In the Iron Age, a large lake stood near what is now called Nydam Bog. Weapons, equipment, personal belongings and boats were sacrificed here in 200-500 A.D. Nydam Bog is a few kilometres north of Sønderborg in South Jutland. Nydam was excavated by Conrad Engelhardt in the mid-1800s and more excavations followed. At the end of the sacrificial era, the lake had become an overgrown bog where sacrifices were made by sticking the weapons directly down into the wet soil. The Nydam Boat and some of the weaponry from the bog are on display at Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig. The rest of the objects are exhibited at the National Museum in Copenhagen.
The most famous find at Nydam Bog is the 20-metre-long Nydam Boat made of oak and weighing three tons. The bog also hid two more boats and sailing equipment such as oars, anchor stocks and tholepins. The boats are the forerunner of the Viking ships, and were built to be rowed without sails. The Nydam Boat now resides in Germany. Just as Conrad Engelhardt was excavating Nydam Bog in 1864, a war broke out between Prussia/Austria and Denmark, and Denmark lost. The Nydam Boat has therefore been war booty a grand total of three times. Once after the battle in the Iron Age when the boat was sacrificed in Nydam Bog, once after the war in 1864 and once after World War II.