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Science: Relic found in Denmark belonged to influential 14th-century woman

Science: Relic found in Denmark belonged to influential 14th-century woman

The amateur archaeologists have revealed their stunning discovery: a relic, which belonged to Elisabeth Buggesdatter, one of few influential women in Jutland in the 1300s.

Elisabeth was an outstanding woman in the 1300s, her name is referred to in written sources and other relics, that is why the Danish amateur archaeologists were so happy with the found stamp. It belonged to Elisabeth Buggesdatter, a key figure in rebellious movements in Jutland in the 1300s, the experts suggested.

A seal was found at Hodde, near Varde in western Jutland, the stamp was identifiable because Elisabeth’s name is often referred to in written sources of earlier Medieval Jutland. According to the history, Ms She Buggesdatter was having spoken at political gatherings known as tinge (literally, ‘things’), at which legislative and judiciary power was executed during Medieval Denmark – mostly by men.

The National Museum in Copenhagen was proud to get such a discovery, now it is considered state property. Varde Museums’ West Jutland Archaeology’s curator supported the colleagues, saying that Elisabeth’s stamp was a valuable one.

“It is very preserved and exciting, because seal stamps were normally destroyed when the owner died,” curator Lars Christian Bentsen said.

Elisabeth Buggesdatter, an influential woman in rebellious movements in Jutland

Elisabeth was the daughter of Niels Bugge, a leading figure and one of the richest men in Jutland during the period, and leader of a Jutish revolt against Danish king Valdemar IV Atterdag, who ruled from 1340 to 1375.

How the seal came to be at the field in Hodde where it was discovered, and any connections between Elisabeth and the area, are currently unknown.

“I sat for ten minutes enjoying the sight of it before sending a picture to the local museum,” Lasse Rahbek Ottesen, the amateur archaeologist who found the seal stamp, said in a statement.

The seal from Hodde belonged to a woman was confirmed after examination by the National Museum, which found the inscription ‘Elsebe Buggis Dotter’, meaning Elisabeth Buggesdatter, on the stamp.

“It is outstanding to be able to connect this very personal object to a person we know from historical sources,” National Museum curator Marie Laursen said.

“That the owner was a woman who was among the leading figures in society in the 14th century makes this discovery even more spectacular,” she added.