Flügellanze »Rüstungskontrolle« an der Reichsgrenze

Archäologische Staatssammlung München


During the course of the eighth century, iron lance tips were increasingly forged in larger and more massive shapes. This development was based on a new fighting technique, which relied on the use of weapons of heavy impact by cavalry soldiers as a military response to mounted units of Avars and Arabs, who at that time threatened the Frankish Empire. From lateral appendages and hooks at the tail end of the lances, flat "wings" finally developed for the attachment of small flags: the typical winged lances of the Carolingian period were born. Since the early tenth century a Carolingian winged lance tip was considered a sign of empire, as "holy lance" (today at Vienna), since in its flattened blade allegedly a nail of Christ’s cross was incorporated. This splendidly decorated wing lance is said to have come to light "Am Hang der Wallanlage" (on the slope of the rampart) of the Schlüpfelberg, which towers 573 m above the valley of the Sulz near Mühlhausen. Coloured threads made of precious silver and gold highlight the Schlüpfelberg winged lance under formally comparable pieces. Perhaps this exquisite, unique piece was the ensign of a Carolingian official. Possibly, he was a follower of Count Audulf, who controlled Bavaria's fate as prefect between 799 and 818/19. The site is located in the hinterland of Regensburg and Premberg near Teublitz (district of Schwandorf). In 805, foreign trade with the Slavs was to be controlled and the export of Frankish weapons was to be prevented. At least this is stated in the "Diedenhofener Kapitular" (Diedenhofen Capitularies) of Charlemagne, a succinct decree from his late years of government, when the Frankish Empire threatened to break apart through fights with the Slavs, civil unrest and famine.


Archäologische Staatssammlung München

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