 1. Deer-Horn pommel,
DUNGARVAN, Co. WATER
FORD.
2. loughgur sword.
3. Sword with horn guard,
Banagher, Co. Offaly.


Fig. 2. Enlargement of hilt and
guard of la téne sword from
Loughgur. Almost natural size.


All these swords resemble each other in that the guard in each
case is bell-shaped and of bronze. This places them in the general
period of the Continental La Tene C/II culture, though the absolute
dating in Ireland is not quite the same.
Of these swords, only two were found in datable association :
they come from the crannog at Lisnacrogher, Co. Antrim. One
of them (Brit. Mus., 80/8/2.116) has a short blade bellying in the
middle and coming to a sharp point. The guard is of bronze and
is loose as on our specimen. On the tang are three other bronze
mountings, evidently for a horn handle as on ours. The second
Lisnacrogher sword (Belfast Museum, B2) is not so well
preserved. It has, however, the same features as its comrade,
including the loose, bronze, bell-shaped guard. The other examples
are from Edenderry, Co. Offaly (Cambridge Museum, Murray
Coll. 300), Ballinderry, Co. Westmeath (National Museum of
Ireland, Wk. 4), Killaloe, Co. Clare (Nat. Mus. of Ireland) and
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal (Nat. Mus. of Ireland).
Between these swords and the later crannog swords no definite
connections have as yet been established. It would seem, however,
that the Lisnacrogher type, with the widely bulging blade, is the
earliest. This gradually, probably under foreign influence, gave
place to the rather longer, straight, two-edged variety with the
tang and top of the blade meeting in a gentle curve. From this
to the real crannog sword, with the junction of the tang and blade
forming a right angle, is but a step. When these developments
actually took place, it is as yet impossible to say, but that they
roughly indicate the line of evolution would seem to be shown by
the translation of the bronze, bell-shaped, guards of the Iron Age
weapons into the bone guards of some of the crannog swords (such
as Fig. I, 3, from Banagher, Co. Offaly). The latter are naturally
thicker and less beautiful, but the line of descent is unmistakable.
The lower line of the bone guards reproduces in detail the bronze
forerunners.

The sword under discussion belongs to the class of Irish Iron
Age swords with straight sides, and if one dates Lisnacrogher to
c. 100 B.C. (as one may reasonably do), I should like to suggest a
date between 75 and 50 B.C. for it.


Joseph Raftery.
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby oldrat on Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:14 am

oh Billy ... it's great! thanks!...
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby panda on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:46 pm

Watch this space...
"Althalus was a thief after all and he devoutly believed that actually working for a living was immoral"

Remember kids: fork + shoe = spleen

Fightin, drinkin' an' snaffling coo beastie!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: early Irish iron swords

Postby Billy on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:32 am

Good man Panda. Bring it on.
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