Sword, Viking Period, found in Norway

Collections items are not for sale. A photo reproduction can be purchased.

Titles Sword, Viking Period, found in Norway
Description Viking broadsword dating to between 800 and 1000 CE. The iron sword has a blade that is straight and single-edged; the latter is unusual for Viking swords. The cross guard is a thick-pointed ellipse. The base of the pommel is similar, but shorter and wider, having two holes on its underside, one each above and below the tang. The base is surmounted by a trilobate pommel cap serving as a nut for the tang. The cap shows evidence of having been decorated with silver bands. Its surface is pitted, corroded and oxidized. Excavated from a burial site near Hedmark, Norway, by a Norwegian archaeologist in 1906.
Quantity 1 item
Format Content Category: artifacts
Measurements 38 inches length
4 inches height
2 inches width
Nomenclature broadsword
Materials iron
Subjects Owned by: University of Oslo
Presented to: Minnesota Historical Society
Erikson, Leif
Found at: Hedmark, Norway
Used at: Minnesota State Capitol (3rd, 1905- ). Mall
Hedmark fylke (Norway)--Antiquities
Exploration and surveys
Swords, Medieval--Scandinavia
Armament. Tools & Equipment. Edged
Dates Creation: Not later than 1000
Use: 1906 Excavated from a burial site
Use: 1949 - Exactly 10/09/1949 Presented to the Minnesota Historical Society
Notes This sword was presented to Bergmann Richards, President of the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), at the dedication of the Leif Erikson monument on Minnesota State Capitol grounds on October 9, 1949. Newspapers (see Minneapolis Morning Tribune 10 October 1949) reported that it was presented by Wilhelm Munthe Morgenstierne, Norwegian Ambassador to the United States; November 1949 correspondence indicates it was presented by Norwegian Defense Minister Jens Christian Hauge. The sword was intended to be "securely deposited in the Museum in Minnesota" and it was emphasized that the sword "is not a gift to the Museum but only deposited there". Additionally "the Museum must guarantee that the sword will never be claimed to have been found in America." Between 1949 and 1981 there was some uncertainty of the sword's whereabouts, possibly due in part to it not being accessioned into the collection. In 1981 the sword was reidentified by museum staff and in 1985 the University of Oslo clarified that all items from the state museum at the University belong to the people of Norway. The sword has since remained a long-term loan to MNHS.

Credit Line Deposited by the Division of Archaeological Collections, University of Oslo
Holding Type Incoming Loans
Identifiers IL1985.54.1 (Loan Number)

User Comments

How Can We Help?

Know Something We Don't?

Please comment below if you are able to:

  • provide any additional information that will help us better understand or interpret these items
  • provide information that clarifies historical context of the item
  • report an error in the description


Name and Comment will be displayed publicly.

Name: (required)

E-mail: (required)

I agree to the Terms of Use (required)

If you are a person leave these fields blank.