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03.07.2021

Iron dagger

Anglo-Saxon, 7th or 8th century AD.

Found in an Anglo-Saxon grave during an excavation led by local archaeologist W. J. Andrew at Oliver's Battery, near Winchester, in 1930.

Fighting and hunting are the potential uses of this dagger, more accurately known in Anglo-Saxon studies as a "syx" or long knife. These objects were popular as grave furniture in the seventh and eighth centuries, and were sometimes heavily decorated. This specimen with a silver footstool in the shape of a hat hat on its head is particularly fine. When it was excavated, it was seen that the corrosion of the iron had preserved the remains of a wooden sheath, probably of oak.

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