Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance

Objectives

The Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance department contributes to the attainment of the Research and Exhibitions department’s overall objectives to collect, register, preserve, research and communicate knowledge about objects and other evidence, which can illuminate the development of culture in the Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, in other words the period from around 1000 AD until 1660, as well as to:

  • Fulfil the antiquarian duties, which are legally the responsibility of the National Museum.
  • Take an active part in Danish, as well as international, cultural and scholarly cooperation with museums, as well as other cultural and research institutions.
  • Aim for a high quality within all the department’s areas of work and responsibility by attracting, maintaining and improving the qualifications of its capable employees.

Work areas

The department covers the period 1000-1660 in relation to today’s Denmark and the Danish Realm, in particular Greenland. In practice the chronological framework is much wider.

Runology deals with runes from their earliest appearance in the Iron Age, whilst several areas - archaeology, the handling of danefæ (treasure trove) and the church consultancy work in particular - cover right up until today.

The department undertakes collection and investigation work, manages collections, is responsible for excavations, assesses and accessions danefæ, preserves and researches source material associated with Greenland’s period of Norse settlement, answers enquiries regarding runes, accessions all rune finds and runs an Antiquarian and Topographical  Archive, which is open to the public, together with a research library.

In addition, the department gives statutory advice to the authorities of the Church of Denmark regarding antiquarian questions, based upon archaeological and building investigations, and provides proposals for renovation of murals and interior furnishings. The department is also involved in the National Museum’s antiquarian service for buildings.

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