The antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-85) is probably best remembered today for founding the journal Notes and Queries and for having coined the term 'folk lore'. He undertook the translation of this work by the Danish archaeologist Jens Worsaae (1821-85) because he felt (as Worsaae says himself) that 'the primeval national antiquities of the British islands have never hitherto been brought into a scientific arrangement'. Believing that this had arisen partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between some of the many different cultures in Britain's past, Thoms also felt that British interpretations of finds were too frequently beset by 'fanciful theories'. Cultural ties between Britain and Denmark during the Dark Ages meant that finds in Denmark could illuminate British discoveries, and vice versa: Worsaae's work could therefore guide future excavations in Britain. Highly influential and illustrated with woodcuts, this translation first appeared in 1849.
Table of Contents
Preface to the English edition; Preface by the editor of the English edition; Introduction; Part I. Of our Antiquities: 1. Antiquities of the stone-period; 2. Antiquities of the bronze-period; 3. Antiquities of the iron-period; Part II. Of Stone Structures, Barrows, Etc.: 1. Graves of the stone-period; 2. Tombs of the bronze-period; 3. Tombs of the iron-period; 4. Tombs in other countries; 5. Runic stones; Part III: 1. Importance of the monuments of antiquity for history; 2. Importance of the monuments of antiquity as regards nationality; Appendix.