12: Precursors 3 – A visit to the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich

Last November, we were able to meet one of our main cooperation partners at the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich. The museum itself is undergoing a renovation and is still under construction. This often means that much of the archaeological collection has been safely put away in storage until they can be put on display again. Luckily, many of the blades relevant for our project were made available to us thanks to the effort by Dr. Schwarzberg and the staff members of their archaeological collection.

The result is usually an exciting glimpse into their storage collection as many of the blades were brought up in crates (insert pictures of artefacts in their storage crates). The end result is usually a treasure trove of artefacts of which of course the swords are most important. Since we are in the northern Alpine zone and surrounding foothills, we are looking at important precursors with a trapezoidal shape that may have influenced the Nordic Wohlde blades. Examples are blades of type Gamprin as well as a larger Mägerkingen variant. Even though the northern Alpine zone is more known for its trapezoid precursors there were also some blades with a round hilt plate, similar to Sögel. Whether there is any archaeometallurgical connection remains to be seen but typological similarities are evident.


The museum itself was unfortunately still under construction during my visit as I would have looked forward to go through the new exhibitions. The museum should open again in on the 17th of April 2024 and based on my experience with the collection so far, I can only recommend a visit.

Bavarian State Archaeological collection - photograph by Stefanie Friedrich (Archäologische Staatssammlung, München) ©