The research project The Notion of Power – Weapons in West Zealand, by museum inspector and Ph.D. Trine Louise Borake from Museum Vestsjælland has just received a generous donation from the Augustinus Foundation. The Beckett Foundation has previously donated to the same project.
The weapons and warrior equipment of the past are not just fascinating objects from a bygone era. They also tell about power alliances, status and rituals, about the organization and development of society and about human relationships and ambitions. The project Weapons in West Zealand focuses precisely on weapons and their role in the social organization in the 1st millennium. The project is based on object studies, and here the many detector discoveries from recent decades come into play. Defense installations will also be included and examined in the project, i.a. through archaeological investigations.
Although a large amount of detector finds have been submitted, weapon finds and equestrian equipment still make up a surprisingly small part of the total archaeological material. Their number, find context and expression do not harmonize with the meaning assigned to them in the prehistoric narrative. The project will seek an explanation for this.
Trine Louise Borake is very much looking forward to delving into the political organization of power in the present day through studies of weapon finds and she adds: "West Zealand has many skilled detector operators and has seen an enormous increase in detector finds over the past several years. The new finds call for a detailed mapping and revised synthesis of weapon finds and equestrian equipment as a means in a power political game. With the project, I hope that together we can become better at identifying and explaining the presence or absence of weapons, their function and symbolism."
The perfect working field
Vestsjælland is a perfect working field as a background for such a project. In particular, the area at Boeslunde south of Slagelse has enormous untapped potential, which puts other sites such as Lejre, Tissø and Jelling into perspective due to the long site continuity that goes back to the Bronze Age's most spectacular gold finds.
Museum director Eskil Vagn Olsen is happy and proud of the donations.
"With the financial grants, Museum Vestsjælland, together with its partners, has the opportunity to go in-depth with the research into the rich find material from Midt- and Westsjælland. Thereby we can contribute to a further nuance and understanding of the objects and social structures of the past".
The project, which runs from the middle of 2023 to the end of 2024, will be carried out in collaboration with the National Museum and presented via a number of different dissemination initiatives.
Contact: Trine Louise Borake on 2028 7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org