Exploring Denmark’s Glorious Past in the National Museum: Part Three – the Ancient World

…continued from Part Two…

Near East

A small but interesting selection of objects from the Near East starts our exploration of the ancient world – with a brief detour to the 14th century for a cute bowl from Antioch.

Mesopotamian god, with a horned cap, c1900 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mesopotamian god, with a horned cap, c1900 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Glazed bowl, 1200-1300, possibly from Antioch, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Glazed bowl, 1200-1300, possibly from Antioch, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure of a man from a subterranean chamber tomb, Roman era, from Hama, Syria, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure of a man from a subterranean chamber tomb, Roman era, from Hama, Syria, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sculpture from a subterranean chamber tomb, 101AD, from Hama, Syria, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  "Menophila, daughter of Diodoros, died 23rd of October, year 413".

Sculpture from a subterranean chamber tomb, 101AD, from Hama, Syria, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  “Menophila, daughter of Diodoros, died 23rd of October, year 413”.

Reliefs from Ashurnasirpal II's palace in Nimrud, 875-860 BC, alabaster, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The inscription records the king's building activities and military exploits.

Reliefs from Ashurnasirpal II’s palace in Nimrud, 875-860 BC, alabaster, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The inscription records the king’s building activities and military exploits.

Statue of Sukaymun, c100BC, probably from Timna, Yemen, alabaster, hair and eyes made of shell, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Statue of Sukaymun, c100BC, probably from Timna, Yemen, alabaster, hair and eyes made of shell, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ancient Egypt

The museum has an unexpectedly fascinating collection of Egyptian objects – I could have spent longer looking, but it was at about this time that I realised that there was no way we were going to finish the museum, and we had to leave or we’d not make it to the Carlsberg Glypotek.

As it happens, the fact that these two museums were visited on the same day kind of went to demonstrate the difference between the collections: while the Glyptotek is full of ‘starry’ objects that are usually of exceptional quality, their neighbour down-the-road has more of the ‘everyday’ objects.  This applies, I feel, to the whole ancient world section of the National Museum of Denmark, and therefore in way visiting both museums’ ancient collections makes for rather a mutually complimentary experience.

Ta-khennu's Double Coffin, 750-650 BC, from Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ta-khennu’s Double Coffin, 750-650 BC, from Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wooden box for shabti figures, showing Kha-bekhenet with his wife Isis, c1250 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wooden box for shabti figures, showing Kha-bekhenet with his wife Isis, c1250 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Garments from the mummy of the 'leader of the chorus of Karnak' Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Garments from the mummy of the ‘leader of the chorus of Karnak’ Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a garment from the mummy of the 'leader of the chorus of Karnak' Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Look at the beautiful blue edging.

Detail of a garment from the mummy of the ‘leader of the chorus of Karnak’ Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Look at the beautiful blue edging.

Detail of a garment from the mummy of the 'leader of the chorus of Karnak' Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a garment from the mummy of the ‘leader of the chorus of Karnak’ Di-Mut-Shep-n-Ankh, 650BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Lid and mummy board from the coffin of the "chantress of Amun", c1000 BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  153 male and female priests from 1080-950 BC were buried in one tomb.

Lid and mummy board from the coffin of the “chantress of Amun”, c1000 BC, Luxor, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  153 male and female priests from 1080-950 BC were buried in one tomb.

Figure from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure with a duck from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure with a duck from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of figures farming from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of figures farming from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figures farming, figure praying and boats on stands from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figures farming, figure praying and boats on stands from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figures farming, figure praying and boats on stands from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figures farming, figure praying and boats on stands from the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Meeting various gods in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Meeting various gods in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Looking towards the sun in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Looking towards the sun in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A procession in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A procession in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Transporting the body in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Transporting the body in the Book of the Dead of the woman Ta-ker-heb, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure from the tomb of Nakht-kau,  2140-2040 BC, Heracleopolis, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure from the tomb of Nakht-kau,  2140-2040 BC, Heracleopolis, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Statue of Asyut, 1990-1785BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  If the actual mummy of a person was destroyed, then a statue could replace it in the tomb, as in this case.

Statue of Asyut, 1990-1785BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  If the actual mummy of a person was destroyed, then a statue could replace it in the tomb, as in this case.

Figures making beer and bread, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figures making beer and bread, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

So-called soul house and courtyard with offerings, c2050 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The tray would stand in the open over the tomb for libations.

So-called soul house and courtyard with offerings, c2050 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The tray would stand in the open over the tomb for libations.

Detail of the figures on the way to the tomb, 2060-1785 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the figures on the way to the tomb, 2060-1785 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

On the way to the tomb, 2060-1785 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

On the way to the tomb, 2060-1785 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Deir el-Medina in Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Deir el-Medina in Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Deir el-Medina in Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela, 1300-1200 BC, Deir el-Medina in Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure of a man with a ram head, 1300-1200 BC, Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure of a man with a ram head, 1300-1200 BC, Luxor, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Greece

Had time not been a factor, I could have spent quite a while looking at the vases that the museum had on show.  As it was, I had to nip through the gallery, scanning for highlights…

Female idols, 2700-2300 BC, from Amorgos, Cyprus, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Female idols, 2700-2300 BC, from Amorgos, Cyprus, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Female Idol, 2700-2300 BC, from Amorgos, Cyprus, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Female Idol, 2700-2300 BC, from Amorgos, Cyprus, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Grave monument in the burial ground at Phaleron, near Athens, c750 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Grave monument in the burial ground at Phaleron, near Athens, c750 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Octopus motif vase, 1200-1100 BC, made in Attica but influenced by Crete, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Octopus motif vase, 1200-1100 BC, made in Attica but influenced by Crete, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pyxis, c750 BC, from a grave in Attica, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pyxis, c750 BC, from a grave in Attica, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Doll with legs that hang from a bronze pin under the dress, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  This type of doll is only known in this area.

Doll with legs that hang from a bronze pin under the dress, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  This type of doll is only known in this area.

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Woman with a lyre,350-200 BC, Tanagra, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Woman with a lyre,350-200 BC, Tanagra, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta women, 350-200 BC, Tanagra, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta women, 350-200 BC, Tanagra, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Woman at the Oven, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Woman at the Oven, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Woodworker, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Woodworker, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Woodworker, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Woodworker, 600-500 BC, Boeotia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Two Greek terracotta dolls, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A young man of the mythical Lapith people, 447-432 BC, from the Parthenon, Athens, 447-432 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   It was bought in Athens in 1687 by a Danish naval officer.

A young man of the mythical Lapith people, 447-432 BC, from the Parthenon, Athens, 447-432 BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   It was bought in Athens in 1687 by a Danish naval officer.

Head of a centaur, 447-432 BC, from the Parthenon, Athens, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   It was bought in Athens in 1687 by a Danish naval officer.

Head of a centaur, 447-432 BC, from the Parthenon, Athens, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   It was bought in Athens in 1687 by a Danish naval officer.

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Head of a centaur, 447-432 BC, from the Parthenon, Athens, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   It was bought in Athens in 1687 by a Danish naval officer.

Pot for mixing wine and water, c570 BC, Corinth, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pot for mixing wine and water, c570 BC, Corinth, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Lots of vases in the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Lots of vases in the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Etruscans

 

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Canope standing on a throne, 650-626 BC, Chiusi, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Urns were shaped into human figures (canopes) and these were placed on small thrones.

Funnel in the shape of a man's head (with a removable sieve inside), c550BC, Campania, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Funnel in the shape of a man’s head (with a removable sieve inside), c550BC, Campania, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ceramic copy of Near Eastern-style bronze cauldron, c600BC, from Narce, Faliscans territory,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ceramic copy of Near Eastern-style bronze cauldron, c600BC, from Narce, Faliscans territory,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sandals of wood and bronze, 500-300 BC

Sandals of wood and bronze, 500-300 BC

Head of the river god Acheloos, c500BC, Tarquinia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   Such heads decorated large shields, which were hung in the tombs of Tarquinia. They were supposed to have evil-averting properties.  The shields were produced locally and only for use in graves.

Head of the river god Acheloos, c500BC, Tarquinia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.   Such heads decorated large shields, which were hung in the tombs of Tarquinia. They were supposed to have evil-averting properties.  The shields were produced locally and only for use in graves.

Hellenistic World and Magna Graecia

Alexander the Great as a god with ram's horns, AD 150-250, Carthage/Utica, Tunisia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Alexander the Great as a god with ram’s horns, AD 150-250, Carthage/Utica, Tunisia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Crater for mixing wine and water, 350-300 BC, probably made in South Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Crater for mixing wine and water, 350-300 BC, probably made in South Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Model of a war ship, 300-31 BC, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Model of a war ship, 300-31 BC, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a girl, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a girl, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Terracotta figure of a woman, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a child with a basket on their head, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a child with a basket on their head, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Terracotta figure of a child with a jug, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Birth of Aphrodite, 300-200BC, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Birth of Aphrodite, 300-200BC, south Italy, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dancing youth with wreaths round his neck, wrists and ankles, 200-150BC, found in a tomb in Taranto, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dancing youth with wreaths round his neck, wrists and ankles, 200-150BC, found in a tomb in Taranto, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a young woman with her hands raised in a gesture of mourning, 300-250 BC, found in a chamber tomb in Canosa in Apulia with rich gifts and several similar figures,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta figure of a young woman with her hands raised in a gesture of mourning, 300-250 BC, found in a chamber tomb in Canosa in Apulia with rich gifts and several similar figures,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the terracotta figure of a young woman with her hands raised in a gesture of mourning, 300-250 BC, found in a chamber tomb in Canosa in Apulia with rich gifts and several similar figures,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the terracotta figure of a young woman with her hands raised in a gesture of mourning, 300-250 BC, found in a chamber tomb in Canosa in Apulia with rich gifts and several similar figures,  National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Rome

The Roman collection was more interesting than perhaps my selection of photos would indicate – I’ve shown some of the more unusual pieces, but actually it was a good, solid collection that gave a good overview of the kinds of objects that were used in everyday life.

Bust of an older woman, second half of 1st century BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Bust of an older woman, second half of 1st century BC, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Augustus, AD 14-100, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Augustus, AD 14-100, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Livia, AD 40-80, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Livia, AD 40-80, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Balance in the form of a man, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Balance in the form of a man, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Minerva in a dress shield, Roman era, from Miltenburg am Main, bronze with a plating of white tin, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Minerva in a dress shield, Roman era, from Miltenburg am Main, bronze with a plating of white tin, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Minerva in a dress shield, Roman era, from Miltenburg am Main, bronze with a plating of white tin, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Bronze relief depicting Sabazios and symbols borrowed from other gods, 1st century AD, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Sabazios was originally worshipped in Thrace and Phrygia but his cult spread throughout the Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period.   Sabazios had features in common with Dionysus and later borrowed characteristics from other gods.

Bronze relief depicting Sabazios and symbols borrowed from other gods, 1st century AD, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Sabazios was originally worshipped in Thrace and Phrygia but his cult spread throughout the Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period.   Sabazios had features in common with Dionysus and later borrowed characteristics from other gods.

Bronze hands of Sabazios, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  These hands were used in ritual worship.

Bronze hands of Sabazios, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  These hands were used in ritual worship.

Lead waterpipe with the inscription EX OFFICINA NASENNI FORTUNATI, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Lead waterpipe with the inscription EX OFFICINA NASENNI FORTUNATI, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pottery cup made to imitate silver ware, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pottery cup made to imitate silver ware, Roman era, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Roman pots, lamps and mosaic, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Roman pots, lamps and mosaic, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Possibly the Emperor Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253, Rome, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Possibly the Emperor Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253, Rome, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mosaic depicting men with horses, AD 200-300, Carthage, Tunisia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mosaic depicting men with horses, AD 200-300, Carthage, Tunisia, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta lamp in the shape of a water organ, AD 175-250, Carthage, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Terracotta lamp in the shape of a water organ, AD 175-250, Carthage, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Woollen tunic with woven ribbons, AD 300-700, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Woollen tunic with woven ribbons, AD 300-700, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stucco mummy mask, AD 120-140, Hermopolis, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stucco mummy mask, AD 120-140, Hermopolis, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Female stucco mummy mask, AD 120-140, Hermopolis, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Female stucco mummy mask, AD 120-140, Hermopolis, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Fayum portrait of a young man, cAD 110, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Fayum portrait of a young man, cAD 110, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Fayum portrait of a young boy, cAD 150, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Fayum portrait of a young boy, cAD 150, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Fayum portrait of a man with a beard, cAD 150, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the Fayum portrait of a man with a beard, cAD 150, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the Fayum portrait of a man with a beard, cAD 150, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela associated with the Isis cult, AD 300-400, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stela associated with the Isis cult, AD 300-400, Egypt, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sacrificial priest, AD 50-150, Carthage, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sacrificial priest, AD 50-150, Carthage, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the sleeping cherub on the top of the sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the sleeping cherub on the top of the sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of cherubs in an iron foundry on the sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of cherubs in an iron foundry on the sarcophagus of Sextius Cornelius Neptilianus, who died aged 17 months, AD 180-250, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Jewish ossuary, 100BC-100 AD, Palestine, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. These were used for bones in a secondary burial, often containing perfume bottles, jewellery and amulets.

Mosaic of an early Christian church, AD 500-600, Syria National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mosaic of an early Christian church, AD 500-600, Syria National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mule carrying a wine skin, AD 500-600, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. Scenes of wine are allusions to the Eucharist. Above it is the word for mosaicists. 

Mule carrying a wine skin, AD 500-600, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. Scenes of wine are allusions to the Eucharist. Above it is the word for mosaicists.

Grave relief for a boy and girl, cAD 180, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. The stone was re-used as a monument for a soldier in cAD 230. 

Grave relief for a boy and girl, cAD 180, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. The stone was re-used as a monument for a soldier in cAD 230.

Detail of the girl from the grave relief for a boy and girl, cAD 180, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the girl from the grave relief for a boy and girl, cAD 180, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

So In Summary

Unsurprisingly, I adored the National Museum of Denmark.  In terms of the collections that I saw, I was fascinated by the variety and quality of objects.  On a superficial level, it’s a bit disappointing that the galleries on the Medieval art and the ancient world were a bit drab and ‘old-fashioned’ in their presentation in comparison to the lively galleries on Ancient Denmark – it doesn’t bother me, but I think it obviously has an impact on other visitors: the latter gallery was much busier than the former two.  I just think it’s a shame – the museum deserves lots of visitors because it has a fine collection that is genuinely educational, sometimes unexpected and often simply beautiful.

Further Information

There is an entry fee for the museum, but it’s free with the Copenhagen Card.

The museum has a good website, with all the information you might need for planning, available in English:  www.natmus.dk

How To Get There

The National Museum is centrally located in Copenhagen but for specific to/from information, the Danish transport site is available in English and is easy to navigate: www.rejseplanen.dk

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