Viking Bow -Hedeby Bow
2 in stock
Description of the Product
Bows and archery are not necessarily the first things that come to mind when thinking of the weapons of the Viking age, but they did nevertheless play an important role. There are written, pictorial as well as archeological evidence which paint a clear picture of the bow as a pivotal weapon in Viking-age Scandinavia, both in war and hunting. In the Sagas there are heroes who could aim incredibly accurately with their strong bows. Based on illustrations and a few archeological finds, it would seem that the Vikings even had their own bow type, which differs from other known bows.
Our Viking bow is an adapted replica of the so called Hedeby bow. The original Hedeby bow was found in the area of the Viking town of Hedeby, which now lies in northern Germany (Haithabu). The discoveries there have been dated to around 800-1000 CE.
These types of long Viking era bows have been found in some archeological digs. For some reason this earlier, longer, model got shorter as time went on, at least in some parts of the Viking world. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, the troops in the battle of Hastings were mainly using shorter bows, which nevertheless belonged to this same bow type. It is not known how long these bows were used into the middle ages, but at least in the early middle ages the Viking bow type was still thriving, as it after all played an important part in the conquest of England.
The most notable characteristics of a Hedeby bow are its long nocks/string notches, (the grooves at tips of the bow, where the string is attached). The other curiosity of the Hedeby bow is the stud at the top of the bow, which in all likelihood is there to keep the string in place when the bow is not strung. When transporting a bow, the string tends to slip down and get tangled, so perhaps the stud was their way of trying to solve this annoying little problem.
Our Hedeby bow is a replica of the historical find in most respects, but its width and thickness have been scaled down a little, to make its draw weight more suitable for the modern archer. The original bow was 40 mm wide and 33 mm thick at the handle and this version is 35 mm wide and 27 mm thick at the handle. The original was made of yew and had a draw weight of around 80-100 pounds. Our Viking bows have draw weights between 30-35 pounds with a 28 inch draw length. They are made of either white ash or white oak, depending on seasonal availability. The bows are 189 cm in length.
The string of this bow can always stay tied to the bottom. When the top loop of the string is slid into the notches of the upper limb, the brace height remains correct, and the bump in the string marking the nocking point for the arrow is in the right place.
The bow comes with a mock arrow for checking the correct draw length. This arrow has no fletchings or tip, and it is to be used as a simple guide against which to check that your arrows are compatible with this bow in length.
This traditional bow is ready to shoot and enjoy, as it requires no adjustments or preliminary break-ins. The bow has a one year warranty from date of purchase, and it is entirely hand made in Finland.
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