The "Mental" in Monumental : Battle Axe Culture in megalithic tombs in southern Sweden

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It is reasonable to consider that those who arranged the material accoutrements of mortuary practices, i.e. the burial, were making a more or less conscious statement about cultural identity. At least we archaeologists usually assume this to be so. An interesting case can be found in the mortuary practices ascribed to the Battle Axe culture from the later Middle Neolithic1 (2800–2350 cal BC) in southern Scandinavia. When we look at burials which we archaeologists ascribe to the Battle Axe culture we can identify several variations: flexed inhumation of a single individual in a stone-lined pit (referred to as flat-earth burial), flexed inhuma- tion of multiple individuals in a stone-lined pit, and cremation burial. Additionally, we often interpret the presence of Battle Axe artefacts and/or radi- ocarbon dates falling within this period in mega- lithic tombs as evidence that burial in such tombs was also part of the Battle Axe mortuary repertoire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandscapes, histories and societies in the Northern European Neolithic
EditorsMartin Furholt, Martin Hinz, Doris Mischka, Gordon Noble, Deborah Olausson
PublisherInstitut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte der CAU Kiel / Habelt
ISBN (Print)978-3-7749-3882-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung : DFG Schwerpunktprogramm 1400. Band 4

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Archaeology


  • Megalithic tomb
  • Battle Axe culture
  • mortuary practices


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