Topmenu - include
The Tollund Man - A Face from Prehistoric Denmark Danish Version Home
A body Appears The Naked Body Examinations Time of Tollund Man Other Bog Bodies Videos and Books Background
At the Time of the Tollund Man

Everyday Life

A Village

Houses

Food

Clothes and Fashion

The Iron of the Iron Age

Gods and Religion

Weaponry and War

Transportation

The Rest of the World
 Video
A video about the Iron Age

Video At the time of the Tollund Man
53 seconds - Broadband

Video Introduction to the Iron Age
From "People of the Iron Age"
2.25 minutes - Broadband.
© Lejre Experimental Centre

Video Pottery-making in the Iron Age
From "People of the Iron Age"
1.22 minutes - Broadband.
© Lejre Experimental Centre

 More video snippets
for different Internet connections. See also technical assistance for the video snippets



 Home At the Time of the Tollund Man Everyday Life in the Iron Age

Everyday Life in the Iron Age

What was Life like in the Iron Age?

Click for extra large picture
In the Iron Age they used a plough called an "ard". Extra large picture. More illustrations. © Niels Bach
Ploughing with an ard
Ploughing with an ard. Big picture
© Lejre Experimental Centre
Almost everybody in the Iron Age was involved in farm work and that goes for women and children, too. In order to prepare the land people used a special kind of plough, an ard, which was pulled by a couple of oxen. That was probably the men's part of the work.

Very few people were actual artisans. The most important of the artisans was probably the blacksmith and next to him were the people who did the peat-digging. They were important because the peat was used for melting out bog iron.

The women were very skilled at making earthenware vessels. The earthenware vessels were used in connection with cooking and for trading.

It took a long time to grind the grains to make flour
It took a long time to grind
the grains to make flour.
Big picture
The women also took care of the food and made sure there was enough laid up for the cold winters. They milked the cows, made bread and cheese and dried meat and fish.

A lot of time was spent on harvesting the fields - the grain had to be threshed first, after which the kernels were grinded to flour on a stone grinder. In a mortar - a big stone with a round hole - they grinded seeds and nuts to small bits, so they could be used for porridge and bread.

The leader of the community held a position which entitled him to not participate in the daily work of taking care of the land and the livestock. He had to train the men for war and make sure that the laws of the tribe were observed as well as be a kind of minister in the village.

The women had many children during their childbearing years but only few of the children survived. Out of a family of 10 brothers and sisters only two or three children lived to have children of their own. Most people died before they had turned 45.

Click for extra large picture
Even at the time of the Tollund Man they digged peat in the bog. Extra large picture. More illustrations.
© Niels Bach
The goats needed to be milked
The goats needed to be milked. Big picture
© Lejre Experimental Centre
The boys and girls had to watch the livestock and help around the house which included fetching firewood for the fireplaces.

The children of the Iron Age played like all children but we don't know much about the games they played. In a grave which held the body of a young child, Silkeborg Museum discovered a rattle made of clay. Games which made use of dice and a board with glass pieces were also very popular.

We don't know how much time the children spent on playing. It is very likely that as soon as they were old enough they were put to work - tending the livestock, picking berries, cleaning the stable, spreading manure on the fields and collecting firewood. The day wasn't divided into work and fun - the two were mixed together.

Girl wearing a dress from the Iron Age
Girl wearing a dress from the Iron Age.
Big picture © Lejre Experimental Centre
People got up when the sun rose and the cock crowed. They probably started the day by feeding the livestock. The manure that had accumulated over night had to be gathered and spread on the fields.

In the wintertime some of the livestock, sheep and pigs would be in the stable right next to where the people ate and slept.

In the summertime most of the residents' lives were probably spent outdoors. In the evening the livestock would be shooed inside the fence surrounding the village after which it was closed. As the sun was setting people would gather around the fireplace and listen to stories before going to bed. People slept on low plank beds around the fireplace and the sound of the livestock munching would mix with the residents' snoring.

 Related Stories
At the time of the Tollund Man

A village
Traces of the villages people lived in at the time of the Tollund Man have been found all over Denmark...

Houses
The houses were of the three-aisled kind which means that the roof was carried by two rows of poles...

Food
The cooking was done by the fireplace in the iron-age house...

Clothes and fashion
The clothes worn by Huldremose Woman consisted of a fur cape made out of sheepskin and a skirt woven with natural-coloured wool...

The iron of the Iron Age
Danish iron comes in the form of bog iron...

Gods and religion
When somebody died in the village, he or she was cremated in a funeral pyre...

Weaponry and war
During the early Iron Age a significant number of wars were on in Europe...

Transportation
During the Bronze Age light carriages with spoke wheels were developed...

The rest of the world
Europe was populated by two large nations who lived north of the Alps...



 On the Web
Internet The iron-age village
Internet Iron Age
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Internet The Iron Age
From Denmark.dk.

 More websites


About the Website | Sitemap | Visit the Tollund Man | Contact Us

© 2004 Silkeborg Public Library, Silkeborg Museum and Amtscentret for Undervisning, Aarhus Amt. Editor of the Website