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FW: More on Bog Finds

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  • Jordsvin
    History of the bog finds Illerup Adal by Jørgen Ilkjær; ISBN 8787334372 The Illerup find belongs to a very specific category of finds: bog- finds. The first
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2007
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      History of the bog finds
      Illerup Adal by Jørgen Ilkjær; ISBN 8787334372

      The Illerup find belongs to a very specific category of finds: bog-
      finds. The first significant phase of bog-finds is the period around
      1860. At that time the major organised excavations were carried out
      at Thorsbjerg and Nydam in Schleswig and at Vimose and Kragehul on
      Funen. These excavations, extensive and professionally executed - by
      the standards of the day - for the first time provided an impression
      of the character, scale and abundance of the find-material. The fact
      that these were objects which belonged to a context of war became
      clear, but the main problem was how these treasures had ended up in
      the peat-bogs.

      In 1865 the archaeologist J.J.A. Worsaae arrived at a reasoned
      interpretation. He had noted that the equipment had been deposited in
      peat-bogs or more often lakes, that it had been deliberately
      destroyed, and that finds of weapons and warrior-equipment occurred
      too frequently and too regularly over large areas for the finds to be
      the result of random circumstances. He therefore took the classical
      written sources into consideration and conjectured that Thorsbjerg,
      Nydam and the other known bog-finds of army equipment were offerings
      to a War God after a victory on the battlefield. This interpretation
      meant that the bog finds were each individually the result of a
      single sacrifice.

      The local people had sacrificed the booty that had been conquered
      from an attacking external enemy.

      Around 1900 this interpretation began to cause problems. Knowledge
      about the chronological origins of archaeological finds had increased
      so that it had gradually become impossible to sustain the belief that
      all objects in the individual bog-finds were contemporary with each
      other.

      The Illerup find came to light in 1950. In 1955 another major bog-
      find came to light, at Ejsbøl near Haderslev. Illerup and Ejsbøl
      together provided the evidence that was necessary for a better
      understanding of the background to the bog-finds.

      Who were the enemies, and where did they come from? An important
      question, which can only be answered by placing the finds
      geographically, establishing the distribution of the objects, and
      where possible, determining their origins. The finds also have to be
      examined in order to describe the social distinctions in the
      attacking army, and finally we have to integrate the archaeological
      observations into the historical picture we have of the "world" in
      the first half of the millennium.
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