Collection: viking helmet
There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the history of the Viking helmet. It must have been a very important piece of armor for the Vikings and Drakka Viking Shields is proud to offer a large range of steel replicas.
The viking helmet was typically shaped like bowls with prominent nose guards. Very likely Viking-age helmets did not have horns, contrary to popular belief. Before and after the Viking era, helmet bowls were made from hammered iron. Viking helmets, however, were typically made from several pieces of iron riveted together, called spangenhelms. Due to its ease of manufacture and low labor requirements, this method may have been used to make helmets. Due to the limitations of bog iron that was widely used in the Viking age, it is possible Viking-age smiths were unable to create a single piece of iron large enough to create the bowl for a helmet.
There was a single iron band that circled the head around the brow and was riveted to two additional iron bands that crossed at the top of the head. In order to create the bowl, riveted iron plates were inserted into the four openings. Hard leather may have been used to fill the four openings, instead of iron, to reduce costs. The nose guard was attached to the brow with a rivet. In spite of its awkward appearance, the nose guard has prevented my nose from being broken at least once.
There is no information available regarding what was used inside the viking helmet. A helmet must be lifted off the head and spread out in order to absorb the force of a blow. In the event that the helmet's iron rested directly on the skull, a blow to the helmet would be transmitted directly to the skull, providing only limited protection. Few helmets (and pieces of helmets) survive with rivet holes, suggesting that leather suspension systems were used. A cap made from an absorbent material, such as sheepskin, was likely used, not only to absorb the blow, but also to absorb sweat, which prevented the viking helmet from rusting from within.
Did viking helmets have horns?
No evidence exists that the Vikings wore horned helmets, and nothing similar has ever been found in archaeological excavations. There is no doubt that they wore helmets, but they would have been simple skullcaps intended to provide protection from impact to the head. All Drakka helmets are round, reflecting as accurately as possible the ones raiders were wearing during the Viking era.
What are some interesting viking helmet facts?
First of all, helmets were not buried with the deceased. The Vikings often buried expensive items with their families to demonstrate their high status. A second interesting fact is that helmets were made of thin metal and were not durable over time. Since older helmets dating back to cultures that predated the Vikings have survived over time, this is unlikely. The Viking helmet may have been made of non-metallic materials and may have decayed over time. It is unlikely that these helmets would provide adequate protection for the head.