Danish Journal of Archaeology https://tidsskrift.dk/dja The Danish Journal of Archaeology is dedicated to the presentation, discussion and interpretation of the archaeological record of southern Scandinavia in its international, regional and local context The Editorial Board of Danish Journal of Archaeology en-US Danish Journal of Archaeology 2166-2282 Problems with Strontium Isotopic Proveniencing in Denmark? https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/121659 <p>A recent study by Thomsen and Andreasen (2019) has induced a negative reaction to the usefulness of strontium isotope proveniencing. Although there are higher strontium isotope values in the landscape of Denmark, Thomsen and Andreasen are not correct about the impact of this finding on studies of prehistoric mobility. Several case studies identify such “hotspots” in the landscape and help evaluate their consequences for identifying non-local individuals. In sum, (1) there are small areas of higher strontium isotope values in Denmark, (2) surface water is not a reliable proxy for baseline information on local strontium isotope sources, and (3) strontium isotope proveniencing remains a very useful method for identifying non-local individuals.</p> Douglas Price Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 12 10.7146/dja.v10i0.121659 Re- visiting the Roman Iron Age Hoby chieftain burial after 100 years of its discovery - adding the strontium isotopic perspective https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/122601 <p>In 1920 on the island of Lolland, in southern Denmark the remains of one of northern Europe’s richest graves came to light, the Hoby chieftain burial. It revealed a large number of luxurious Roman goods, including two silver drinking cups decorated with Greek-inspired scenes from Homer’s Iliad. The burial dates to the beginning of the Roman Iron Age (1CE -200CE), and represents a key point in time when the Roman Empire failed to expand towards the north and changed its strategy towards a more political and diplomatic type of relationship with northern Europe. Hence, the Hoby burial is considered to be a key example of this type of relationship. We revisited the burial and present the first strontium isotope analyses of the human remains of the Hoby individual from three of his teeth and 10 additional environmental samples to shed light on his provenance. We discussed these results in light of the new insights provided by recent excavations of a contemporary nearby settlement. Our results indicate that the Hoby individual was most probably of local origin, corroborating previous interpretations. Furthermore, the associated settlement seems to confirm the central role of Hoby in the Early Roman Iron Age society.</p> Karin Margarita Frei Susanne Klingenberg Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 16 10.7146/dja.v10i0.122601 The Phenomenon of primary and secondary animals within Iron Age deposits. https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/125982 <p>Animals are an integral part of deposition practices during the Danish Iron Age, and they probably represent the most common form of deposit within southern Scandinavia. Recently Gotfredsen published a volume on animals within Danish Iron Age grave contexts, but similarly comprehensive studies of animals from other contexts have not been attempted. Thus, classic sites such as Valmose, Bukkerup Langmose, and Sorte Muld still stand as the type sites for Danish Iron Age animal deposits. This article will demonstrate that there are good reasons for exploring deposits in more detail and investigate the significant variation in the treatment and quantities of sacrificial animal deposits. Furthermore, the current study has revealed a deposition pattern where a primary animal is often in the company of one or more secondary animals, the latter typically represented by a few bones. Salpetermosen Syd (MNS50010), south of Hillerød in North Zealand, Denmark is the main case study, but comparisons are made to several sites across Denmark where a similar deposition pattern has been observed.</p> Pernille Bangsgaard Pernille Pantmann Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 20 10.7146/dja.v10i0.125982 The Ambiguous Boeslunde Figure https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/123327 <p>This article presents a unique female figure found in Boeslunde, Zealand, Denmark. It stands at just 1.5 cm and is made of gilded silver with remarkably refined details. The date of the figure is discussed based on details of her garments, accessories, and hairstyle and she is compared to other archaeological representations and finds. Based on these criteria, a dating to the Late Iron Age/Early Viking Age is proposed. Her function is likewise discussed. By means of an examination of parallel finds, the figure’s function as a gaming piece or garment accessory has been ruled out. It is argued that she functioned as an amulet and her features are evaluated and discussed. Contemplating the figure from a ritual perspective, her necklace appears to be a significant attribute, an observation which has great implications for other representations such as the Odin-from-Lejre figure. It is, further considered whether her necklace is a representation of Freyja´s Brisingamen, and the little figure thus a depiction of Freyja, herself. Lastly, the intentionally differentiated shape and size of her eyes and their symbolic meaning is evaluated, and parallels are examined and discussed.</p> Trine Louise Borake Copyright (c) 2021-04-15 2021-04-15 10 1 17 10.7146/dja.v10i0.123327 Reconstructing the Gerdrup Grave – https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/126750 <p><em>In 1981, a double burial from the 9<sup>th</sup> century was excavated at Gerdrup north of Roskilde. In the grave was a woman and a man. The woman was buried with a spear, while the man had apparently been killed before the burial. The tomb has been perceived as a ‘Master and Slave burial’, which was placed on a desolate site, perhaps because the buried were seen as pariahs. However, hitherto unpublished excavation data combined with new <sup>14</sup>C analyzes show that the burial was part of a small multi-period burial site placed near a group of older burial mounds. Topographic analyses indicate that the burial was also located at a central ford, and thus had a prominent location. Not least, new DNA analyzes surprisingly show that the two buried have a parent-offspring relation; they are mother and son. The previous perception of the Gerdrup grave is thus challenged. This article intends to present the relevant excavation data and to discuss it in the light of the new analyzes.</em></p> Ole Kastholm Ashot Margaryan Copyright (c) 2021 Danish Journal of Archaeology https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2021-12-13 2021-12-13 10 1 20 10.7146/dja.v10i0.126750 The sovereign seeress https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/122229 <p><em>The South Scandinavian chair pendants of the late Viking Age form a famous and much debated find category. They have been associated with the cult of Odin as well as female seeresses. However, their find contexts clearly link the amulets intimately to a female use-sphere and their condition shows that they have been worn intensely. With a new pendant emerging from the detector finds from Gudme, Denmark, the connection between chair amulets and dominant settlements is further strengthened. The female prerogative, the locational aristocratic reference in combination with the chairs association with royal privileges lead to the argument that the amulets must be connected with the deep historical presence of the seeress as a sovereign power across Northern Europe. Her position is explained as a triangulation of Seeress, Odin and King which are all represented as being seated. Consequently, seating is regarded as a main attribute and a recurring and noticeable privilege for all three characters. Thus, the chair </em>en miniature<em> is argued to function as a material anchoring of the socio-symbolic understanding of the seated sovereign seeress.</em></p> Mads Dengsø Jessen Kamilla Ramsøe Majland Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 23 10.7146/dja.v10i0.122229 Borgring. Uncovering the strategy for a Viking Age ring fortress in Denmark https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/121920 <p>In 2014, Borgring, near Køge, Denmark, was identified as the fifth geometrical Viking Age ring fortress in Denmark, complementing an exclusive group of monuments including Trelleborg. Excavations and surveys in 2016–18 allow a detailed reconstruction of the site and its history. Borgring is a fortification with the same geometry, construction, and location as other Trelleborg-type fortresses, though exhibiting notable differences. Finds, including beads, ornaments, and iron tools, reflect activities and links to other fortress sites. The dating of Borgring is established with reference to wiggle-matched 14C dates.</p> Jonas Christensen Aoife Daly Peter Steen Henriksen Nanna Holm Catherine Jessen Sofie Jørgensen Line Olesen Jesper Olsen Maja Kildetoft Schultz Søren Michael Sindbæk Jens Ulriksen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 22 10.7146/dja.v10i0.121920 ‘The coldest case of all’ https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/121916 <p>During excavations of the Viking-age ring fortress Borgring, Denmark, traces of a devastating fire was uncovered. The National Forensic Services of the Danish Police were invited to participate in a novel collaboration, applying contemporary forensic fire investigation to an archaeological site. This paper presents the results and sets a benchmark for future applications. The investigation leads to a revised reconstruction of the fortress and the development of the fire. The application of fire investigation methods, following the Daubert standard criteria, enhance the documentation and analysis of archaeological sites, while archaeological methods show significant potential at modern fire scenes.</p> Eva Ljungkvist Benny Thomsen Søren Michael Sindbæk Jonas Christensen Nanna Holm Maja Kildetoft Schultz Jens Ulriksen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 12 10.7146/dja.v10i0.121916 The lost landscape of Borgring https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/121917 <p>Geoarchaeological investigations at Borgring, a recently identified Danish Viking Age ring fortress, reconstructs the original landscape showing how the site was expanded and modified to accommodate a structure of pre-defined size and how this large-scale project demonstrates the willingness to invest significant resources in its precise positioning. The investigations also assess the possibility of navigating along the nearby stream from the coast and show that access by anything larger than a dinghy was impossible, hence navigability was not important for the location and function of the fortress. This has implications for the functional interpretation of all Danish Viking Age ring fortresses.</p> Catherine Jessen Peter Steen Henriksen Mette Marie Hald Jens Ulriksen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 14 10.7146/dja.v10i0.121917 Turfs and timbers https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/121918 <p>Viking Age ring fortresses were some of the largest construction projects in Danish prehistory. In this article we reconstruct the amount of turf and timber used in the construction of the Borgring ring fortress and estimate the resource area needed to supply the building materials. Using REVEALS pollen data modelling, we quantify the regional oak land cover and estimate the resource area. The results show that even though Borgring was built in an open cultural landscape, sufficient supply of oak for the construction would have been accessible within a few kilometres from the fortress.</p> Morten Fischer Mortensen Claudia Baittinger Jonas Christensen Anne Birgitte Nielsen Søren Nielsen Anders Pihl Lisbeth Prøsch-Danielsen Morten Ravn Søren Michael Sindbæk Jens Ulriksen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 18 10.7146/dja.v10i0.121918 A Mid-Holocene reindeer antler from Regstrup, Sjælland, Denmark https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/125068 <p>A small, shed antler fragment of a reindeer from Sjælland, Denmark has been dated to the Mid-Holocene, ca., 4700 cal B.C. Reindeer was an important component of the Lateglacial fauna in Denmark, and the species survived for ca. 1400 years into the Holocene. However, we consider it highly unlikely that this species inhabited Denmark during the Mid-Holocene, when dense forests characterized the vegetation and summer temperatures were somewhat higher than at present. We suggest that the reindeer antler came to Sjælland from Norway or Sweden as a result of trade, perhaps involving flint.</p> Ole Bennike Theis Zetner Trolle Jensen Alberto John Taurozzi Meaghan Mackie Lone Claudi-Hansen Betina Magnussen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 8 10.7146/dja.v10i0.125068 The Aldersro wetland-settlement complex https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/125120 <p>In southern Scandinavia, the Early Iron Age transition is characterised by radical ideological and organisational changes involving new material practices of sorting, delimiting, depositing and discarding artefacts, humans and nonhumans, in both wetlands and drylands. However, settlements and wetland areas are mostly excavated separately, and the deeper relationship between these practices and associated spheres remains somewhat inconclusive. Aldersro, Eastern Jutland, provides an exceptional opportunity to revisit this relationship. A juxtaposed settlement and wetland activity area spanning more than 1.4 hectares were excavated in 2002-2003. The excavations exposed the structural remains of houses, fences, storage buildings, pits and peat graves. Moreover, they disclosed extensive archaeological remains of more than 800 ceramic vessels, processed wood, stones, burnt organic material, human and animal bones subject to 14C, pollen, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, osteology, and ceramic analyses. The site has provided vital new insights into the diachronic dynamics of depositional and mortuary practices in the Early Iron Age. The highly fragmented remains of more than eight human individuals were mixed and deposited together with typical settlement debris, and would have been exposed right next to a settlement area.</p> Astrid Storgaard Roborg Mette Løvschal Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 8 10.7146/dja.v10i0.125120 Finding Poetry in the Ground— a Kenning of Silver from Neble, Zealand https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/124251 <p>Abstract:</p> <p>A circular pendant found near Neble, Zealand is interpreted as a double-sided amulet, decorated respectively on one side as a shield and as a wheel on the reverse. This dual iconography is suggested as a material reference to the kenning shield-wheel, known from Snorri Sturluson´s <em>Skáldskaparmál.</em></p> Peter Pentz Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 7 10.7146/dja.v10i0.124251 Editorial https://tidsskrift.dk/dja/article/view/130000 Lasse Sørensen Thomas Grane Mette Svart Kristiansen Rune Iversen Copyright (c) 2022 Danish Journal of Archaeology 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 10 1 2 10.7146/dja.v10i0.130000