Vendel Spear Warriors T-shirt
Design based on the "Fighting Warriors" pressblech found on the Vendel XIV helmet discovered in Uppland province, Sweden.
The imagery shows two individuals engaged in combat, wearing Kaftan style "battle coats", similar to figures found on the Sutton Hoo Mound 1 helmet and Valsgärde helmets. Another pressblech displaying the Fighting Warriors imagery was found on the partially surviving Vendel XI pressblech fragment albeit with a different visual design.
The warriors are shown with Angon spears, with one piercing a shield and another individual curiously holding his shield towards his face. Interestingly in 2009, fragmentary pressblechs found in the famous Staffordshire Hoard, displayed (Find numbers: STH 1423 and STH 1382), warriors marching holding spears and shields, wearing eagle-crested helmets similar to foils found on the Vendel boat grave helmets in Uppland, Sweden.
This iconography may symbolize either the warrior simply holding the shield as protection or as emulating a "War Cry" known as the Barditus/Barritus.
This was attested by the 1st century AD Roman Cornelius Tacitus, as well as the later 4th century, Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus. Tacitus describes in his work Germania; "It began as a “harsh, intermittent roar.” By holding their shields to their mouth, the reverberating sound would swell into a deafening crescendo, like waves smashing into the rocky shore". The site of the Vendel helmets was first excavated in 1881-1883, when several excavations by Hjalmar Stolpe revealed 14 graves in and just beyond the south-east corner of the Vendel churchyard. Several of the burials were contained in boats up to 9 metres long, and were richly furnished with arrangements of weapons (including fine swords), helmets, cauldrons and chains, beads, shields, tools, etc. Vendel has given its name to a period (the Vendel Age) in the Scandinavian Iron Age.