Going Back to the Iron Age

Whilst in Helsingor we took a trip down to Sagnlandet Lejre, the Land of Legends, a few kilometres west of Roskilde. The open air museum started life as a research project being formerly known as Lejre Experimental Centre. Scientists were unsure of what Iron Age settlements looked like above ground as the houses were made of wood so the only remains of the wooden structures are where the wooden beams were dug into the ground. Many of the archaeological remains are houses which burnt down so on the site they built houses to what they thought houses looked like and simply burnt them down. From this they’ve compared the modern archaeology results with the older results.

Acre Site (Iron Age Village)

The 106 acre site has reconstructions of an Iron Age village and sacrificial bog (200 BC to 200 AD), a Viking market place (900 AD), a Stone Age campsite (5000 BC), an 18th-century farmstead, a Dolmen and a stone Viking ship. There’s also fields with ancient breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs to complete the step back in time.

Being summer there was heaps of activities to get involved in. There was pottery, weaving, blacksmith workshops, archery, canoeing in dugouts and kids workshops. We took a break from wandering around and boarded a horse drawn wagon. It was nice relaxing as the wagon slowly lumbered around the site.

Every summer many families take a break from the modern world and book in here. They spend a week of their holidays in the Iron Age village, the farm cottages and the Stone Age campsite. They dress in period costume and take on the role of peopling the reconstructed areas, while trying to live using the techniques of the past. It must be hard for some people to be without facebook for so long. Some families have been coming every summer for ten years.

We took a free guided tour of the Iron Age village with a young University student who has a keen interest in history. He explained about day to day life in the Iron Age, the research project, and the holiday program. It was really interesting.

In the Viking trading post they tried to part us with our Kroner for some really nice high quality jewellery but despite the steely stare of the Viking we didn’t buy anything. Some of the kids were having fun however making their own at the Viking jewellery workshop.

After a fun day of discovery we said goodbye and jumped back on the bike headed back to Helsingor.

Take care Michele and Ron

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