The image above comes from an Imgur post that crossed my content trawl. I did a little google-fu and could find nothing explaining the provenance of the photo. The image also hit this Reddit post, where its comment thread makes for some interesting reading, especially in the discussion of rust. Or you can read Will Woods’ treatise on the subject.
Since I couldn’t find out more about the above axe, here is a recent piece describing the discovery of one of the biggest Viking axes in Denmark.
Though large, the axe has barely any decorative markings on it, suggesting it once belonged to an extremely strong warrior who actually used the two-handed weapon in combat before his demise.
“It’s a bit extraordinary – it’s much bigger and heavier than the other axes. It would have had a very long handle, and it took both hands to use it,” lead archaeologist Kirsten Nellemann Nielsen, from the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark, told Tom Metcalfe from Live Science. “He didn’t have anything else buried with him, so I think you can say he identified himself as a warrior above anything else.”
The remains were originally discovered back in 2012 inside a ‘death house’ – a type of Viking tomb that measured roughly 3.9 metres (13 feet) by 12.8 metres (42 feet) and contained three separate graves – that was uncovered during a construction project in Denmark’s southwestern region known as Hårup.