Daniel Bruun: A Danish Topographer-Antiquarian Astride the World Stage

Steffen Stummann Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the most remarkable contributions to our understanding of the Norse cultures of the North Atlantic was that of Daniel Bruun (1856-1931). A child of an innovative, prominent family from central Jutland, he received a military education and became a skilled cartographer. A dream from his youth to study Norse culture in Greenland was finally realised in 1894 when he conducted an impressive field campaign in the so-called Eastern Settlement. In the following years, he pursued his observations in Norse Greenland with comparative studies in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway. On his initiative, and to a wide extent based on material collected by himself, the North Atlantic cultures were presented as a section of the Danish contribution to the World Exhibition of 1900 in Paris. His adventurous life, however, was not confined to the North Atlantic, but also included travels in Africa, Siberia, Asia, and North America.

In many ways, the energy and curiosity of Daniel Bruun can be compared to that of recently departed Klavs Randsborg, to whose memory this article is dedicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalActa Archaelogica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Daniel Bruun
  • investigator
  • history
  • Norse culture


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