When archaeologists started their dig at Town Hall Square in Copenhagen 18 months ago, conventional wisdom said they were unlikely to find traces of 12th century life as the town had simply not stretched that far.
18 months later, views have changed. Skeletons, craftsmen’s refuse and traces of the herring trade have emerged that contradict what the history books tell us of the Danish capital.
“We are now going to have to rewrite the pre-Absalon history of Copenhagen. A very interesting set of discoveries,” says Copenhagen University History Ass. Prof. Carsten Jahnke.
The history books have all previously said that Archbishop Absalon founded Copenhagen in the second half of the 12th century. But the new discoveries mean his role should be played down.
“What our dig confirms is that Copenhagen was a real city before Absalon received it from King Valdemar,” City Hall Square dig leader Hanna Dahlström says.