Station: [06] Starigard / Oldenburg at war

  • Oldenburger Wallmuseum

The threat posed by the Danes, Franconians and neighboring Slavic tribes was part of everyday life of those living in Starigard. There were often battles. The great majority of the warriors were farmers, as you can see on the left side of this group of figures. The arms of foot warriors comprised of tools from everyday life which could be made quickly and cheaply. A knife and narrow axe were always to be found, bow and arrow as well as a spear were used for hunting. Only few had a shield for protection.

However, in large forts such as Starigard there are also horsemen warriors. These men originated from a higher social class. Their arms were of a better quality and more expensive. The purchase and upkeep of a horse was very costly. Horsemen warriors were armed with swords. These valuable double-edged cutting weapons were brought to the Slavic areas in the early Middle Ages from the west of Franconia, often via Scandinavia. In the 10th century, inscriptions such as Ulfberth or Ingelred were a sign of a real quality seal. They identified the respective armorer or his workshop. A large wooden shield served as protection for the horseman, and the iron shield boss protected the hand of the warrior. Leather armor protected the horsemen from arrows or sword thrusts. Ring armor, better known as chain mail armor was worn only sometimes, as were helmets. The pointed conical helmet with a nasal protection was typical for the west Slavic area.

The cabinet to the left shows the hook spurs, stirrups and snaffles typical for Slavic horseman’s equipment. Horseshoes had already been known since the 8th century, but were seldom used. The most frequently found items are arrowheads, whose workmanship reveals the origin of the respective attacker.