7: Hessian blades and early precursors

The area currently known as Hessen in Germany lies in the contact zone between the Northern Sögel-Wohlde district and southern Germany, where many of the potential precursors for the Nordic blades are said to originate from. The museums included in this visit were:

From here we start adding the first precursor blades to our database among which three blades of the Sandharlanden type. The Sandharlanden blades have a typical trapezoid hilt plate, omega shaped hilt outline and four ring rivets. Therefore, they are similar to the Wohlde types in northern Germany which have the same features. However, typologically there are minor differences. For example, a blade from Flörsheim, currently in the collection of Hessisches Landesmuseum in Kassel had decorated rivets. Decorated rivets are very rare in the Nordic Bronze Age but are a more common occurrence in southern Germany, which indicates that the find from Flörsheim had some cultural relationship south. As of yet, it is impossible to tell whether this blade was locally made to resemble southern blade types or whether the blade was traded north to Hessen. However, it is an early indication of connectivity from southern Germany further north to Hessen and potentially further.