Who are we today? Who were we yesterday? And how did we become who we are?
These are some of the major existential questions, which we tackle and attempt to answer in Gifts From The Past. We take a look at the gifts, which our ancestors bequeathed us. They include the way we dress, the way we live and the way our brains work.
The exhibition ranges from Mesolithic burial rituals to the bridal gown your mother wore for her wedding. Three of our best researchers were given their own spaces in the exhibition, where you can see how each of them carries out research in their particular field. Meet them below and learn a little about their exciting research:
Your choice of clothes for your wedding is far from insignificant. That applies both to today and to your great-great-grandmother’s time.
The clothes we make for life’s big events say a lot about the age and society we live in. That has always been the case. That is why I research the subject of the clothes we have worn over the years for christenings, weddings and funerals. As well as looking at the clothes and how they were made, I also examine how the development of society, in terms of legislation, technology, fashion, commerce, economics, medicine, social conditions and local customs, has an impact on the clothes we wear.
My research permits me to rummage through the museum’s large storage facilities. But you can help me too. Because I am very interested in seeing how you were dressed for your wedding or your great-great-grandmother for hers.
5,000 years ago, 8 people were buried in what today is Strøby Egede. The grave contained four females and four males, aged between 0 and 50 years. Way back in 1986 the grave was carefully removed. Since that time, the somewhat spooky grave has remained peacefully in its display case in Køge Museum, not revealing very much of its exciting history. Up until now. My contribution to the Gifts From The Past exhibition is an attempt to extract as much information as possible from the Strøby Egede grave.
Because today it is possible to answer many more questions than we could back in 1986. As in the rest of our society, developments in the field of natural sciences have been enormous.
How old is the grave? Did the people buried in it grow up somewhere other than in Strøby Egede? Where were they buried in relation to their dwelling place? How are the people in the grave related to each other? Is it a family, which was carefully laid to rest? What did they die of? These are just some of the questions my colleagues and I will attempt to answer and publish in scientific journals in the coming years. And you are invited to join in the work.
Our homes are built, not only of bricks and mortar, but also of the dream of a good, meaningful life. That dream changes all the time and has done ever since mankind started building homes.
Given that we obviously cannot ask the people of the past about their dreams, the houses they built represent an important source for understanding what they thought and dreamed about. My research project involves surveying the houses and settlements of the Viking Age to see how their architecture evolved.
My studies of the Vikings’ homes will hopefully reveal new ways of looking at the Viking age and its people. We can also learn more about the way we build and live today by comparing our architecture with that of the Viking Age.
So one of the things my section of the exhibition enables you to do is to join me on a visit to the fashion expert and writer, Jim Lyngvild, who has built his own modern version of a Viking fortress.
On your iPad guide you will always be able to see what the three researchers discover. You can also get involved in the research. You can comment on the results or email them with questions or suggestions for what they should take a look at.
We also focus on selected moments in the history of mankind and describe why they were landmarks for us. All objects in the exhibition come from the area around Køge, thus making it an exhibition of local history.