Rare Bronze Age knife discovered in southern Zealand

A “magnificent specimen” says archaeologist about dagger that is at least 3,000 years old

October 8th, 2014 11:45 am| by admin

A flint-bladed knife with a wooden handle has been found in an archaeological dig in Rødby in southern Zealand. It is the first such knife ever found in Denmark and it is at least 3,000 years old.

While Stone Age flint knives are a somewhat common find, finding a flint knife with a wooden handle, an improvement that first appeared in the Bronze Age (which fizzled out in about 1200 BC), has never happened before.

"A dagger of this type has never before been found in Denmark,” Anders Rosendahl, an archaeologist at the Lolland-Falster Museum, told Jyllands-Posten. “It is exciting to find such a magnificent specimen.”

As people transitioned from flint to bronze tools, the supply of bronze often could not keep up with the demand for the metal, so artisans sometimes made knives that combined new designs with old materials such as a Bronze Age knife with a flint blade.

Learning about its origins
Knife owners typically kept a knife until they died, often being buried with it. The 20 centimetre long specimen unearthed this week was found in an old seabed.

The knife is on its way to the national museum in Copenhagen.

READ MORE: Archaeologists make spectacular discovery off Denmark’s coast

Similar knives have been found in Germany, and researchers hope that a detailed study of the blade and handle will tell them more about the knife's origins and links between Denmark and Germany during the time it was made.