The Reconstruction of the Lendbreen Tunic

An interesting project on the reconstruction of the Lendbreen tunic was undertaken in 2015, directed by Marianne Vedeler at the Museum of Cultural History. The reconstruction of the tunic demonstrated that the processes involved in making such a tunic are very time-consuming. The tunic must have been an item of high value. A short video on the project was also produced.

The Lendbreen tunic after conservation - the basis for reconstruction
The Iron Age tunic from Lendbreen after conservation. Photo: Mårten Teigen, Museum of Cultural History.

The tunic was found close to the upper edge of Lendbreen in August 2011. When discovered, it just looked like a bundle of textile. We decided not to open the bundle in the field, and wrapped it carefully inside a box instead. Then it was transported to the distant museum, first by packhorse down to the lowlands and then by car to the conservation laboratory. The bundle of textile was unwrapped in the laboratory and to our great joy it was discovered that it was a complete tunic. A radiocarbon date showed that it was c. 1700 years old. The Iron Age tunic from Lendbreen is a very rare find. Only a handful of similar clothing items have been found in the germanic areas north of the Roman empire. The closest parallel is from Thorsberg bog in Nord-Schleswig.

An informative article with videos on the Lendbreen tunic can be found on the website of the Museum of Cultural History.

The scientific publication of the tunic in Antiquity can be read here.