Friday, August 8, 2014

Mysterious Viking Sword Made With Technology From the Future?

The Viking sword Ulfberht was made of metal so pure it baffled archaeologists. It was thought the technology to forge such metal was not invented for another 800 or more years, during the Industrial Revolution. About 170 Ulfberhts have been found, dating from 800 to 1,000 A.D. A NOVA, National Geographic documentary titled “Secrets of the Viking Sword”, first aired in 2012, took a look at the enigmatic sword’s metallurgic composition. In the process of forging iron, the ore must be heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit to liquify, allowing the blacksmith to remove the impurities (called “slag”). Carbon is also mixed in to make the brittle iron stronger. Medieval technology did not allow iron to be heated to such a high temperature, thus the slag was removed by pounding it out, a far less effective method. The Ulfberht, however, has almost no slag, and it has a carbon content three times that of other metals from the time. It was made of a metal called “crucible steel.” 

It was thought that the furnaces invented during the industrial revolution were the first tools for heating iron to this extent. Modern blacksmith Richard Furrer of Wisconsin spoke to NOVA about the difficulties of making such a sword. Furrer is described in the documentary as one of the few people on the planet who has the skills needed to try to reproduce the Ulfberht. “To do it right, it is the most complicated thing I know how to make,” he said. He commented on how the Ulfberht maker would have been regarded as possessing magical powers. “To be able to make a weapon from dirt is a pretty powerful thing,” he said. But, to make a weapon that could bend without breaking, stay so sharp, and weigh so little would be regarded as supernatural. Furrer spent days of continuous, painstaking work forging a ...

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1 comment:

  1. Advanced, for it's time, to be certain. But understand this, man has, at times, in places, regarding some things, been more advanced than we are today. Some of it in recorded history, forgotten even so, such as the better quality underwater cement the Romans used. We now have underwater cement, but it isn't that good. Some tech or processes only remains in the forms of artifacts, ideas, or ruins.

    This sword cost a fortune in it's day. As advanced as it was, however? The special properties that make it advanced for it's time are less than the typical steel we can purchase, in bulk, from any steel plant in the world. Assuming they don't cheat on the formula or typical process, which can, mostly, be assumed. As for spending days making it? How long does it take to build a Lamborghini? In their respective times, the sword was more valuable in a strictly gold value standard. The hardest, most complex, thing he has ever done? How hard, my friend, do moderns actually work or think? Again, there is no comparison. Most moderns have never even been hungry a day of our lives, without choice. None of us have had our villages raided, even by our own kings! No, not alien, or unreasonably advanced. It was merely hunger, fear, and some other things that drove men to make good, better, then best.

    As I said, though, we produce such metal, today, on a scale and of a quality these people could only dream. In the 1860's Carnegie was the first to begin developing the manufacturing process for steel in quantities and of quality to be used to build the first major bridge of metal. Since and in that time, it is now cheap and vastly better, and of many sorts. As to why the sword tech didn't survive, might I suggest bows, canons, rifles, and the nuke. Simply lost it's relative value. Now, even women can be warriors, sort of. Before pointing to Joan of Arc, you best read of her. She was no warrior... even wearing her armor to prevent from losing, quite possibly forcibly, her chastity... while among her own men.

    Never mind.