A sword from Gdańsk – a technological revolution or a pageant replica?


  • Grzegorz Żabiński
  • Janusz Stępiński


archaeometallurgy, technological examinations, sword, weaponry, pageant replica


This paper focuses on a sword discovered during post-1945 archaeological excavations in Gdańsk, now stored as a deposit in the Castle Museum in Malbork (Dep. 76). The weapon underwent technological examinations by J. Piaskowski, who said that the sword was an example of Late Medieval mass manufacture of cheap and low quality weaponry with the use of cast refined iron. This assumption was maintained in later scholarship. As doubts concerning the authenticity of the sword were raised by visual examination, it was decided to repeat technological examinations. It was found out that the metal in the blade was in fact cast. However, qualitative EDS analysis of slag inclusions demonstrated a very high presence of S and Mn, which testifies to the fact that the metal in the blade was obtained with the use of one of late 19th or early 20th c. steelmaking processes (the Bessemer or Martin process). Based on this and on some external features of the sword (traces of lathe processing, punched typescript letters on the tang), it was assumed beyond doubt that the sword was a pre-1945 replica


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How to Cite

Żabiński, G., & Stępiński, J. (2014). A sword from Gdańsk – a technological revolution or a pageant replica?. Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae, 27, 99–110. Retrieved from https://journals.iaepan.pl/fah/article/view/1477