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Mammen Style takes its name from its type object, an ax recovered from a wealthy male burial marked a mound at Mammen, in Jutland, Denmark.
Mammen Style takes its name from its type object, an ax recovered from a wealthy male burial marked a mound (Bjerringhø) at Mammen, in Jutland, Denmark (on the basis of dendrochronology, the wood used in construction of the grave chamber was felled in winter 970–971). Richly decorated on both sides with inlaid silver designs, the iron ax was probably a ceremonial parade weapon that was the property of a man of princely status, his burial clothes bearing elaborate embroidery and trimmed with silk and fur.
On one face, the Mammen ax features a large bird with a pelleted body, crest, circular eye, and upright head and beak with lappet. A large shell-spiral marks the bird’s hip, from which point its thinly elongated wings emerge: the right wing interlaces with the bird’s neck, while the left wing interlaces with its body and tail. The outer wing edge displays a semi-circular nick typical of Mammen Style design. The tail is rendered as a triple tendril, the particular treatment of which on the Mammen ax – with open, hook-like ends – forming a characteristic of the Mammen Style as a whole. Complicating the design is the bird’s head-lappet, interlacing twice with neck and right wing, whilst also sprouting tendrils along the blade edge. At the top, near the haft, the Mammen ax features an interlaced knot on one side, a triangular human mask (with a large nose, mustache and spiral beard) on the other; the latter would prove a favored Mammen Style motif carried over from earlier styles.
On the other side, the Mammen ax bears a spreading foliate (leaf) design, emanating from spirals at the base with thin, ‘pelleted’ tendrils spreading and intertwining across the ax head towards the haft.