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One of Europe’s finest Bronze Age finds was made in Egtved outside Vejle. Here, a young Bronze Age woman was found laid to rest in a mound.

The Egtved Girl was found on Thursday, 24 February 1921. Farmer, Peter Platz, was removing the last remains of a burial mound in his field when he encountered a heavy hollowed out oak casket. The National Museum of Denmark was responsible for the excavation, which is why the oak casket was subsequently transported to Copenhagen. When they opened it, they found a cow hide at the top. Below it lay a woven blanket of brown wool, and underneath the blanket lay the dead body, a 160 cm tall young girl whose hair nearly concealed her face and a small bronze earring. The girl is now known as The Egtved Girl.


Belt plate of bronze and cord skirt

She was lying on her back and her skin was well preserved, but no bones were left. She wore a brown wool top and a bronze ring on each wrist. Below the top you could see the iconic bronze belt plate. A skirt of twisted brown wool cords was wrapped twice around her waist. By her left leg lay a cloth bundle with the burnt bones of a 5 or 6-year-old child. At her feet stood a bucket of birch bark with the remains of a kind of honeysweetened beer. A yarrow blossom in the coffin revealed that the funeral had taken place in the summer. The girl was dead at the age of approx. 16-18 years.


Buried in a mound near Egtved

A dendrochronological analysis has later shown that the oak trunk for the coffin in which The Egtved Girl was buried was felled in the year 1370 BC. – in the Bronze Age.

The big mound in which the coffin lay was approx. 4 metres tall and 22 metres in diameter. Today, it has been rebuilt in its original location. In a small exhibition next to it, you can see a reproduction of the dress and the oak casket and learn more about the find. The original Egtved find is on display at the National Museum in Copenhagen. So, you need to go to the capital to see The Egtved Girl.

 

New experience centre on the way

The Egtved Girl and her grave are considered an important archaeological find worldwide. The latest research provides a much more nuanced understanding of Bronze Age people which also deserve our attention today. We know that trade with the rest of Europe flourished in the Bronze Age.

Some studies even show that The Egtved Girl may have travelled here from far away.

VejleMuseums is developing a new experience centre, The World of The Egtved Girl, in collaboration with the National Museum of Denmark, Aarhus University, Vejle Municipality, Egtvedpigens Venner Association and Egtved Development Council.

The experience centre is based on The Egtved Girl’s personal narrative and will create a sensual and evocative narrative of the Bronze Age. Modern, inviting and engaging installations will recreate and convey the life of The Egtved Girl from childhood to her final resting place in Egtved.