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AX (TYA 642: 2905)

photograph 116 kB


AX (TYA 642: 2905)


Type: Bearded ax, iron.

Use: Working of wood.

Site: Raisio, Ihala, Mulli abode.

Period: Viking Age / Crusade Age / Early Middle Ages.

Dating: 980-1220 A.D.

Photographer: Antti Huittinen.


The ax was the most important tool for rough working of wood. Blades of axes have been discovered in men´s graves but also quite a lot in the Northern and Eastern Finland, where burial are rare. These axes are remnants of wilderness hunters and the Lappish people.

This ax represents the so called “Scandinavian bearded axes”. Despite the label, these axes have probably been manufactured in Finland, too. They date back to the end of the 10th and to the 11th century.

Bearded axes were mostly working tools, because the proper battle-axes had a wider and heavier blade. If the bearded ax was gripped on the thin “neck” of the blade instead of the shaft, it could be used for the smoothening the wood.

According to the folklore, axes, like other bladed iron tools, had magical powers. They were used in magical rituals in order to repel diseases, noxious and predatory animals and evil supernatural powers.


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Coordinates: x=98.2, y=512.6, z=665-666, unit 5706.


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