Shield Ravens


Latest News and Reviews

view:  full / summary

Product Review : Medieval Lantern

Posted on June 13, 2018 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

There is something to be said about soft candle light that brightens up a room. It is soft, soothing and very welcoming. So, when I brought in one of our newest items a replica of a Medieval Lantern I knew I was in trouble because it was love at first sight.

This replica is from Southern Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic near the city of Tabor during the 14th century, which was founded by the Hussites. Holding this lantern, I had images of Ancient Fortifications people moving about their day, feasting in the main hall where these lanterns may have graced the table of the local Chieftain. I wanted to go back in time to visit this area, but alas my lantern isn’t a Genies lantern that would grant me that wish.

What I can tell you is that the lantern very sturdy and made from Ceramic, and I really love the forged color and it fits well in a rustic or modern setting. We usually light our candles in the evening and the candle light fills the room with a soft warm glow through the opening and holes at the top.

The candle holder is perfect for votives or tealights and is 16cm in height, with an sturdy handle for carrying.

So, if you are finding you want to add an extra medieval touch to your feasting table or home this would be perfect!

You can find Lantern here : http://www.shieldravens.com/apps/webstore/products/show/7548605


The Celtic Lady

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I have always been fascinated by ancient history and the past. I have wasted many an hour daydreaming of ancient civilizations. I tend to devour acarology news like it is going out of style. Every Dig, every find just giving us a brief glimpse as to what life may have been like for those remains we discover.

There is one discovery that really stands out and that was of the “Celtic Princess’ discovered in 2011 by German archeologists next to the river Danube in Heuneburg. They German experts took a tremendous amount of care and time as they took apart the grave to discover the secrets that lay beneath the soil.

The large wooden burial chamber contains the 2,600-year-old skeleton of an ancient Celtic noblewoman. Aged between 30 and 40 when she died, the high-born lady was buried with a cache of ornate treasures, such as gold necklaces set with pearls, and she was found wearing crafted amber around her waist.

The grave had been preserved by the water sodden soil so much so that the oak of the floor remained intact. So much so that they were able to date the oak tree to 2,630 years ago. The assumption is that they were felled for this Lady’s grave.

Finely worked gold and amber jewelry, including the pieces seen above, are among scores of Celtic treasures from a tomb recently unearthed in southern Germany.

According to Dr. Dirk Krausse when he spoke to the BBC    “It is the oldest princely female grave yet from the Celtic word.” He also noted “It is the only example of an Early Celtic Princely grave with a wooden Chamber” 

Nicole Ebenger-Rest has been doing much of the painstaking work, where she has discovered rings, broaches and even found some of our Lady's teeth. But what excited her the most according to the BBC article were the specks of organic matter and cloth that might give us instight to her daily life.

"It is a skeleton but it's still a human being so you have a natural respect," she said, looking her fellow human being in the face, across the divide of 26 centuries."It's a natural respect between two people."

This lavish grave confirms Heuneburg as one of the earliest centers of Celtic art and culture, according to excavation leaders. 

Reference Material : 

BBC Article :  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13225829

Ancient Orgins :   http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/examining-rich-tomb-mysterious-celtic-princess-005388

Beaker People replace Ancient Britons

Posted on February 21, 2018 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a fascinating new study that has just been published called the “Mammoth Study” released by Nature. In the recent BBC article, it states that this new study shows that the ancient peoples of Britain could have been replaced by “newcomers’ whom they called The Beaker People.

For those fascinated by Ancient Britain the Beaker People do not come as a surprise and for we knew that they were the indigenous race of Britain. But what is so surprising is that they nearly wiped out the early British Farmers and replaced 90% of the DNA within a few hundred years. Which means that the British people of today are related to the Beaker People instead of the ancient people who created Stonehenge. To the academic archaeologically society this is mind blowing.


So, who exactly where the “Beaker People or Beaker Folk “They were late Neolithic- Early Bronze Age people living about 4,500 years ago whose ancestry lay in central Europe and further east to the Steppes. They are given their name “Beaker People” from their distinctive bell-shaped beakers, decorated in horizontal zones by finely toothed stamps. 

They were farmers and archers, wearing stone wrist guards to protect their arms from the sting of a bowstring. It has been said that they were also the first metalsmiths in Britain, working in copper and gold, and later in the bronze which has given its name to this era.

Another possibility that has been suggested is linking the Beaker People with the spread of Celtic languages. Although many experts believe the Celtic languages spread thousands of years later.

What is fascinating to me that all of these studies all tie back the Beaker Pottery that has been found through out  Europe. Where they find the pottery, they find the people.

Resourses and Links for this Article :

Mammoth Study : https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25738

BBC Article : http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43115485



What did Vikings Eat?

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

What Did the Vikings Eat?

We know little of the recipes from the Viking era, but know a lot about the ingredients the Vikings had at their disposal through archaeological excavations.

It is among others found “remnants” of food in pans and waste piles. Something is also featured in writings from this era. Everyday food for the Vikings was often porridge and soups (stews). Meat was mostly for celebrations. They also had access to milk, honey and eggs.

They used sour milk and made cheese, beer and mead. The beer was thin and was drunk everyday. Mead is a honey wine that was drunk for special occasions...

To read the full article : Recipe Reminiscing :  

Video creted and produced by : Hands on History AS   

A Brief History of Drinking Horns

Posted on June 14, 2017 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The story of the “Drinking Horn” is a long and fascinating one. Drinking horns have been around for at least 2,600 years but it is possible that they have been around much longer than that. During all this time, the drinking horns have gone from practical drinking horns to symbolic and representations of the hallowed past. They’ve been Made from the likes of Glass, Gold, Silver and Cow or Ox Horns by cultures from all around the world.

The best place to start considering the history of the “drinking Horn” is with the Thracians. In Thrace drinking horns were made from horn or wood and played an important part of life. The Greeks refereed to drinking from a horn as drinking “after the Thracian fashion” The Thracians were the first known culture to challenge each other to Drinking matches!

Thracian Drinking Horn

The Romans took drinking horns and symbolism to a new level by creating glass drinking horns for feasts and ceremonies. To the Romans the Drinking Horn was a symbol of wealth and power. Their popularity spread as did the Roman and eventually made it to the Iron Age Celts and Scandinavians who gave the horn an important role in their mythology and religions.

Speaking of the Celts they were known for their feasting and often setting out huge cauldrons of mead, wine or beer and the guests could fill their drinking horns. Many Celtic Burial sites included metal banded drinking horns as a tribute. Many of the Old Irish Drinking horns were made of Gold with intricate carvings and inlaid handles and are considered works of art.

It is no surprise that the Vikings drank from Drinking horns, both water, milk and Mead. Traces of several horns have been found in Viking Age Burial Mounds, the interesting part is mostly in female graves. Which recalls the mythology of the Valkyries who were the female warriors to would choose men that will die in battle, often depicted of extending the drinking horns to the slain warriors to welcome them to Valhalla. In the real-life extensions of this, women hosts would ceremoniously extend drinking horns to honored guests.

1893, drawing depicting Sif, a Norse Goddess holding a Horn

As we look back into History we can see that it wasn’t just the Vikings that drank from the Drinking horns, they have served many purposes over the centuries and there is no better way that honoring your ancestors by raising your horn in honor!

Faolan, Forged Celtic Knife - Product Review

Posted on May 27, 2017 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My husband introduced me to the world of Bushcraft about 12 years ago and ever since I have been on a fast-paced learning experience that has shaped how I live now. Knives have always been a passion for me and I remember receiving my first bushcraft knife and how enamored I was with it.

At the time it suited my needs, it fit well in my hand and I could do all sorts of camp craft as needed. But as my skill grew I found myself really wanting a traditional knife to have at my side. I have gone through several knives and they were all great but I was missing something. I wanted to bring a bit of ancient tradition into my modern life.

It was then my husband gifted me with the hand forged Faolan Celtic Knife.

I fell in love with it the moment I held it in my hand, for there was history behind this knife. The Faolan Celtic Knife is a replica knife that was found at the Oppida Zavist Celtic site in the Czech Republic. It was the largest Celtic Oppidum in Bohemia and located in the hills of the Brezany Valley, which had been inhabited since the bronze age.

This knife is made of carbon steel full tang measuring 20cm (7 inches) in length. The blade is 9cm (3.5 inches) in length and 4mm thick. The handle is wrapped with leather for grip. The leather sheath is well made and fits the blade nicely. The size is perfect for me both because of my hand size and I like the way it sits on my hip. It doesn’t get in the way of my movement.

What amazes me about this knife is if you were to place a plastic handle on it would look like any modern knife. So, it is safe to say that the knives that were made in the iron age could stand up against any modern knife we have.

This is a perfect blade to carry with you for EDC or into the woods for simple camp craft. It is great for making feather sticks and any other small tasks.

The upkeep for this knife is simple, just sharpen when needed with your sharping tool of choice. Keep the blade oiled to avoid rust and if you will be using it to cut food make sure to use a food safe oil.

All in all, this is a lovely knife and I highly recommend it!

~ Kat
   Shield Ravens


Viking Hawk Refurbishment

Posted on May 25, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been long fascinated with ancient weapons, and have started to accumulate several for my own personal collection. Martial Arts and handling weapons is just part of our normal everyday household. I have always been partial to the Sword and Shield as my preferred weapon and my husband’s weapon of choice is the Axe and Shield.

It wasn’t until he purchased himself a tomahawk for his own project that I started to think about owning a tomahawk. His tomahawk turned out amazing and when he took it with him on our trips into the woods I realized how much more versatile a tomahawk can be. It can be used for so many things besides a fighting weapon. After he allowed me to use it for chopping wood, or creating my walking stick I soon found my wanting one of my own.

My husband must have known that I was secretly harboring a love for his hawk, for on my birthday he gifted me with Cold Steel’s “Viking Hawk” I was over the moon, holding the “Viking Hawk’ in my hands was so empowering. I decided to do something I have never done before and that was to refurbish an axe and make it my own.

The first thing that I wanted to change was the tomahawk’s head, I did not like the painted look and decided to strip the paint off the blade. Removing the head was quite easy. The thing with Cold Steel manufacturing is that they often use a screw to hold the tomahawk head into place. For a tomahawk, this should not be required as the head should be held on with friction. I would like to note that once you remove the Tomahawk Blade there is a small lip in the wood where the sharp edge of the head has bitten into the wooden shaft. That will need to be sanded down to get a good solid fit.

Next I needed to get rid of the black protective paint on the tomahawk head. I found a great paint stripper that isn’t harsh and biodegradable called “Citristrip” which can be found at Home Depot or any hardware store. It is a gel like substance and has a citrus smell. I covered the hawk blade in this gel and let set. All in all, it took two applications to remove most of the paint. First application was 4 hours and then I let it set over night. It is an easy clean up, and if you find you have any remaining paint you can remove that with a wire brush.

Stripping Gel 

Hawk blade covered in Stripping Gel

Finshed Hawk Blade

Now that the Tomahawk Head was sorted I turned my attention to the handle. First I had to sand it and remove the burr left by the hawk’s head, mention earlier. This also conditioned it for staining. I knew before I even started that I wanted some sort of Runic Script and knotwork down the handle. This for me was the most difficult part of the entire refurb. I am not that artistic and taking a wood burner to my hawk’s handle was a wee bit scary. But I did it! I decided to burn the name of my axe in runic script “RavensWing”, and found a simple knotwork design that even I could match. I used tracing paper to transfer the script and designs onto the wood and that really worked well. I was quite pleased with the result.

Finished Wood Burning Design

Now it was time for staining the wood. I used a basic wood stain from home depot. I hung the wooden shaft from the ceiling on our porch which allowed both of my hand to be free while applying the stain. It took about 3 applications of stain to get the desired look.

Finished Stain

Before the tomahawk could be re-assembled I need to tackle the sharp edge of the hawk’s head where the shaft meets head. This was done by filing the inside edge to be rounded. Now it was time to get this tomahawk assembled again, which was quite simple just slipping the handle back into the head and with a few taps on the ground the head was in place and held with friction. After the tomahawk was whole again I needed oil the handle with Boiled Linseed oil. Our rules for oiling handles are as follows: oil every day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month for a year and then once a year for the rest of the tools life. This will help maintain and protect the tomahawk for many years to come. Since the Tomahawk Head was Carbon Steel I also oiled the blade to prevent rust.


As you can see we have quite the collection going : 

There is something to be said about taking the time to make weapon/tool your own. There is satisfaction with making a tool your own and creating something that is unique to yourself. RavensWing is everything I hoped she would be.

~ Kat