59160Review: Secrets of the Viking Sword on Nova
- Oct 10, 2012The show was pretty good. Essentially the point was to determine what kind of steel were used in the Ulfberht swords and where it may have come from.
Alan Williams of England was on camera quite a bit. He showed that, based on examining metal from Viking Age (VA) swords, that the Ulfberhts were most likely crucible steel. The quality was noticeably better than standard forged iron/steel.
Of course no one in Europe produced crucible steel until the early industrial revolution. So his contention was that the metal was coming out of Central Asia. He pointed out that the appearance of the metal in the Ulfberht type swords coincide with the Viking trade roots through the Volga to the lands along the Caspian sea.
Part of the show included efforts by Richard Furrer of Door County Forge to create crucible steel. The show said that a closed hearth furnace was found in Central Asia. Furrer made a similar furnace and created an ingot of crucible steel from which he forged a modern ulfberht.
Overall, I give the program good marks for the way they presented the Viking Age and presenting a logical case for how the sword metal came to be. That said, I don't have enough knowledge to be able to say definitely that they were correct. But at least I didn't find myself yelling, "that's not right" or rolling my eyes at bogus statements.
Ealdred of Malmesbury
Dawson Lewis, Pierre
From: ealdredsca <ealdredsca@...>
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Subject: Fwd: Secrets of the Viking Sword on Nova
Please forgive the cross posting but I thought this would be of interest to several lists I am on.
On Wednesday, October 10th. Check your local listings.
Join NOVA to learn the “Secrets of the Viking Sword.”
The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword.
Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle.
But how did Viking sword makers design and build the Ulfberht, and what was its role in history? Now, NOVA uses cutting-edge science and old-fashioned detective work to reconstruct the Ulfberht and finally unravel the mystery of the Viking sword.
Ealdred of Malmesbury
Dawson Lewis, Pierre SD
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