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Sophus Otto Müller

(1846—1934)


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(1846–1934) [Bi]

Danish archaeologist well known for his work developing excavation technique. Born in Copenhagen, he enrolled at Copenhagen University in 1864 to study classics and attend lectures by Jen Worsaae. During the 1870s he worked for a short time as a teacher but gradually became more closely involved with the collections in the Copenhagen Museum, and in 1871 he accompanied Worsaae on visits to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In 1878, after further travels, he was employed as a scientific assistant to his father in the Department of Numismatics in the museum. He was appointed curator of the Royal Museum in 1885, and in 1892, when the museum was reorganized as the National Museum, he became co‐director with responsibility for the prehistoric collections. He remained here until retirement in 1921. Throughout his professional life Müller carried out a lot of fieldwork and considerably developed the techniques of stratigraphic excavation, especially in respect of recognizing superimposed burials within round barrows. He also developed a more socially sensitive view of early communities by recognizing the existence of local and regional cultures rather than the very broad chronological horizons that were the concern of Montelius and others.

Bio.:

M. L. Stig Sørenson, 1999, Sophus Otto Müller (1846–1934). In T. Murray (ed.), Encyclopedia of archaeology, I: The great archaeologists. Oxford: ABC‐Clio, 193–210

Subjects: Archaeology.


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