Nonetheless, the original length of the wooden handle was in all probability not much greater than that given by its current condition. Firstly, each distal end is approximately the same length when measured from the ornamentation in the centre, i.e. the grip (fig. 3). It is therefore unlikely for the ends to have broken off so evenly, should the handle have been considerably longer. Secondly, the better-preserved distal end of the handle has been purposely shaped and equipped with a deep groove (located c.2-3 cm from the distal edge), indicating that this indeed is the handle terminal (fig. 4). The less preserved handle terminal was assumedly fashioned in a similar manner but has broken off by the groove and is now lost. This end of the wooden handle can, therefore, be assumed to have been 2-3 cm longer, giving a total length of c. 39 cm. The purpose of the groove was probably to accommodate a lashing or, more likely, a fitting of metal which would have fastened the handle terminals to the shield board. Such shield handle fittings are known from several other contexts (Hedeby, Havsmarken, Birka, etc.) and appear in two basic types: three-armed (or trefoil-shaped) and elongated trapezoidal-shaped fittings. Future examinations of the shield board and potential rivet holes may reveal more information regarding the use of such terminal fittings as well as the general construction of the shield.
Dobat, A. (ed.). 2013. Kongens borge: Rapport over undersøgelserne 2007-2010. Jysk Arkæologisk Selskabs Skrifter 76. Århus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.
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 achieved the rank of sergeant in the Royal Danish Army. In addition to this, Rolf is the chief instructor of Weapons Combat Systems, a weaponry-based martial art which he teaches on both a national and international level through classes, seminars, etc.