‘It’s clear that this must have been a quite far-reaching and dramatic event that must have had profound effect on the society of the time,’ explains Project Manager Mads Kähler Holst, professor of archaeology at Aarhus University.
ScienceDaily (June 9, 2008) — A team of forensic scientists at the University of Copenhagen has studied human remains found in two ancient Danish burial grounds dating back to the iron age, and discovered a man who appears to be of Arabian origin. The findings suggest that human beings were as genetically diverse 2000 years ago as they are today and indicate greater mobility among iron age populations than was previously thought. The findings also suggest that people in the Danish iron age did not live and die in small, isolated villages but, on the contrary, were in constant contact with the wider world.
Archeologists and anthropologists know today that the concept of a single scandinavian genetic type, a scandinavian race that wandered to Denmark, settled there, and otherwise lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world, is a fallacy.
Photograph by P. Ethelberg/Sydsjllands Museum, 2000
At the beginning of the Danish iron age, the roman legions were based as far north as the river Elbe (on the border of northern Germany) and it is thought that the man of arabian descent found in the burial grounds in Southern Zealand would have either been a slave or a soldier in the roman army. It is probable that he possessed skills or special knowledge, which the people in Bøgebjerggård or Skovgaard settlements could make use of, or he could have been the descendant of a female of arabian origin, who for reasons unknown, had crossed the river Elbe and settled down with the inhabitants of Zealand.
“This discovery is comparable to the findings of a colleague of mine, who found a person of siberian origin on the Kongemarke site,” continues scientist, Linea Melchior. He was buried on consecrated ground, just as the circumstances of the arab man’s burial was identical to that of the locals. The discovery of the arab man indicates that people from distant parts of the world could be and were absorbed in Danish communities.
“Another interesting feature of the approximately 50 graves assessed so far on the two sites and also from other burial sites and time periods in Danish history is that none of the individuals seem to be maternally related to one another”, explains Linea Melchior. “We couldn’t see any large families buried in the same location. This suggests that in the Danish iron age, people didn’t live and die in the villages of their birth, as we had previously imagined”.
Hrólfr Kraki, Hroðulf, Rolfo, Roluo, Rolf Krage (early 6th century) was a legendary Danish king who appears in both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian tradition. His name would in his own language (Proto-Norse) have been *Hrōþiwulfaz (famous wolf).
Both traditions describe him as a Danish Scylding, the nephew of Hroðgar and the grandson of Healfdene. The consensus view is that Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian traditions describe the same people. Whereas the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf and Widsith do not go further than treating his relationship with Hroðgar and their animosity with Froda and Ingeld, the Scandinavian sources expand on his life as the king at Lejre and on his relationship with Halga, Hroðgar’s brother. In Beowulf and Widsith, it is never explained how Hroðgar and Hroðulf are uncle and nephew, but in the Scandinavian tradition, Halga conceived Hroðulf by rapingYrsa, not knowing that she was his own daughter.
The chief authority for the legend of Hamlet is Saxo Grammaticus, who devotes to it parts of the third and fourth books of his Gesta Danorum, completed at the beginning of the 13th century. There are no means of determining whether Saxo derived his information in this case from oral or written sources.Guðni Jónsson’s edition)As Snæbjorn sang:…They say nine brides of skerriesSwiftly move the Sea-ChurnOf Grótti’s Island-Flour-BinBeyond the Earth’s last outskirt –They who long the corny ale groundOf Amlódí; the GiverOf Rings now cuts with ship’s beakThe Abiding-Place of boat-sides.Here the sea is called Amlódi’s Churn.(Brodeur’s translation, 1916)