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Christian Jürgensen Thomsen

1788-1865. Without any academic training, Thomsen became head of the Collection of Northern Antiquities in 1816, which he began to reorganise in the church loft of Trinitatis Church in 1818.

Here he rejected the former random arrangement of antiquities in favour of a new, strictly chronological arrangement. It was here he first used the designations Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, which he explained in his Ledetraad til nordisk Oldkyndighed (Guidelines on Nordic Antiquarianism) from 1836.

The terms were in time accepted in archaeology throughout Europe. Thomsen's collections were moved in the 1850s to Prinsens Palæ, which in 1892 was reorganised into the present National Museum.


Olaf Pedersen, Gyldendal Leksikon

other great danes

The lives and achievements of all these Great Danes and many more are outlined in biographies of varying lengths on these pages. Read more about The Great Danes