Tuesday, May 10, 2011

egtvedpigen: a bronze age babe


back in 1921, a farmer named Peter Platz was removing a burial mound (this one) on his property when he came across a very old oak casket. he had the sense to stop the removal and write a letter to the national museum in copenhagen. it was february and rather cold, so the museum had some trouble getting someone to go over and check it out. eventually, they did send someone and they discovered the body of a young girl within the casket. and peter realized it was so important that he put the mound back and even erected a memorial stone to her.


she had died at the age of about 18 in 1370 B.C. and is one of the best bronze age finds ever. tho' there wasn't much left of her actual body, her clothing was remarkably well-preserved. tho' this is a replica of her dress, not the real thing. there were some well-preserved birch bark items in the casket with her and disturbingly some burned bones from a 5-6 year old child as well.  there is a lot of speculation about what happened and whether it was some kind of ritual or cult sacrifice, but truth be told, we'll likely never know. i do like imagining her life, tho', especially since she was wearing such a cool outfit.


the real casket, what's left of the girl and the real clothing are in the national museum in copenhagen, but on the site where she was found near egtved (not far from where we live) is a little teeny tiny museum. it's surprisingly informative and features this wonderful replica of her clothing. a woven top in natural wool in brownish tones, belt with a large bronze decorative "shield" and quite a hot little mini skirt in a design i would seriously not mind wearing.


with the dress in a glass case and poor lighting in the building, my pictures aren't great, but i had to share, it's such a stylish and quite timeless design. if i could manage to knit or crochet or otherwise make things with yarn, i'd try to duplicate it. the top is woven, probably on a loom and is also so stylish. the skirt is one long piece that wraps around twice and has a woven waistband to which the "fringes" are attached - they're also bound together at the bottom. there was some evidence in the grave that she had had some kind of woven leggings on as well, but they are not preserved. but a 3300 year-old miniskirt. now that's what i call retro fashion.

11 comments:

heidikins said...

Zomigoodness! I love this!!! What a fantastic find! (Both the farmer, and also you finding and sharing this little piece of Awesome.)

xox

Barbara Shallue said...

So cool! I love the history of this and also love that outfit! Thanks for sharing it!

Magpie said...

That outfit is amazing. Such workmanship.

One Woman's Thoughts said...

Good fashion taste is timeless. LOL

In all seriousness, a remarkable find and really makes us wonder what really happened and who she was. Your photos are great even if they are in a glass museum case.

The Painting Queen said...

That outfit is too cool! What an amazing find!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Oh, I love things like this. If I had another life to live, I would be an archaeologist, in a place like England or Denmark, where it's not hot :) Or maybe a folklorist. Or . . . a million other things.

Elizabeth said...

You made my day. Now I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who thought: Wish I had a skirt like that!!!!

Enjoy your day on the farm.

Sammi said...

that sounds incredible. i love finding places like that.b

celkalee said...

I think via the recreation we can see that she was likely a person of higher standing in her community. These items reflect a refinement and a fit that was probably not typical. That said, everything old is new again, I think I have that sweater.

Jennifer said...

I'm amazed at how decorative the outfit is! I also would love to know the story behind the burial! Fascinating!

NuminosityBeads said...

That is so cool and to think that they were able to replicate it.
My husband who is an archaeologist may get to work on the site of the oldest human remains-12,000 years old (also a small child) in North America not too far away from where we live. Amazing stuff.
xoxo Kim