Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
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Comparable finds

Detail sword
Detail of the chased decoration on a sword from the Nebra hoard. The green band in the middle is the remains of copper inlay (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Foto: Juraj Lipták)

Inspired by the Apa type of sword, which was first imported and then imitated, local production of swords in central and northern Europe began towards the end of the early bronze age, around 1700 BC. These weapons included a type of blade which is slightly curved and often decorated, with a strong central ridge. These are known as Sögel blades, after a site in Lower Saxony. The swords from Nebra are in essence a combination of Apa swords, following a Hungarian model, and the Sögel blades native to northern Europe. The type of hilt here, with a shell of hollow metal creating one half of the form (Halbschalengriff), is rare.

Hoard from Gröbers-Bennewitz, Saxony-Anhalt (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Foto: Juraj Lipták)

While the swords from the Nebra deposit are unexpected and exceptional objects, the axeheads, spiral armbands and chisel, in contrast, form part of the familiar set of finds usual in central Germany from the early bronze age. The form of the axeheads points clearly to a particular period and they provide a first point of reference for dating the deposition of the hoard. Chisels with a bend in the sides are found in this period between the Alps and southern Scandinavia. They usually show clear marks of wear, like the one from Nebra. Both the spiral armbands, which the finders say were originally two complete pieces of jewellery, were broken into numerous fragments during and after their removal from the ground. Simple spiral armbands like these are known from many hoards, and their main area of distribution is central Germany.