Another example of early Middle Ages weaponry, was the 6th Century Norseman Bearded Axe. The Axe Head had an elongated curved front - beveled sharply. Slopping rearward to a smaller tapered back, it had a smaller multi-Spiked protrusion. The larger front (as described), resembled a "Man's Beard" (hence the name). It was unusual in that the hooks on it's back were used as an early attempt at pulling down Riders, hooking clothes or shields (pre-Halberd). The weapons handle could be anywhere from 8 to 15 inches. The grip was accomplished, not by gripping the handle (as one would), but by grasping the top of the handle, underneath "The Beard". This caused the user to use the Axe more as a slashing/ cutting device (like a knife) - unlike a chopping or hacking weapon.