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CIO lab dated specific material from the sword of Grutte Pier

08 November 2022

CIO's lab coordinator and researcher dr. Sanne Palstra and collegues contributed to the 'Historical Evidence' television programme. The episode will probably be shown at the end of September with some more employees of the CIO. They have contributed to the episode about the sword of Grutte Pier. 

This sword, which has long been known as the sword of Grutte pier, is probably a fifteenth-century Biedenhänder. In other words, a sword that you must wield with two hands. This sword with marks and a goatskin handle probably comes from Germany. Maybe Pier captured it from a Saxon soldier?

There are many legends about Pier and his actions. One of the best known fact is that he got people to say the still popular phrase 'Bûter, brea en griene tsiis, wa't dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries'. Only real Frisians can pronounce the sentence.

Pier knew immediately whether someone was an enemy and therefore whether he or she should be beheaded. He could behead several opponents at the same time with one blow. GruttePier, his sword and his deeds became more and more powerful and 'grutter'' in the folk tales.

The folk tales also tell that Pier would be as long as 2.15 meters and could lift a plow with one hand! With 2.13 meters length and 6.6 kg. the sword in the Fries Museum & Keramiekmuseum Princessehof is also extremely large and heavy, and has certainly served as inspiration for these stories.

In the television program it was investigated whether the 'sword of Grutte Pier' could indeed have been his sword. The CIO lab dated specific material from the sword using radiocarbon analysis.

More information about the television programme:

 More information about the sword of #Grutte #Pier:

Last modified:05 March 2023 3.33 p.m.

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