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The woman and the belt plate

The time around and after 1400 BCE was a good time in the North, and this was manifested through very rich equipment in the graves, such as bronze and gold.

While a man's high status was marked by the sword or dagger with an ornate handle, the woman's high status was marked by her belt plate. It is precisely at this time that the woman became apparent, because of her jewellery. It has been discussed if the woman's visibility reflects a growing status for herself, or whether the valuable jewellery just marked the man's investment in the woman's adornment. In rich women’s graves we find jewellery and belt plates together with a dagger with an ornate handle (which otherwise belongs to the man's equipment). This could point toward the woman with executive power and status. Rock carvings and small bronze figures from late Bronze Age shows in all cases, the women’s independent role in the performance religious rituals.


The woman and the belt plate
The found from Vognserup Enge, 1400 - 1350 BCE. The second largest belt plate, 25,5 cm. (Photo: Lennart Larsen, The National Museum of Denmark)

Knives and spiral armrings

When we look at the found from Langstrup, it is worth to notes that they also found two large spiral armrings and a bronze knife. The knife looks like a dagger with its rich decorated grip, with the coils, and a length of about 18 cm. This entire finding belonged to a woman. The belt plate and the big knife tells that the equipment belonged to a woman of high rang, before it was deposit in the bog, sacrificed to the higher powers.


The found from Langstrup is not the only one of its kind where one or more female equipment has been deposited in bogs. The richest of these offerings of women's equipment was found in 1968 in Vognserup Enge near Holbæk. Here the found contained two complete sets of jewellery in bronze, two belt plates, two collars, four spiral rings, and an amount of small decorative plates. The largest of the two spiral ornamented belt plates, with its diameter of 25.5 cm, is the second largest in Denmark, only outshined by the belt plate from Langstrup.

The woman and the belt plate
Together with the belt plate from Langstrup, a long knife and two spiral armrings were found (by Aver & Kersten, 1973).