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An axe is a familiar object quickly recognized by anyone. Yet it's usually difficult (especially with ancient specimens) to say with confidence whether a particular example was made for war or cutting wood. This style of axe, however, we know was definitely used for war. It is a solid functional reproduction of an axe excavated at Ostrow Lednicki, which is a lake island fortress in eastern Poland near Gniezno. In 1038AD it was attacked by the Czech Duke Bretislav along its two bridges and was destroyed. Over 150 weapons were excavated from the battle site, including many Scandinavian examples: the excavators consider that there were Scandinavians in the defending force either as allies or mercenaries. Similar axe heads to this have been found in Sweden. Weapon excavations from a medieval battlefield are extremely rare, as they were quickly picked clean by the victors or by local villagers. These were excavated in a previously marshy area next to one of the bridges and presumably sank out of view: they probably fell there after being lobbed at attackers, and/or fell from the hands of felled Scandinavian/Polish defenders.
The axe is supplied exactly as described in the literature. Immediately its functionality is apparent, it is not a toy or reenactment piece. I have used it for chopping kindling at home, removing small branches from trees and to a lesser extent shaping timber for small woodworking projects. I can image easily a farmer taking it and using it as his principal fighting weapon.
The axe is well made. It is easy to sharpen given its high carbon content. Handle replacement would be straightforward and I can imagine this relatively heavy axe head could be mounted on a longer handle to change its utility.
My son and I play our own Viking battle reenactments in the back yard, covering the weapon heads with bags for safety. We have a lot of simple fun.
The Old Norse Axe is good value for money. For me it is functional and a pastime. David Given on 18th May 2017