Tales from Ginderup Mound in Thisted County, Denmark

Further Investigations of Female Mobility in the Nordic Bronze Age


  • Samantha S. Reiter The National Museum of Denmark, Department of Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, I. C. Modewegsvej, 2800 Kongens Lyngby (Brede), Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8872-0640
  • Niels Algreen Møller Museum Thy
  • Marie Louise Schjellerup Jørkov Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Frederik V’s Vej 11, 2100 Copenhagen Ø https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5283-4328
  • Jens-Henrik Bech Museum Thy
  • Robert Frei Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7708-9881
  • Karin M. Frei The National Museum of Denmark, Department of Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, I. C. Modewegsvej, 2800 Kongens Lyngby (Brede), Denmark https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5198-073X




Bronze Age, women, mobility, fosterage, marriage, corded skirt, string skirt, female, gender


The preservation of organic and human remains in Early Nordic Bronze Age mounds (1700 BCE -1100 BCE) permits new provenance work on this important period. Studies have shown that different mobility/non-mobility patterns were exercised by elite women during this time. To extend the database, we conducted strontium isotope analyses of the enamel from the second and third molars from the elite female grave from Ginderup in Thisted County, Denmark. Among other items, this grave included the textile remains of a possible corded skirt or fringed blanket. We complemented analyses of this woman’s enamel with strontium isotope analyses of the first molar from Grave B as well as osteological analysis of the individuals from Early Nordic Bronze Age Graves A, B and C.

Our results revealed that the strontium isotope ratios obtained from the woman wearing a possible corded skirt yielded one local ratio (M2) and one non-local ratio (M3). The results from Grave B yielded a ratio which falls within the local baseline of present-day Denmark.  Our results suggest that the Ginderup Woman was probably of local origin, but that she also was repeatedly mobile during her life. These data are further evidence for the Nordic Bronze Age’s complex socio-dynamics. 


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How to Cite

Reiter, S. S., Møller, N. A., Jørkov, M. L. S., Bech, J.-H., Frei, R., & Frei, K. M. (2023). Tales from Ginderup Mound in Thisted County, Denmark: Further Investigations of Female Mobility in the Nordic Bronze Age. Danish Journal of Archaeology, 12(1), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.7146/dja.v12i1.134830