Denmark: Vasagård


Sorte Muld 2021



Denmark: Sorte Muld


Call for Papers EAA-2021

Keil 8-11 September 

Widening horizons


Archaeology, Tourism and Sustainability



Bornholms Museum will collaborate with a new Seed Project: Time Machine 

Lead partner: Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics & Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Swedish collaborating partners: Sensus studieförbund (Skåne-Blekinge)
International collaborating partners: Gdansk university, Poland; EUCC Baltic Office, Lithuania; Zemaitija National Park, Lithuania; Bornholm Museum, Denmark. (See more information under projects).


Archaeotourism and Social Media Inspirations and development!

Friday 6th November 2020 10:00 – 14:45


Jens-Bjørn Riis Andersen, Professor, Aarhus University, Denmark

Archaeotourism and Social Media webinar objectives:

For the 2nd edition of the ArchaeoBalt Project Webinar, we want to focus on archaeotourism and social media, especially how we can more fully realise the touristic potential of archaeological heritage in the Baltic Sea region.
Social media can significantly contribute to its promotion and in the resultant economic development in the region. It has become one of the key forms of creating and sharing information with a wider audience, especially in our current pandemic times.

During the webinar we will be exploring forms of best practice, new trends in promoting the archaeology, archaeotourism and cultural heritage of Baltic Sea Region in social media, as well as insprational ways of building and developing the archaeotoristic audience in the Baltic region. We will consider how to cooperate even more and where to look for new archaeotouristic stakeholders in the Baltic Region.


Mexican Ambassador visited the Museum and island of Bornholm

Mexican Ambassador at Bornholms Museum

Mexican Ambassador Carlos Pujalte paid a visit to the island of Bornholm on October 29 with the purpose of holding meetings with the directors of the Bornholm Museum, which collects the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of the island, in order to discuss collaborative projects by 2021.

He also visited the Ceramic Factory, where he met with their representatives to discuss the exchange of pieces to be exhibited simultaneously on Bornholm and Mexico. The Ceramic Factory is known for the high quality of its products and dates back to the early 18th century, when the first ceramic and terracotta factories were opened on the island.



Semana Anual de Arqueología de la Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (México)

September 23, 2021


Impact of Interreg funds on small regions

Virtual Annual Event 2020 AGENDA





Next field season May 10th, 2021 to July 3rd, 2021.


Sorte Muld-ArchaeoBalt 2020
Sorte Muld- ArchaeoBalt 2020 DUE TO COVID-19 EXCAVATION AND OPEN DAY

Sorte Muld Archaeological Project 2020

Bornholm Museum/Institute for Field Research

Excavation at Sorte Muld– September 2-20, 2019



Calendar of activities ArchaeoBalt at Bornholm August – December 2019


Sorte Muld Excavation (Bornholm Museum- University of Gdansk)

Opening September 2nd, 2019. 9:30am

September 2ndto September 20th, 2019.

Open house: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00hrs until 14:00hrs

Last day of Open house will be held on Friday 20thfrom 10:00hrs to 14:00hrs.


Open conference

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

“The latest advances from the excavations on Sorte Muld”

Speaker: Finn Ole Nielsen

September 21th, 2019 – 13:00-14:30pm


Open conference

September 19thOpening excavation Guldhul

10:00am to 12:00pm

Speakers: Finn Ole Nielsen and René Laursen (BM) / Karolina Czonstke and Bartek Swiatkowski (UG)


Open conference

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

“Possible Interpretation of Guldhul site”

Speaker: Dr. Flemming Kaul (National Museum)

October 19th, 2019 – 13:00-14:30pm


Vasagård Archaeological Project 

The goal is not only to explore the richness of the archaeological materials found on Vasagård but also the type and history of interactions among different groups/farming communities in the Baltic, their technology, economy, religion, and social organization. More site-specific questions concern the continuity and discontinuity of habitation, and borders and spatial organization of the settlement through the time. The project works in collaboration with the Institute for Field Research (USA) as a field school program.

Calendar of activities ArchaeoBalt at Bornholm

Sorte Muld Excavation (Bornholm Museum-University of Aarhus)

Opening Event 

May 13th, 2019. 9:30am at Sorte Muld

Welcome words by Jacob Bjerring-Hansen (Director Bornholms Museum), Winni Grøsbøll (Mayor Bornholm), Jens Riis Andresen (Professor University of Århus), Finn Ole Nielsen (Chief Archaeologist Bornholm Museum)

May 13thto June 7th, 2019.

Open house: Monday to Saturday 10:00hrs until 14:00hrs

Last day of Open house will be held on Saturday 8thfrom 10:00hrs to 14:00hrs.

Open Conference:May 13th, 2019 – 14:00-15:30pm

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

Guldgubberne of Sorte Muld

M.A. Margrethe Watts

Open conference:May 15th, 2019 – 14:30-16:00pm

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

Sorte Muld within the European Perspective

Dr. Ulla Lund-Hansen

Open conference:May 22th, 2019 – 1:00pm

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

North Sea Centers: An Evaluation of the Effects of Academic Interpretation on Understanding the Scandinavian ‘Central Places’

M.A. Timmis Maddox

Buffalo University

Open conference:June 8th, 2019 – 13:00-14:30pm

Bornholms Museum, Sct. Mortensgade 29

The latest news from the excavations on Sorte Muld.

Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen

Arkæologer forpligtet til formidling med EU-midler


Bornholms adgang til EU-midler kan besværliggøres

15 EU-millioner til fremme af arkæologiturisme


Helleristninger på Bornholm. Blandt andet ved hjælp af 3D teknologi.

Interregional South Baltic/ European Union New project starts July 25th, 2018.

ArchaeoBalt – Laying fixed foundations for innovative Archeotourism – a new “green” Archeoroute in the Southern Baltic Sea Region.

ArcheoBalt is a 3-year long project binding Polish, Danish & Swedish Universities and Museums that pursues to presents a new way to promote forgotten cultural and material heritage through several activities, which should boost the tourist exchange in SBSR by creating a new brand – sustainable green & blue Archeotourism. In order to ensure its success, the ArchaeoBalt will establish a 3-year plan, take account of factors such as the development of ideas regarding the project. The project aims to create a protocol that will help in the development of an archaeoroute, that will integrate the existing ideas and routes to the new proposals based on archaeotourism, increasing and improving the routes and offers, and presenting a well- developed touristic offer that will outlive the project lifespan.

The project considers as well, the creation of common tools for the SBSR region: Virtual Museum of SBSR Website along with a tourist planner, Virtual Reality games, board games, novels and conferences, archaeological open to public and open house activities in each participating countries and branded festivals, where historical re-constructors will have the possibility to sell their merchandise. All these elements will coin the future offer of participating institutions throughout the year. Archeobalt will be held in Poland [Gdańsk – Wisłoujście Fortress], Denmark [Bornholm – 3 remote locations] and Sweden [Lund – Uppaakra] as part of the pilot project.

Our activities will have great social impact since it will cooperate from the beginning with the different levels of government and society in the decision-making processes of the project, for the design and execution of strategies for the archaeoroute as element of conservation of knowledge of the regional heritage, memory and identity. Archaeobalt will seek to perform within this frame of social joint responsibility and improve in infrastructure and resources according to the project, as well as to, increase the number of highly qualified personnel with sense of duty to help the creation of a green and blue proposal for tourism in an opportune and efficient way.

The final results should guide the Archaeobalt for years to come after the projects is finished and its actions should be considered with a view perspective to the future formulated in the following terms: The Archaeobalt should be recognized as a Program leader in Green and Blue Archaeotourism where cultural and educational experiences are reference for its managerial model. It will play an active role in the in the development of new projects and in specialized training for the benefit of the Baltic Region Archaeology and the creative economy of the South Baltic Region.

Internationalt studieforløb blev en succes

Scandinavian’s oldest cup mark carvings discovered on Bornholm

Archaeologists have made a sensational discovery during an archaeological excavation on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea: two complete stones with cup mark stone carvings dating back to the early Stone Age.

This makes them the oldest known such cup marks–a type of petroglyphs–in Scandinavia by about 1,200 years and their discovery has surprised archaeologists.

The carvings contain figures and symbols, which have been cut, chipped, and ground, into the stone and are regarded as typical of the Bronze Age–the period following the Stone Age.

Many archaeologists suspected that they were in use long before this, and now they have the first evidence to show it.

“It’s a breakthrough. We’ve waited to be able to prove this and it’s fantastic that our assumption has finally been realised,” says lead archaeologist at Bornholm’s Museum, Finn Ole Sonne Nielsen, who also collaborates with the National Museum of Denmark, Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen.

(See complete note)’s-oldest-cup-mark-rock-carvings-discovered-bornholm

Golden Sacrifices

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Monday, August 12, 2013

(Courtesy René Laursen)

During the past four years, on the Danish island of Bornholm, archaeologists and amateurs have uncovered a collection of remarkable gold figurines dating from the sixth or seventh century A.D. According to Bornholm Museum archaeologist René Laursen, the figurines represent deities and were sacrificed with wishes for health, fertility, or a good harvest. “They are very unusual,” says Laursen. “Although we know of a few figurines from Scandinavia, they are usually bronze.” In addition to many silver, bronze, and iron artifacts, 24 gold foil figurines have also been uncovered at the site—called Smørenge, or “Butter Meadows”—probably all offerings at one or more sacred springs, or perhaps even a temple.

Spectacular archaeological find in Denmark

5,000-year-old map unearthed on Bornholm

More and more Stone Age maps are turning up on Bornholm (photo: National Museum)

October 19th, 2016 12:30 pm| by Ray W
A mysterious stone found in a ditch on Bornholm by archaeology students during the summer has proven to be a 5,000-year-old map.According to the magazine Skalk, the stone was discovered during  archaeological excavation work at the Neolithic shrine Vasagård.

The stone has been studied by researchers at the National Museum of Denmark. Unlike previous and similar findings, Flemming Kaul, an archaeologist and senior researcher at the National Museum, is reasonably certain that the stone does not show the sun and the sun’s rays, but displays the topographic details of a piece of nature on the island as it appeared between the years 2700 and 2900 BC.

Ritual stones
Kaul called the stone “without parallel”. In recent years, excavations at Vasagård have turned up several stones inscribed with rectangular patterns filled with different rows of lines and shading.

“Some of the lines may be reproductions of ears of corn or plants with leaves,” said Kaul.

“These are not accidental scratches,” said Kaul. “We see the stones as types of maps showing different kinds of fields.”

The recent find was not complete. It is made up of two pieces and one piece is still missing. Archaeologists believe the stones were used in Stone Age rituals.

Viking treasure unearthed in Bornholm

Amateur archaeologist discovers hundreds of silver coins on a farm just outside Rønne

Some of the coins found (photo: Michael Møller)

The amateur archaeologist Michael Møller made the discovery of a lifetime recently when he discovered a Viking treasure consisting of hundreds of silver coins on a farm just outside Rønne in Bornholm.Møller was walking along when his metal detector began beeping and he unearthed a single silver coin. When he continued and found several other coins, he realised he was on to something big and Bornholm Museum got involved.

“It’s a bit like winning the lotto. When you find the first one you think ‘wow that’s nice’, but when you find six coins within five minutes, you know there is a treasure there and you become ecstatic,” Møller told TV2 Bornholm.

Exhibited tomorrow on
Aside from the many silver coins, the treasure also includes some other broken silver items used for currency by the Vikings.

The new silver treasure will be exhibited at Bornholm Museum as of Friday.
Ancient Roman artifact found on Danish island
April 22, 2015 – 06:20
By: Christina Seehusen, Ulla Lund Hansen

A rare bronze brooch excavated on the Danish island of Bornholm has left archaeologists mystified.

A rare Roman owl brooch from Lavegaard on Bornholm. It is categorised as a disk fibula, due to the flat body adorning the pin, often decorated with enamel in numerous colours. This piece is now on display at the National Museum in Denmark. (Photo: John Lee, National Museum)

During the excavation of a Roman settlement on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, archeologists uncovered an astonishing find, an owl brooch made of bronze. Also known as a fibula, it is a highly decorated roman safety pin or a pin-brooch used for fastening garments. The brooch was cast as a flat piece of bronze and then decorated with enamel and glass disks in brilliant colours.

A defining feature is the bird’s big black glass pupils that seem to stare directly back at you. Its large luminous eyes are made even more dramatic by the stunning inlays of orange glass around the pupils.

The owl’s body is infilled with a green enamel, embedded with circular glass shapes in red, yellow, and black. The brooch also shows the bird’s feet and a tail decorated with indentations, in a very naturalistic representation of this proud animal.

The archaeologists were mystified and have immediately started to look for answers: where does this owl shaped piece of jewellery come from and how did it end up on Bornholm, an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea?

A long journey to Scandinavia

Between the 1st and 4th century AD, it was very common in the Roman world to produce flat brooches in a wide range of designs. These included common objects, such as axes, knives, or spears, and other items such as wheels, shoes, household pots, and musical instruments. The animal kingdom commonly inspired their designs, from the mythical (sea serpents) to the everyday (horses, dogs, bees, and various types of fish and birds). Many other animals such as deer, lions, leopards, boar, and dolphins, were also commonly depicted.

It is unusual however to find these kinds of enamelled brooches so far from provincial Roman territories, located north of present day Italy. They are especially concentrated at ancient forts along the northern border of the Roman Empire, along the Rhine and Danube rivers in what is now Germany, where soldiers stationed there would have used these ancient safety pins to secure their capes.

The frequent transfer of the Roman troops along the Empire’s borders ensured the spread of these brooches and other possessions. In fact, significant amounts of bronze objects, glass cups, weapons (especially swords), and coins spread north to Germanic areas by the exchange of presents, trade, war, returning warriors, and as tribute payment to soldiers.

Roman ceramics and the more common brooch designs apparently had little interest north of the border, perhaps because the Germanic peoples produced their own fine quality jewelry according to their own fashions.

However, the more unique and colourful enamel brooches like this one, appear to have achieved some popularity.

The little owl was found in the Roman-age soil deposits being excavated, and located a few metres from the site of an ancient house at the site. Archaeologists do not yet know if the owners of this house also owned the brooch, but it is possible.

A special bird, both rare and symbolic

The archaeological excavations of Lavegaard showing layers of clay and stone (about 20 cm deep). (Photo: SKALK)

The owl design is unusual. It is one of the rarest types of animal depicted on enamel brooches of this era, and they are typically found in frontier forts, such as the famous Saalburg Roman fort near Frankfurt in Germany.

Smaller numbers are found in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, South Russia, and even England, but they are nonetheless extremely rare in Northern Europe.

Most owl brooches date somewhere in the middle of the 1st to 3rd centuries AD.

The owl: a symbol of wisdom

Owls have a keen sense of night vision, enabling these highly skilled silent hunters to catch their prey unawares. This notion of owls as intelligent and wise animals is one that has endured throughout the ages as famous companions to both Athena, the Greek Goddess of war, and later to Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, art, trade, and war.

In fact, Minerva was often depicted with an owl on her shoulder as a symbol of wisdom, making it a highly desirable animal for a Roman soldier.

We do not know if the Germanic perception of the owl was the same as the Romans, but many of them would have been mercenaries in the Roman territories and developed a deep insight into the Roman mentality and culture. It is likely that they also adopted Roman traditions of symbolic jewellery.

The brooch must have been something quite special at the time, both because of its unusual shape and bright colours. It must have given the wearer a great level of prestige.

Colours on the metal jewellery was rather unusual among the Germanic tribes in the Roman Iron Age.

Bornholm’s many treasures

Bornholm, now an extremely popular vacation spot, has more Roman enamelled brooches than anywhere else in Scandinavia. About half a dozen have been found in recent years.

These brooches were not a commercial product, but brought back to the island by the Germanic soldiers serving in the Roman army.

The Lavegaard excavation in progress. (Photo: SKALK)

In the Germanic area, these jewellery pieces are commonly found along the Elbe River – from the Roman border along the Rhine, right up to southern Jutland in Denmark. A route that many returning soldiers presumably followed and a significant area of contact between the Roman territories and the Baltic Sea, including Bornholm.

Larger excavation is underway, revealing an affluent Roman society

A larger excavation is now underway and the archaeologists hope to uncover many well-preserved remnants of this ancient community called Lavegaard.

Besides the owl brooch, the archaeologists have found pottery and ancient building materials, postholes marking the sites of ancient houses, along with architectural features such as ovens and hearths. All evidence of industry in the form of iron smelting or iron extraction and ceramics firing, and several well-preserved metal objects are also preserved, including a Viking aged bird brooch and coin.

An exciting discovery at the excavation was a major burial ground, possibly related to the Lavegaard settlement.

Once a grand site of standing stones, today only two remain. Many stones were likely removed within the last century.

The excavated area now totals more than 5000 m² and so is part of a much larger settlement, which in Roman times would have had direct access to the sea via an inlet, now a wetland located just south of the settlement.

In fact, all the evidence suggests that Lavegaard was a rather affluent society in its day. With easy access to the sea and evidence of industry and coins at the site, the inhabitants of Lavegaard could presumably afford to buy and produce valuable jewellery and other objects.

As far as the little owl brooch goes, we can only guess who the original owner was and how it came to be preserved on the island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Perhaps it was lost or burned as part of a sacrifice. Maybe it was deliberately hidden for reasons known only to its owner. Most likely, we will never know the full story of the hidden remains of the Lavegaard society.

Read the original article in Danish on