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Christian Thomsen, Danish archaeologist.

Christian Thomsen, Danish archaeologist.

H420/0107

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Christian Thomsen. Engraving of Christian Jurgensen Thomsen (1788-1865), Danish archaeolo- gist. He is pictured at centre showing an archaeological find to visitors at the Old Nordic Museum, Copenhagen. From 1816 Thomsen was the curator of the Danish National Museum (opened in 1819). In 1836 he published a guide for the museum called Ledetraad til nordisk Oldkyndighed (A Guide to Northern Antiquities). In it he introduced the revolutionary idea that antiquities did not belong to one pre-classical epoch but to different ages. He named these the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. The system is still broadly accepted. Drawn by M. Petersen in 1846.

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