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Research, Replicate, Record

Using archaeological data it is possible to recreate some of the most iconic pieces of history. 

Follow along as CULTURE Society brings history back to life!

Viking Shield Etsy Final 3.jpg
Medieval War Arrow Etsy Final.jpg
Hunting Arrow Etsy Final.jpg

Medieval Arrows

Pictured are two different varieties of arrows that would have been used in the medieval period. 

The top arrow is a typical war arrow, and below is an arrow that would have been used for hunting. 

The war arrow has a 30 inch shaft and is a half inch in diameter, with a slight taper towards the nock. The shaft is made of hand-planed split Poplar.

The war arrow has a leaf-shaped broadhead that is hafted onto the shaft with pine resin.

The war arrow nock is reinforced with either bone or horn, which is spliced into the shaft positioned perpendicular to the nock cut. This reinforcement is seemingly necessary for safe use with high-poundage bows, which would have been typical of the period. 

The fletching is stained goose feather, attached with hide glue and further secured by silk thread. The silk thread is tightly wound around the shaft, all the way to the nock. This adds additional security to the nock, and helps prevent splitting. 

Viking Shield

One of the most iconic shields of all time, the Viking round shield. The history of this shield is clouded in conflicting data and Hollywood portrayals. 

To the best of our knowledge, and after much research, the shield pictured on the right can be considered historically accurate. Viking shields were quite disposable, and it would be common for Vikings to construct them out of a variety of materials based on availability and preference.

This shield is made of Poplar boards hand sawn and planed, butted together with hide glue generously spread between them. The boards are then secured with reinforcements on the rear of the shield. 

The center grip is fashioned into one of the reinforcements, and is shaped so that the user's fist is well within the shield boss' dome. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the shield is actually quite balanced and easy to wield, if not heavy. (12 pounds)

The shield is faced in taught linen, and is attached with hide glue and secured with iron tacks on the reverse. Gesso and paint are applied to the front. A functional application  of this facing is that it adds a surprisingly high amount of structural strength to the overall shield, and even if the reinforcements on the reverse are broken, the shield maintains its shape.

Viking Shield Etsy Final 1.jpg
Viking Shield Etsy Final 2.jpg
Heater Shield Etsy Final.jpg
Heater Shield Etsy Final 2.jpg
Heater Shield Etsy Final 3.jpg

Heater Shield

Undoubtedly the shield that comes to mind when thinking about medieval knights, the heater shield is a staple of this period. 

The facing is identical in fashion to the Viking shield pictured above, and the use of linen and gesso as a facing and reinforcement seems to be logical and evidenced. 

The arm straps are lather and the shield ha a slight curve to it, which is achieved by steaming the wood, and then securing it to a mold until dry. 

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