I am a specialist for crafting and production traces on metal artefacts and specialised in analysing bronze objects. As my research area is within archaeometallurgy, I am squarely placed between the disciplines of archaeology and the natural sciences.

Investigating the Viksø helmets at the National Museum, Denamark
Documenting Bronze Age statuetti at the Cagliari Museum, Sardinia

I aim to reveal the crafting processes behind the creation of metal artefacts using metallographic and elemental scientific methods and am interested in the networks created by the metal trade.I use lead isotopic as well as tin isotopic ratios in combination with those trace elements indicative of provenance to define these networks.

metallographic picture of an ancient bronze artefact
Cast-on eyelet from a Danish belt plate. The picture illustrates how surplus material is removed.
spiral decoration on a Hungarian Bronze Age belt plate

Research Highlights

Horned helmets symbolise a warrior ideology in Bronze Age Europe

January 2022

Horned helmets are not a Viking Age brand! This news filled the Archaeological News in the winter of 2022. The reason for this press storm was an article by a research team from Aarhus University and Moesgaard Museum, to which I also belong. This article published a C14 date of a sample of organic material I took from the horn of one of the helmets during a craft technical investigation. Additionally, the article provides a detailed network analysis of the iconography related to horned helmets and some ideas as to how the similarity between Scandinavia, Sardinia and Iberia could be understood.

Picture: H. W. Nørgaard with permission from the National Museum Denmark.

Reports of this research can be found at the Aarhus University news feed, in Science, LiveScience, CNN, the New York Times, Daily Mail UK and videnskab.dk.

Bronze Age Scandinavia’s trading networks for copper settled

June 17, 2021

For the first time, it was possible to map the trade networks for metals and to identify changes in the supply routes, coinciding with other socio-economic changes detectable in the rich metal-dependent societies of Bronze Age southern Scandinavia.

New Open-Access Book on Bronze Age Metalwork

Nov 22, 2018

Heide Nørgaard has produced a work of
exceptional quality, scholarly value, and
beauty. While it is somewhat difficult to
conceive of this last descriptor when considering the majority of archaeological
volumes on crafting and technology, this
volume is indeed spectacular not only in its
scholarship but in its vivid presentation of
Bronze Age metalwork.