The Homeland – University of Copenhagen

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Mikkel Johansen Nørtoft

Mikkel Johansen Nørtoft

Research assistant

Primary fields of research

Mikkel Nørtoft holds an MA in Indo-European studies, and he has from the beginning of his studies focused on multidisciplinary approaches to Indo-European topics, to illuminate culture, the branching of Indo-European languages and migrations by combining language, archaeology, genetics and whatever disciplines that may be relevant in the investigation of a topic.

He presently works at UCPH with mapping archaeological phenomenons such as early wool production, wheels, and migrations through ancient DNA, as well as disseminating these topics in a long series of blog posts through Spring 2018. 

One example of his multidisciplinarity is his study (published in Archaeological Textiles Review No. 59) where he, apart from comparative linguistics, also included colour analysis of archaeological textiles, dye concentration of reddyeing plants, archaeobotany, plant names, folklore and ethnography, in his investigation of the prehistory of the English name of the dyeplant madder, and why it has its origins the Proto-Indo-European word for 'blue'. 

In his MA thesis, he combined linguistics and archaeology when studying the antiquity of the archaeological ”beauty kits” of Bronze elite warriors vs. the ideology and rituals of Bronze Age elite warriors. 

Another example of his interdisciplinary approach is the investigation of the use of plants as rennet in prehistory, and in this context he also succesfully utilised nettle as rennet. 

Additionally, he has examined, and continues to do so, Germanic contacts in prehistory through prehistoric loanwords, archaeology and genetics to establish when the ancestor Germanic first appeared in Scandinavia. 

Mikkel Nørtoft is also affiliated with the Centre for Textile Research (CTR) at Saxo, UCPH as a guest researcher, where he is part of the steering group of ”The CTR Makerpspace for Textile Heritage”. His primary contribution to this project is expand and teach the knowledge of digital cartography to researchers to empower them more easily to do their own maps for publications. Here, he also contributes with an interactive online atlas of archaeological textiles. 

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