Modern pollen analysis and prehistoric beer - a lecture by Jørgen Troels-Smith March 1977

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During a symposium to celebrate the publication of the results of the first pollen analysis by Lennart von Post in 1916 in Stockholm in November 2016 it was decided that first-hand reports by pioneers in the field should be published. J. Troels-Smith (1916-1991) was one of these pioneers and in 1977 he gave a lecture to The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences describing both the development of the field at the National Museums bog laboratory and their investigation into the remains of the Egtveds Girls mead. The lecture is translated here verbatim and he recounts the developments from a time when they could only identify around 10 pollen taxa to being able to identify around 400, how they confirmed the wall architecture of grains by slicing at 1/1000 mm and his work with Johs. Iversen to devise and publish a fixed terminology for pollen features. The work on the pollen from the Egtved Girls bark bucket is described along with comparative finds from the early Bronze Age and concludes the bucket contained a mixture of beer, fruit wine and honey, possibly as mead, with many plant fibres of bread wheat and cowberry or cranberry.
TidsskriftReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Sider (fra-til)10
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 13 sep. 2018


  • Pollen analysis; palynology; Troels-Smith; mead; Egtved Girl