Funen’s oldest resident

Skull found in a bog at Koelbjerg, c. 8000 BC and thus the oldest Dane - and Scandinavian for that matter - we know of. The Koelbjerg Woman's skull is now at Møntergården in Odense. Photo: Lars Skaaning.


The oldest Dane, and Scandinavian, is from the Mesolithic period. In 1941, Koelbjerg Woman was found in a bog north of Vissenbjerg. Using radiocarbon dating, her skeleton has been dated to c. 7,300 BC making her a little more than 9,000 years old.

Koelbjerg Woman lived on the isle of Funen 10,000 years ago, in the Mesolithic period. There were people on the island before her, but she is the oldest resident we know of. We know very little about her life and death. She was 1.5m tall, and, at the age of 25-30, she drowned in a bog at Koelbjerg, north of Vissenbjerg. Perhaps she fell through the ice one winter’s day? Perhaps she was sacrificed to the gods? Koelbjerg Woman’s skeleton was found in 1941 and is the oldest in Scandinavia.

This location is part of the exhibition 'Funen – at the centre of the universe', at Møntergården in Odense. Read more about the exhibition on our website.