New research suggests that after the Western Roman Empire collapsed the nature of warfare in Norway altered drastically, changing from large battles to small raids which lead to the increased usage of axes.
Two armies faced each over and soldiers began the fight by hurling javelins at each other. With a little luck this could take the enemies’ shields out of the picture or kill them with a direct hit.
Then the armies would clash, jabbing with lances and trying to break each other’s lines. The object would be to get around behind the enemy. Once that was accomplished, swords could be used in close combat.
There was no need for an axe in this type of battle. Nevertheless, around 500 AD axes started appearing in warrior graves.
Story: Hanne Jakobsen, ScienceNordic | Photo: Per Byhring