This page is part of the project LABedia: Еncyclopedia of Late Antique Balkans, 4th-5th c.,
financed by the National Science Fund, contract КП-06-Н30/6, 13.12.2018
Част от ранносредновековните брадви, с вероятни бойни функции, в днешните български земи
|Institute of Balkan Studies & Center of Thrakology
|Digital Cultural Heritage
Abstract: The present publication aims to present some of the early medieval axes found in today's Bulgarian territories, which are supposed to have performed combat functions. Some of them have been found in graves, in combination with cold wedge weapons, spearheads, and elements of horse harnesses. Due to the context of discovery and the accompanying finds, could be suggested that they were probably used more as weapons than as cutting tools. Another part of the axes, although context-free, gives reason to be defined as fighting due to their morphological characteristics. The shape of the blade and the hilt (in some cases shaped like a hammer, in others like a spike) suggest their use in warfare rather than agriculture. Evidence from some Byzantine artistic sources further supports this claim. Last but not least in terms of interest are the representative examples with precious metal inlays, which are most likely deprived of their utilitarian functions as weapons. They are probably a symbol (insignia) of the owner's high social and/or military status.
Keywords: Early Middle Ages, Battle Axes, Weaponry, Balkans, Bulgarian Lands