|Found: Manton burrow, Wessex, UK
Age: early bronzeage
This casting was innitially intended as a test for making the dagger of Bargeroosterveld. I wanted to see how thin I could cast the blade, and how the shape and size would change by hammering. After I caused a crack to the blade by hammering, I decided to finish it modern, with the dagger from Manton burrow as example. For more information about this find, see this site.
|Material: clay & sand
The mould is made from clay and sand, and has been baked.
|Here's the blade after casting, with the casting feed removed. I've also started hammering the blade here. I was quite surprized with how well the mould was filled, and how smooth the surface was.|
Finishing the blade
|With a flint blade I removed part of the edge to give the blade its point. After this I attempted to thin down the blade by hammering, with several annealings in between. Unfortunately I cracked the blade. This was in the part that would be covered by the hilt, so I decided to finish it anyway, but by using modern tools.|
|Just like the dagger from Manton burrow, I made the pommel out of amber. This took the most time of the dagger. Amber is extremely fragile, and pieces continuously broke from the pommel. How they managed to do it originally is a mystery to me.|
|Here are all the parts before assembly. There are a few differences with the original blade from Manton burrow. These include the shape and size of the blade, an third rivet and the hilt plates I made from horn instead of wood. Hilt plates of horn were used on other daggers from the same period, so mine is more of a hybrid of several daggers.|
|Bronze rivets for attaching pommels on these sort of daggers were never found. Therefore it's thought that wooden pins were used. So I did this as well, and it seems to work fine.|
The finished dagger
|The dagger is now finished. It's about 10cm in length, an despite its small size it's still larger then the original. The original was therefore never intended as weapon, but more as a small knife.|