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21.12.2020

The Hindsgavl Dagger, Faeno

During the Neolithic period, flint craftsmen reached very high technical standards. A magnificent dagger from Hindsgavl with a blade thickness of less than 1 cm is the best example of outstanding flint craftsmanship at the end of the Stone Age. It was found around 1876 on Fenyo Island in the Little Belt. The type of dagger was called the "fishtail dagger" because of its fishtail-shaped handle. Daggers with pressure bars mark the beginning of the late Stone Age and are the reason why the period from 2400 to 1800 B.C. is called the dagger period.

Not everyone could make a flint dagger like the Hindsgawl dagger. It was a very specialized craft, superior to anything seen before, and required a master of the art! The secret to sophisticated daggers was the use of what is known as "soft technique." By hitting the flint directly with a soft hammer made of horn or hard wood, it was possible to create the rough original shape of the flint object. A small tool could then be pressed against the surface of the dagger to peel off small elongated flint flakes.

Flint daggers appeared at the end of the Neolithic period. On the European continent, the Early Bronze Age began, and the dagger became the most important symbol of human status. This development also took place in Denmark, where daggers were made of flint, but along the lines of European metal daggers. The technique of the flint craftsmen allowed them to make elegant daggers with thin blades. Their technical skills reached a high point at the end of the dagger period, for example with the Hindsgavl dagger. It is here that we see the strongest competition with imported metal daggers. This was the end of the flourishing period of the flintlock craftsman. Although bronze became very popular, the production of beautiful flint daggers continued even in the Bronze Age.

Crafted flint daggers were in great demand among the farming societies of Denmark at the end of the third millennium BC. They were used throughout the country, but were mostly produced in northern Jutland and southeastern Denmark. While many Stone Age flint implements, such as axes and knives, were necessary for life, daggers seem to have been unsuitable for everyday activities. They had a different function. They were objects of prestige, used to show the status of the owner. In men's graves of the dagger era, daggers lie on the body belt.

During the Dagger Age, at the end of the Neolithic Age, magnificent flint daggers were popular. Although flint craftsmen were conservative and bound by tradition, they were also open to new currents of fashion. Therefore, the appearance of flint daggers changed over time. Using these changes in design, archaeologists can divide them into six types of daggers, which can be dated relatively narrowly. The types mainly distinguish between the hilt. - The Hindsgawl dagger is a type IV dagger.

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