Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Portrait of JJA Worsaee from the Svenska Familj journals

Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae (born March 14, 1821 in Vejle , Denmark , † August 15, 1885 in Copenhagen ) was a Danish archaeologist and prehistory . He is one of the pioneers of prehistoric archeology. Worsaae was a student of Christian Juergensen Thomsen .

Worsaae was the son of a senior Danish civil servant. He initially studied law, but broke off after the death of his father in order to devote himself entirely to research into early history. The Danish King Frederick VII , who was privately engaged in archeology , appointed him to the post of inspector of antiquities created especially for him in 1848 after submitting his first publications, including an overview of prehistory . In 1854 he was appointed professor; In 1858 the king appointed Worsaae to be the curator of his personal collection of antiques. Worsaae was the first prehistoric man to receive a salary for his work.

In 1850, Worsaae was a member of an investigation commission of the Danish government to research the Køkkenmøddinger and made a decisive contribution to their characterization as settlements for prehistoric people.

His publications also led to the fact that the megalithic tombs of the north were not viewed as places of worship and sacrifice, as before, but as burial sites. He coined the term Viking Age , distinguishing for the first time between the Neolithic and Paleolithic .

He was a corresponding member of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory and, since 1866, of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg .


  • Geoffrey Bibby : hand ax and bronze sword. Exploration of the early days of the European north. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1972, ISBN 3-499-16718-2 ( rororo non-fiction book 6718).

Web links


  1. Jens Jakob Asmussen Worsaae: Danmarks Oldtid oplyst ved Oldsager og Gravhöie , Kjöbenhavn 1843, English 1849.
predecessor Office successor
Carl Christian Hall Danish Minister of Education
July 14, 1874 - June 11, 1875
Johan Christian Henrik Fischer