Danish Prince with Roman Grave Goods

3 x Gauguin for the glyptotek
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Exhibition 5.2. - 5.5. 2013: The Ishøj Pince - experience the Ishøj Prince’s tomb at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

In February the public can experience the sensational grave of "The Ishøj Prince" at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The grave was discovered in Ishøj – near Copenhagen – in October 2007. The grave is normally exhibited at Kroppedal Museum.

The grave of "The Ishøj Prince" has been dated to the Iron Age, i.e. AD 250-400, and it is considered by archaeologists to be one of the most important discoveries in Denmark in recent times. The grave is important on account of the very fine Roman gifts which were buried with the prince: large gold rings, an elegant Roman wine set in bronze, as well as a large number of gaming pieces made of glass. The finest gifts in the grave are two Roman glass beakers decorated with ships and dolphins.

The Late Roman Iron Age in Denmark is a period influenced by Roman culture. This is apparent from, among other things, the costumes, weapons and other artefacts. It was quite normal for there to be gifts in a person’s tomb, and from these archaeologists can determine the rank of the dead individual in society. Only the elite were provided with Roman gifts in their tombs, so there is no doubt that this was an important man who was discovered in Torslunde.

Studies of the prince’s skeleton have enabled archaeologists to determine exactly how he died: a star-shaped wound from an arrowhead in the crown of the head was one of the causes. The same can also be said of two five-centimetre-long lesions in the back of the skull, caused by sharp blades. Lesions from a thrust coming from below and striking the lower left leg show that the prince may have been on horseback and was thus probably killed in combat.

The exhibition consists of a display case showing the prince and his grave gifts, together with a video, part of which illustrates the prince’s dramatic death. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration with Kroppedal Museum.

The exhibition opens on 5th February and runs until 5th May.

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For further information:
Pia Svejgaard Pedersen
Head of Communications
psp@glyptoteket.dk / M: 6095 6949