Francisca Throwing Axe. High Carbon Steel & Tempered
This francisca axe is based upon an archaeological find from Rhenen cemetery in the Netherlands. The original artefact is estimated to have been made between the late Roman period to early middle ages.
The throwing axe appears to have been most popular during the Anglo Saxon and Frankish Carolingian/Merovingian period of approximately 400-700AD.
The fransica axe most likely evolved from previous Germanic and Roman conflicts which commonly opened with the exchange of thrown projectiles.
It is theorised that as fighting formations tightened and armour become more common in the Viking and Medieval era the throwing axe fell out of common use in Europe.
Guy Halsall In the book Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West (450-900) suggests the following.
“The sixth-century franks seem to have made much use of the axe. Two general types appear in the archaeology of Merovingian cemeteries: a battle-axe apparently wielded with one hand, and the more famous throwing axe… However, this axe seems to have developed in Northern Gaul during the fifth century, quite probably from prototypes common in the late Roman army… These axes are also found to a lesser extent in southern England and in the Alamannic region of southern Germany” pg 165
The axe has a wedge shaped wooden handle and the head is forged from EN45 high carbon steel and tempered. The handle measures 47.5cm in length and the head is 17.5cm long by 9cm high.