Neolithic Age

History of Denmark between 5000 BC - 1701 BC

Even before the Neolithic period hunting people in Denmark had long had contact with the farming societies in central Europe, but only around 3900 BC the hunters began to till the land and keep animals. Wooded areas were cleared, burnt and replaced with fields of arable crops. Cattle, pigs and sheep appeared as domesticated animals. The big change was that people could produce their own food products. Coastal fishing was still good and therefore the farming population continued for a long time to hunt and fish from the old settlements on the coast.

The farmers’ grave monuments in the form of dolmens and passage graves were constructed all over Denmark. They can be seen still in many places in the Danish landscape. Here you can see the splendid polished flint axes and large collections of amber beads which were offered to the gods in hope of a good harvest. You can also see how the Skarpsalling Pot – Denmark’s most attractive pottery vessel from the Neolithic period – is decorated. Or you can learn more about how daggers, such the one from Hindsgavl, and other flint tools were produced.

Reference: National Museum of Denmark

Previous historical period: The Mesolithic Period (-12500--5001) | Next historical period: Bronze Age (-1700--501)

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.

In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.