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Water and green plant remains in the North Mound - August 2009

Move the mouse over the photograph you want to see. Photos: Morten Fischer Mortensen

On Monday 24th August the first borehole samples were taken from the North Mound at Jelling. The results are surprisingly good. Even after 1000 years the green growth layer of the grass turfs can still be seen in the samples. In addition, it already looks as if the turfs in the North Mound originate from plough soil and not heath soil. The layers in the mound have prevented the seeping down of water and this is very probably the explanation of the well, that the Jelling farmers of the early 19th century believed was present in the mound. It was probably created after the first digging down to the burial chamber in the middle of the mound. The chamber was emptied and the hole filled up again, but the soil which it filled up with was of another character to the mound’s turf layers and did not absorb water in the same way.   


The North Mound’s turf layers are very moist. A borehole, which stood open over night, contained around half a metre of water the next morning. A sample was also taken of this. All the samples from the mound will now be analysed by the National Museum’s Department of Danish Prehistory/Natural Science and the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen. The samples will provide new knowledge about the mound’s composition, but also about the surrounding landscape at the time when the mound was constructed. In the coming week the South Mound will be sampled.

Photograph of dark clump of earth, which contains small green plant parts.
Green plant remains are still preserved in the mound’s turf layers. Photo: Morten Fischer Mortensen.
Photo of the metal auger, in a hollow in the middle the soil sample can be seen.
The auger brings up a soil sample from the inside of the North Mound. Photo: Anne Pedersen.
A small clump of earth is placed in a bag.
A sample of the mound is taken for later analysis. Photo: Anne Pedersen.
Information about the soil sample from Jelling is written on the outside of the bag.
Information about the soil sample is recorded on the bag and in a log book. Photo: Anne Pedersen.