DENMARK - A nation in northwestern Europe consisting of the Jutland peninsula and many nearby islands in the Baltic Sea. Denmark is part of Scandinavia and shares a common history with Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. The Vikings are the ancestors of the people in these modern-day nations.
Viking society had developed by the 9th century. Viking society consisted of the peoples that lived where is today Denmark, Norway, Sweden. At first, political power was quite diffused. ultimately it became organized in the respective Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish kingdoms. That is a process that helped to bring about the end of the Viking era. Even though many people are known more about Viking society than about the earlier peoples in Denmark, the society was not a literate one.
According to a story by Snorri Sturluson, the goddess Gefjion plowed the island for Zealand (Sjaelland in Danish) from the mainland of Sweden, using the strength of her four sons, who were giant oxen. Important archaeological finds concerning Norse myths have come from this country. Zealand, for example, has an important collection of rock carvings—runestones, from the late Bronze Age, which began around 1000 b.c., that portray religious scenes.
Two elaborately carved little wagons, which would have carried the gods, came from a site near Dejbjerg on the Jutland peninsula. Also, a tree coffin, in which the trunk was carved out to make room for the body, was found near Egtved. The National Museum of Denmark houses many Norse artifacts.