This week we launched a new exciting project on the use of hide in Iron Age shield constructions. The study is an interdisciplinary project undertaken in collaboration with conservator-restorers René Larsen (PhD, former headmaster of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation) and Dorte V. P. Sommer (Cand.scient.cons., lecturer at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation).
The launch of the project was marked with the sampling of organic material from an exceedingly well-preserved shield from the Roman Iron Age in Denmark (photo above). The shield remains included fragments of a wooden shield board, layers of hide with traces of red pigment and bronze rim fittings. In a few weeks, the samples will be subjected to multiple microanalyses which will be able to shed new light on the construction of the shield.
We wish to thank the National Museum of Denmark for kindly permitting us to extract samples from the shield and especially curator Peter Pentz for his time and efforts in helping us carry out this task.
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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.