Denmark

Category archives for Denmark

Beautiful Vendel Period Jewellery

I’m happy and relieved. A 73-page paper that I put a lot of work and travel into and submitted almost five years ago has finally been published. In his essays, Stephen Jay Gould often refers to his “technical work”, which largely concerns Cerion land snails and is most likely not read by very many people.…

Tripartite Names in Denmark and China

Danes often have tripartite names, like famous Roman Iron Age scholar Ulla Lund Hansen or NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. And I’ve been wondering how these names are inherited. Specifically, which names get dropped and which ones get passed on to the kids. So I wrote my erudite buddy, osteologist Helene Agerskov Madsen, and…

The Lejre Freya Miniature

Apparently the Lejre excavators still haven’t realised that the lovely silver miniature they found depicts an aristocratic woman who can’t be Odin, regardless of who may be the owner of the throne she sits on. A Danish news site contacted me today and asked me about the issue. Here’s what I said (and I translate).…

Odin from Lejre? No, it’s Freya!

So you’re a metal detectorist and you find a silver figurine at storied Lejre in Denmark. It depicts a person sitting in a high seat whose posts end in two wolves’ heads. And on either arm rest sits a raven. The style is typical for about AD 900. So when you hand the thing over…

The jaw-drop moment of the conference came for me when osteologist Lise Harvig off-handedly showed us pictures of what she is doing. She’s a PhD student with Niels Lynnerup at the Dept of Forensic Medicine at Copenhagen. Remember the crumbling Neolithic amber bead hoard that the Danes ran through a CT scanner instead of excavating…

Hundreds of Iron Age War Dead Found

Illerup Ådal in Jutland is known for one of Denmark’s largest and most well-excavated war booty sacrifices, most of it dating from the early 3rd century AD. (See my recent entry about the similar Swedish site Finnestorp.) As I’ve learned from my friend Tim Olsson’s new book about such sites, there’s a second find spot…

New/Old 6th Century Find on Bornholm

In early May (I was <this> close to capitalising “Early” because I write about archaeological periods all the time.) metal detectorists on Bornholm, Denmark, rediscovered one of the earliest-documented find spots of guldgubbar. These are tiny embossed gold foils depicting people: usually a single man, sometimes an embracing man and woman, less frequently a single…

Danish Metal Detector Festival

Denmark has an excellent system in place to enable and govern a responsible and constructive metal detector hobby. While the UK’s ploughsoil heritage is largely being trashed by nighthawks (despite the valuable efforts of the Portable Antiquities Scheme) and Sweden’s is left to corrode untouched out in the fields, the Danes organise metal detector festivals,…

New Foil Figure Die From Zealand

Working with the Gothenburg Historical Society’s metal detector group at Sättuna near Linköping in the spring of 2007, I was fortunate enough to be on site when Niklas Krantz found the thirteenth gold foil figure die known to scholarship. These dies were used in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries to make tiny images of…

Norwegians Grade Archaeology Journals

The other day I took a look at how the European Science Foundation’s ERIH project grades journals in Scandy archaeology. Dear Reader Ismene pointed me to a corresponding list put out by the NDS, “Norwegian Data Support for the Social Sciences”. While ERIH recognises three impact grades plus ungraded journals, the NDS has only two…