SÁROSPATAK

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Replica of the sword from Sárospatak, Hungary

Weight: 690 grams - Length: 63 cm (excl. pommel) - Material: bronze (Cu90Sn12).

Edge: hardened through cold hammering, ground - Original: Sárospatak, Hungary (Kemenczei 1988: n0 264).

PRICE: 490 EUR (hilted, walnut/beech hilt plates/pommel; shipping not included).

 

The Naue II

The Naue II is a type of sword within the class of flange-hilted swords, and flange-hilted swords are a group within the large family of Griffzungenschwerter.
The Naue II type sword is significant for three main reasons:

• its wide geographical distribution, the first type to gain popularity both in Continental Europe and the Aegean.
• it is often said to be the first combined cut- and thrust sword, by some even considered the first genuine fighting sword for a larger warrior class.
• several authors have given this sword a crucial part in the fall of the Bronze Age palatial cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the hands of western or northern auxiliary troops.

 

The Naue II can be divided into two major sub-types:

• An early type without pommel-tang, here called Reutlingen (known also as Catling I, Cetona, type A (Killian-Dirlmeier), typ Ci (Kemenczei), var. Alt Sammit-Pölitz (Wüstemann) or simply "fishtail").
• A late type with a pommel tang, here called Stätzling (known also as Catling III, Allerona, typ C (Killian-Dirlmeier), typ D (Kemenczei)).

These are the most common, the first numbering a total of 933 specimens (type Reutlingen). Only 190 swords are of the other sub-types (including type Stätzling).
The Naue II is known from Central Norway in the north, to the mouth of the Nile in the south, from London in the west to the Dnieper and Northern Irak in the east. Perhaps a less well known fact is that the densest cluster of Naue II swords is in Jutland, Denmark and Schleswig, Northern Germany.

The origin of the type has been much debated, but in light of typo-chronological work in the last decades, the following seems clear:

• the flanged hilt came several hundred years before the Naue II, both in Northern Europe, Central Europe and the Aegean. The origin of the flanged hilt is probably to be found in the Aegean, possibly on shorter blades in Anatolia and the Levant.
• The Naue II, the flange-hilted, broad bladed, parallel edged sword, seems to occur in burials in Hungary before 1300 B.C. (in BA C2), and possibly in Northern Italy at the same time. The earliest specimens in the Aegean (from Mycenae and Kos) are from LH IIIB, that is after 1330 or 1315 B.C.
• The large majority of Naue II swords occur from late 13th century to 11th century B.C.

The original sword from Sárospatak, Hungary (Kemenczei 1988: n0 264)

 

Weight and Balance

The two replica models of the NAUE II have been tuned to balance in accordance with original NAUE II swords. The diagram show the ratio of point of balance vs. weight of model Sárospatak and model Stätzling compared to original swords from Italy and Greece. This is of course measurements without hilt plates and pommel, in order to make a comparison with authentic Bronze Age swords.

Ratio of point of balance vs. weight of model Sárospatak and model Stätzling compared to original swords from Italy and Greece. Data on swords fro Italy and Greece adapted from Jung & Mehofer 2013. Thanks to Mr. Reinhard Jung and Mr. Mathias Mehofer for information on the methods used for measuring the original swords from Italy and Greece.   

 

We should keep in mind that the above diagram only shows a small sample of the total number of Naue II swords, and the sample is from outside the major areas of production in Central- and Northern Europe. But there is no reason to doubt that this sample is representative: there is a main cluster on weights from 550 to 800 grams, with points of balance from 26cm to 34cm (measured from proximal end of sword, i.e. top of hilt).


Model Sárospatak: Weight: 690 grams. POB: 28-30 cm. Total length: 63 cm (all measurements unhilted).

Model Stätzling: Weight: 790 grams. POB: 29-31 cm. Total length: 67 cm (all measurements unhilted).

 

We should also allow for some noise related to the fact that the presence of a pommel tang or not (type Stätzling or Reutlingen) is not taken into consideration in these measurements. Measured from the hand, the two models are very similar (see figure below).

The two Naue II models compared.

 

 

Litterature:

Drews, R. 1993: The End of the Bronze Age. Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. Princeton University Press.

Jung, R. 2008: Pirates of the Aegean: Italy - the East Aegean – Cyprus at the end of the Second Millennium BC. In: Karageorghis, V. & Kouka, O. 2009: Cyprus and the East Aegean. Intercultural Contacts from 3000 to 500 BC. An International Archaeological Symposium held at Pythagoreion, Samos, October 17th - 18th 2008. Nicosia.

Jung, R. & Mehofer, M. 2013: Mycenaean Greece and Bronze Age Italy: Cooperation, Trade or War? Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 43. RGZM.

Jung, R. & Mehofer, M.  2006: A Sword of Naue II Type from Ugarit and the Historical Significance of Italian-type Weaponry in the Eastern Mediterranean. Aegean Archaeology. Vol 8.
Koui, M. et. al. 2006: Study of Bronze Age Copper-Based Swords of Type Naue II and spearheads from Greece and Albania. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 6.1: 49-59.

Kemenczei, T. 1988: Die Schwerter in Ungarn I. Griffplatten-, Griffangel-, Griffzungenschwerter. Prahistorische Bronzefunde IV, 6. München.

Kristiansen, K. & Suchowska-Ducke, P. 2015: Connected Histories: the Dynamics of Bronze Age Interaction and Trade 1500–1100 bc. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 81, pp 361-392.

Papst, S. 2013: Naue II-Schwerter mit Knaufzunge und die Aussenbeziehungen der mykenischen Kriegerelite in postpalatialer Zeit. Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 60: 105-152.
Suchowska-Ducke, P. 2015: The Dissemination of Naue II swords - a Case Study on Long-distance Mobility. In: Suchowska-Ducke, P., Scott Reiter, S. & Vandkilde, H., Forging Identities. The Mobility of Culture in Bronze Age Europe, Vol 2: 257-265.British Archaeological Reports.