History of archaeology

Maybe you once bent down to pick up an old shard of pottery. Turned and twisted it a little, looked at the faint patterns. The smooth outside, the rough inside. It means nothing to you. You have no idea if it is from the Middle Age or the 1970s. You throw back onto the ground and out of your mind, while you walk on. But have you ever thought about what an archaeologist can learn from a little potsherd?

This is what we want to tell you about at the Danish Castle Centre. We take a deep breath and dive into the history of archaeology. All the way back to the first excavations in Vordingborg in the 1880s, when the castle slowly emerged after centuries underground. In the following 130 years, archaeologists changed their focus from chasing kings and power to a curiosity for individuals and everyday life. A 'spectacular find' was no longer a ring one could dream was fallen from a king's hand. It could be wood, rope and other organic materials as well, helping to date the story.

Along the way, technology has opened some incredible possibilities to come very close to medieval life. We open up the toolbox of the archaeologists and find carbon-14 dating, dendrochronology and macrofossil analysis. They are some of the tools helping to determine precisely when the trees used for the oldest constructions of the castle were cut. Or when some porridge remnant burned and caked onto the inside of a bowl.

Visit our outdoor exhibition pavilions and see pictures, stories and finds from 130 years of archaeology at the castle.

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