The largest and deadliest Viking ax has been discovered in Denmark. It was found in an excavated tomb of a powerful couple from the 10th century.
Archaeologist Kirsten Nellemann Nielsen from Silkeborg Museum is leading the excavations in the region around the town of Haarup. He is adamant that these types of Danish axes were the most fearsome weapons from the Viking era.
The find is truly unique. The deadly ax is unlike any found so far, being much larger and heavier. It most definitely had a long handle and required both hands to hold due to its weight and size.
The ax has been cleaned up. It lacks any kind of inlays or decorations. The mighty weapon isn't particularly elegant, meaning it was likely actively used.
The deceased was laid in his tomb with only his ax. This means that he identified solely with his giant weapon.
This ax is only one of several unique artifacts found during excavations in the viking tomb near Haarup. When translated from Danish, its name means Death House. There are 2 graves inside.
The unearthed tomb dates back to the year 950. In it were placed a man and woman, which are believed not to have been husband and wife. The woman was buried in a wooden coffin, a symbol of noble birth. Among her possessions there were keys, which symbolized her leading role in society.
These personified power and nobility in Denmark, as well as elsewhere throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. Archaeologists are categorical that the tradition originated a lot earlier however. The key was used to unlock a small wooden chest with steel rings, found in the same tomb and filled with gold and silver items.
The pair is considered to have been quite powerful, even if they weren't married. This is evident from the fact that they were buried in 2 separate graves. They may have been brother and sister, sharing the right to rule. The remains of a second man were buried later. It was with him that the unique Viking ax was placed. An ax was also placed with the first man but it was much smaller, nevertheless, this implies a blood relation between them.