For the past few weeks, Rolf Warming (Society for Combat Archaeology) has been working closely with the 3D scanning team from Rigsters with the aim of producing highly detailed 3D models of a selection of arms and armour from the collection of the National Museum of Denmark. The recorded artefacts are dated to the Medieval and early modern period.
The artefacts were recorded by use of photogrammetry with freehand cameras and a semi-automatic rig prototype constructed by Rigsters. The 3D models produced by these photos do not only reveal new details for future research but provide a range of fantastic dissemination possibilities. In this series, we present the 3D models along with an accompanying description of the artefacts. More models will be added to this series as soon as they are complete.
We would like to extend our thanks to the National Museum of Denmark, especially senior researcher Vivian Etting and the student employees, for all their help in this project.
Date: c. 1550
Total length: 183 cm
Caliber: 6.2 cm
This model is of a breechloading swivel gun, probably from the mid 16th century. Such guns were commonly used aboard ships and on fortifications. This particular gun stems from a shipwreck located off the coast of the Danish island of Anholt in Kattegat. The barrel is a wrought iron tube on to which the trunnion and muzzle rings have been shrunk. The gun is loaded with a detachable chamber which is locked in place with a wedge. The chamber would have contained the powder charge and possibly a round of grapeshot (if the barrel had not already been loaded with round shot). With several such chambers prepared in advance, the breechloading swivel gun could be reloaded quickly and provide a relatively high rate of fire against enemy personnel. The main purpose of swivel guns aboard ships was to provide support for the main fighting force of the ship, the shipborne infantry, who were tasked with carrying out both boarding and anti-boarding actions. The swivel guns were carried in the upper works of the ship and were typically mounted with iron stirrups (miches) on the rail or in the fighting tops. The iron stirrup made it possible to rotate the gun in a full circle and move it up or down, giving it a wide arc of fire and advantages in connection with the reloading of the gun.
The 3D model can be seen below or viewed directly on Sketchfab by clicking here.
To learn more about Combat Archaeology Click Here.
Rolf is the founder of the Society for Combat Archaeology (SoCA). He holds an MA degree in Maritime Archaeology from the University of Southampton and another MA degree in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Copenhagen. His studies have preeminently been on the subject of combat and conflict in the past, ranging from Mesolithic violence to organized state formation in the Renaissance. He has obtained the rank of sergeant in the Royal Danish Army. In addition to this, Rolf holds the position of Master and instructor in the martial arts of Weapons Combat Escrima and Wing Tsun, respectively, and teaches classes and holds seminars on both an international and national level.