Medieval Danish Queen’s cellar is one of 2019’s top ten archaeological finds

The discovery of a cellar in Roskilde believed to have belonged to medieval Danish Queen Margrete I is one of this year's ten most important archaeological finds.

Medieval Danish Queen's cellar is one of 2019’s top ten archaeological finds
Photo: Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen

Among other important Danish discoveries this year are an approximately 3,000-year-old sacrificial victim in Thy, a mysterious amber sun disc of amber near Viborg and a Bronze Age burial mound with a crematorium at Bellinge near Odense.

The list was published by the Ministry of Culture’s Agency for Culture and Palaces in a press release.

In Roskilde, medieval archaeologist Jesper Langkilde said he is proud that the cellar is on the annual list.

“It is not commonplace to find such well-preserved ruins from the Middle Ages, and when we can also ascertain that it is very likely that the cellar belonged to Margrete I, that in my brings the discovery into a class of its own,” Langkilde said.

“The fact that the Agency for Culture and Palaces shares that view and has placed the cellar as one of year's top 10 archaeological finds is something I am extremely pleased about,” added Langkilde, who works for the Romu museum group.

The cellar appeared earlier this year amongst remains of masonry, pottery and building materials in Roskilde street Lille Grønnegade.

Photo: ROMU/Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen

It appears to have belonged to Margrete I, who lived from 1353 to 1412 and ruled Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

It is thought to have been part of a house that the Queen ordered built so she could be close to the city’s monastery, Vor Frue Kloster, when she was in Roskilde.

The criteria for being selected on the cultural agency’s list is adding “significant new knowledge of archaeology and Danish history”.

READ ALSO: Stone Age Dane had dark skin and dark hair: DNA study

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Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade

The possibility of large-scale music festivals taking place in Denmark this summer has been described as “unrealistic” following the publication of expert recommendations for coronavirus-safe events.

Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade
The Roskilde Festival during the glorious summer of 2018. Photo: Sofie Mathiassen/Ritzau Scanpix

Music events such as the Roskilde Festival, the largest of its kind in northern Europe, would not be able to take place as normal and must be without overnight guests under the recommendations, submitted in report form by an expert advisory group to the government on Friday.

The group, appointed as part of the national reopening plan, was tasked with looking at how festivals and other large events can take place this summer.

The recommendations will provide the basis political discussions which will form an agreement over large events which will be integrated into the reopening plan.

READ ALSO: Denmark enters new phase of reopening plan: Here’s what changed on April 21st

Seven various scenarios, including one for outdoors, standing events, were considered by the expert group in forming its recommendations. Two phases have been set down for eased restrictions on large events, which are currently banned due to the public assembly limit.

In the final phase of the restrictions towards the end of the summer, a maximum of 10,000 people would be permitted to attend an event. All attendees would be required to present a valid corona passport, and audiences would be split into sections of 2,000.

Although that could provide a framework for some events to take place, Roskilde Festival, which normally has a total of around 130,000 guests and volunteers including sprawling camping areas, appears to be impossible in anything resembling its usual format.

The festival was also cancelled in 2020.

Roskilde Festival CEO Signe Lopdrup, who was part of the expert group, said the festival was unlikely to go ahead should it be required to follow the recommendations.

“Based on the recommendations, we find it very difficult to believe it is realistic to organise festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer,” Lopdrup said in a written comment to broadcaster DR.

The restrictions would mean “that it is not possible to go ahead with the Roskilde Festival. That’s completely unbearable. But that’s where we’ve ended,” she added.

The news is potentially less bleak for other types of event with fewer participants, with cultural and sporting events as well as conferences also included in the recommendations submitted by the group.

Parliament has previously approved a compensation scheme for major events forced to cancel due to coronavirus measures this summer.