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Types of Viking Helmets
Knowledge of true Viking helmets relies on limited archaeological discoveries, and historical records.
From excavated remains, inscriptions and other illustrations, it is known that the Vikings wore helmets made of iron.
They would often have a rounded cap that would cover the whole skull and either a spectacle guard around the eyes or a nose plate.
The style of these types of helmets is known as Spangenhelm.
Further, these helmets would often have chain mail attached to further protect the neck from sword attacks.
Did Vikings Wear Horned or Winged Helmets?
Without a doubt, the most iconic Viking helmet is a horned or winged helmet. However, historically speaking, there has never been any evidence they were used in battle. This makes them quite controversial.
There is no question the Vikings had excellent blacksmithing skills and created some of the best weapons and armor of their time. We also know they were fearsome and liked to make a statement.
With that in mind, horns would have made the wearer look more intimidating. Wings may have also had a similar purpose.
Furthermore, helmets with metal horns date back to the Nordic Bronze Age which is 2000 years before the Viking Age. But even those horns were only believed to be used for ceremonial use and not in battle.
So, did the Vikings wear horned or winged helmets? Evidence points to no during battle. But they may have worn these or similar helmets for ritual or decorative purposes.
Nevertheless, this misconception has gained so much momentum that wearing a horned helmet is a dead giveaway that the wearer is portraying a Viking. So we say, if you want to wear one, just do it!