Unlocking the secrets of Viking Swords

Jeff Pringle is an Oakland-based swordsmith who’s been hacking ancient swords to discover the secrets behind Viking swords and metallurgy. Via Gizmodo:

Jeff Pringle is an Oakland-based swordsmith, so it’s no surprise he has hundreds of pre-industrial and viking-era swords, axes, knives and other sharp, wonderful artifacts in his collection. But Pringle describes his collection as almost “accidental,” and the way he uses his collection has put the blades he makes himself in high demand among living history fans eager to use a weapon as close to historically accurate as possible.

Unlike other collectors, Pringle’s interest lies in intensely studying blades from the past so he can replicate them at his forge at Alchemy Metalworks. Pringle jokes that his collection would likely infuriate archeologists because he keeps them piled in a dusty cabinet with literally no “master list” of what he owns (and he’s known to irreparably alter them in the pursuit of smithing knowledge).

Sometimes nerdy is a pristine collection of computers, or carefully collated boxes of keyboards. But sometimes being nerdy is having a cabinet full of rusted weapons and a big forge ready to unlock their secrets.

For those people interested in more Viking stuff, Melbourne currently has a Viking exhibition in the Melbourne Museum called Beyond the Legend:

You’ve seen the TV series and you’ve heard the stories of savagery associated with the Vikings, now see them for what they really were. Recent archaeological discoveries have challenged our image of Vikings as pillaging and plundering pagans in horned helmets.

Vikings: Beyond the Legend brings this rich, often-misunderstood culture to life, debunking stereotypes and providing insights into Viking domestic life, rituals and beliefs.

Over 450 artefacts come together to form the largest collection of its kind displayed in Australia. Among the rare treasures on show are the stunning skeletal remains of a Viking longship, one of the finest Thor’s-hammer pendants ever found, and Viking swords dating from 700 AD to 1100 AD.

Check it out!

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