Sorte Muld and Gudme

Sorte Muld (Black Earth) is an area of land covered by a thick area of black earth, on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, which was built up throughout the entire Iron Age. The site is interpreted as a well-established regional centre for power and culture, the seat of a chief or “king”, and includes a large temple on a mound. Archaeologist have uncovered hundreds of Roman coins, as well as several thousand “guldgubber” similar to those found in Swedish digs, as well as traces of goldsmiths work, glass and pearls.

A similar site is located at Gudme on the Danish Island of Fyn, which existed from 3-700 CE, which was inhabited by up to 500 people, and surrounded by about 50 smaller farms. As at Sorte Muld there are traces of gold- and silver- smithing. It is thought that the metal came from the Roman empire as many silver coins from the 4th century have been found there, as well as broken pieces of Roman bronze statues. In the second half of the 3rd century AD a large hall was built that survived for about 100 years, and was accompanied by six other smaller, but still monumental, halls. Silver coins and jewels, many from the south east (Ostrogothic) area of the Roman Empire were found in the hall.

Sorte Muld in Danish:Information on Sorte Muld(in Danish…beware page translate!)
Brief information on Sorte Muld in English: Brief Information on Sorte Muld from Bornholms Museum

Gudme in English: Description of findings at Gudme from the Danish National Museum

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