The Prehistory of Denmark

The Prehistory of Denmark

The Prehistory of Denmark

The Prehistory of Denmark


This synthesis of archaeological research in Denmark divides into four sections: the hunters and gatherers; the first farmers; towards a new era; and the chiefdoms of the Iron Age.


This book was written to present a general survey of the prehistory of Denmark as it has emerged after the past decade of research. Up to the 1960s Danish archaeology was dominated by a handful of distinguished scholars: Sophus Müller, Johannes Brøndsted, Gudmund Hatt, P.V. Glob, and C.J. Becker. Moreover the discipline was strongly influenced by continental modes of thought, and the chronological problems were still the main focus of research.

However, in Denmark as in other European countries, the 1960s became a period of change. A wave of new theories did away with the old diffusionistic framework. Many scholars spoke of a crisis in the profession. But as elsewhere in the west, the 1960s also marked the beginning of a rich productivity in the field, and today we can speak of at least three contrasting theoretical perspectives in Danish archaeology: positivist, marxist and structuralist. Each one of them has been able to open up fruitful perspectives for future research.

These changes first developed after the publication of the last major survey of Danish archaeology to be translated for readers outside Denmark, Johannes Brøndsted’s Nordische Vorzeit from 1960-3. It therefore seemed quite clear that both students and teachers in other countries would have need of a general introduction to the perspectives recently opened in Danish archaeology.

It is this need which the present book seeks to meet. To be sure, many of the conclusions are preliminary, because detailed, systematic and up-to-date studies are still required in many fields. Despite this lack, I have written the present book in the hope of providing a synthesis of the 10,000 years of Danish prehistory up to the early state formation of the Viking period.

This work could not have been written without the inspiration of

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.