In 1859, 1862 and 1863, under the direction of archaeologist Conrad Engelhardt, extensive excavations were undertaken in the bog Nydam in Southern Jutland, Denmark. The investigations revealed that, during the Roman and Early Germanic Iron Ages, extensive major offerings were made here of weapons and other military equipment – presumably war booty.
Engelhardt’s archaeological finds from Nydam, and the history of the bog itself, are comprehensively described in the literature, and it can be safely asserted that the locality and its finds occupy a prominent place in the identity history of Southern Jutland. However, as the analyses of the Ejsbøl finds and, not least, the post-war period’s other major war booty site at Illerup Ådal, excavated by the Prehistoric Museum in Aarhus, now Moesgaard Museum, began to be published in the 1980s, the need for new investigations at Nydam seemed ever more pressing.
Excavating Nydam, as the title suggests, is a book about the Danish National Museum’s excavations at Nydam in 1989‑99. In addition to a description of the various excavations, the geology of the bog and an identification of the individual votive depositions, the main emphasis is on presentation of the wooden artefacts, the conservation and recording of which would not have been possible without the combined, integrated efforts of archaeologists, scientists/environmental archaeologists and conservators.