Sword type X from Mikulčice grave 280

Date: 9th century
Find-place: Mikulčice ČR – grave 280
Original can be found:

– double edged blunt blade
– overall length 94 cm
– blade length 80 cm
– width blade 5 cm
– thickness blade 5,5 mm
– point of balance (CoG) 15 cm
– center of percussion (CoP) 56 cm
– the wooden hilt is wrapepd with linen string and covered with the leather
– weight 1,16 kg

Our sword has got a blunt blade modified for fencing.

This time, we will comment the sword from the grave 280 from Mikulčice, Czech Republic.The grave 280, which was discovered near the IInd church in 1956, was the grave a robust, 40-60 year old man and his sword, spurs and probably a knive. kostela. In te present day, the sword consists of four fragments, but before the fire of depository (2007), which destroyed the sword terribly, it was at least 835 mm long and weighted 810 g including scabbard fragments and conservation resin.

The hilt corresponds to early variant of Petersen type X and Geibig combination type 12 (variant 1). The one-pieced half round and high arched pommel is 63 mm long, 32 mm high and 18 mm thick. The handle is 100 mm long and it is 28 mm wide by the crossguard. The crossguard is 118 mm long, 8.5 mm high and 18 mm thick.

The original length of the double-edged blade is known, because of the broken tip. However, it surely belonged to the Geibig type 3. In it´s documented state, it is 698 mm long. The blade tapers continuously – it is 52 mm wide by the crossguard and 35 mm wide by the furthest end. The fuller starts right by the crossguard with the width of 24 mm and ends with the width of 14 mm. A heteroheneous material fluctuating beween iron and steel was used to manufacture both the cutting edges and the core of the blade. In fuller, pattern-welded panels were used. It is possible that the blade was originally hardened in a way.

Traces of the wooden scabbard, without any textile fragment, were found on the upper part of the blade.
Swords from Mikulčice can be most likely dated to the 9th century. Six of them had their blades longer than 830 mm, what is unique for the era before the 10th century. The sword from the grave 280 could belong to this group of swords, but can not be sure. Compared with other swords from Mikulčice, the sword from the grave 280 has rather average quality.

Recommended literature:
Geibig, A. (1991). Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter: eine Analyse des Fundmaterials vom ausgehenden 8. bis zum 12. Jahrhundert aus Sammlungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Neumünster.
Košta, J.- Hošek, J. (2014). Early Medieval Swords from Mikulčice Studien zum Burgwall von Mikulčice, Band X. Brno.
Petersen, J. (1919). De Norske Vikingesverd: En Typologisk-Kronologisk Studie Over Vikingetidens Vaaben. Kristiania.