Tales from Ginderup Mound in Thisted County, Denmark: Further Investigations of Female Mobility in the Nordic Bronze Age

Samantha Reiter, Niels Algreen Møller, Marie Louise Jørkov, Jens-Henrik Bech, Robert Frei, Karin Margarita Frei

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The preservation of organic and human remains in Early Nordic Bronze Age mounds (1700 BCE -1100 BCE) permits new provenance work on this important period. To further extend the growing amount of comparative data, we conducted strontium isotope provenancing (Graves A and B) and osteological analysis (Graves A, B and C) on several individuals from the mound at Ginderup in Thisted County, Denmark. The mound contained both adult and juvenile remains from inhumation burials (of which Grave A also included a probable corded skirt) as well as several later cremation urns.
Our results revealed that the strontium isotope ratios obtained from the corded skirt grave (Grave A) yielded one ratio (M2) which was local to present-day Denmark and one non-local ratio (M3). The results from Grave B yielded a ratio which also falls within the local baseline of present-day Denmark. These results suggest that the Ginderup Woman was probably of local origin (i.e. from mainland Denmark), but that she also was repeatedly mobile during her life. We put these data in context relative to possible causes for mobility in the Nordic Bronze Age world, with a particular concentration on the consideration of fosterage practices, a somewhat under-studied cause for mobility (particularly for females) in this period. All in all, these new data are further evidence for the Nordic Bronze Age’s complex socio-dynamics.
TidsskriftDanish Journal of Archaeology
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 11 maj 2023