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Born in Embers

The Age of Swords

Sword, shield, and lance are signs of the increasingly real and symbolic importance of warriordom, which in the Bronze Age developed into a social class of its own with organised warrior retinues.

The artistic arrangement of swords and a lance tip from the Late Bronze Age sites of Bothenheilingen and Kehmstedt combines different types from several regions of Europe. Like most of the weapons in central Germany, these were not found in graves, but in bronze hoards, and may have been deposited collectively by followers of different ancestry.

It is worth taking a closer look. Because every sword has its own story. Strike marks and re-sharpening of the blade indicate the use of the weapons in combat. Ornate decorations express the rank and dignity of the previous owner.

The exaggerated symbolic value of a weapon as a mark of warrior, leader, and hero is particularly evident from the splendid specimens that were not created for combat but as status symbol and/or cult object.

This also includes the two shields that were discovered in a marsh near Herzsprung already in 1844. The once brightly shining finds from the 8th century BC are made of thin bronze sheet and exhibit no signs of use. After they had served their purpose, the Herzsprung shields were folded and submitted to the bog.

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