Friday, June 12, 2009

National Museum

Next to the paddle, the oldest known bow, c. 7,000 BC

Skeleton of an auroch, extinct in Denmark by the Bronze age; last known European auroch died in Poland, 1627

The Bronze Age Scandinavians were sun-worshippers, the museum suggests

The Chariot of the Sun, Bronze Age (horse not pictured)

Horned helmet, early Bronze

Norse horns (musical)

Rune stone, Bronze

The Gundestrup Cauldron (one interior panel only; silver), c. 150 BC, Thracian, probably from Bulgaria, but found in a bog trove dated Bronze age in Denmark

In an afternoon we managed only the pre-history and up through the Viking era sections of this immense and wonderful national museum. The prehistory collection is exceptional, especially the paleolithic, and the bronze age items are of great interest, containing many things we'd think of as “Norse” from periods a millenia or two before the Vikings. Denmark has the same kind of bog topography as Ireland, and much of what has been found are bog troves and sacrifices. Although there was no known written language, there certainly were congruences and communications among the peoples of Europe, and beyond, well before the Greeks and Romans, even in the neolithic.

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