The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Passage Grave


taken from the on site infromation board:

In the dune terrain, "Im großen Sande" is a pretty impressive megalithic tomb, which was built in a younger section of the Neolithic period (about 2300 to 1800 BC) and was used for generations.

From his blueprint, this megalithic tomb presents the typical "Emsland chambes" that are widespread in the area between the Dutch province of Drenthe in the west and the Weser in the east, which are very different from megalithic tombs in other regions: the burial chamber in east-west orientation is very long and consists of the juxtaposition of several components, the so-called yokes, each consisting of two opposing support stones and an overlying capstone. Here in Herßum there are 12 such yokes forming the 20-meter-long chamber. It is worth noting that the width of the chamber tapers from the middle to both ends: the clear width decreases from 2 meters in the middle to only 1.5 meters at the ends. Usually these chambers could be entered through a small corridor in the middle of the southern longitudinal wall, but no stones have survived from this passage. In a very narrow oval arch a stone enclosure surrounds the megalithic tomb, of which only 10 stones have been preserved. There are also a few stones missing from the existing 29 supporting stones; only a total of 6 stones are in their original place. All 12 capstones have slipped off the support stones and are inside the chamber. The absence of stones is due to explosions for the extraction of building materials in the 18th century and 19th century; in Herßum - it is said - such explosions took place in the years 1864/65. The megalithic tombs were used by a rural population over generations as burial places or ossuaries. The Neolithic people lived in village communities, where they lived in small ground-level post houses. Floor plans of such houses could be discovered during excavations in Heede and Groß Berßen. Cereals of this time were emmer, einkorn and barley. The grain stocks were stored in small storage tanks, which were probably raised to protect against vermin. Stone axes and hatchets were used for clearing forests and for woodworking. Their wooden stalks naturally did not survive in the soil. The pottery was thin-walled and well baked. As an ornament, geometric patterns had been inserted into the still unfired clay. Among the various shapes of vessels, the cup with high funnel-shaped edge is worth mentioning, which gave its name to the archaeological culture of that time: funnel beaker culture. Figure 1 shows vessels and stone axes and hatchets of this culture. In addition to agriculture and livestock, hunting continued to play a role. A variety of flint arrowheads, as shown in Figure 2, were attached to arrow shafts and were effective weapons, as shot tests have shown.

The megalithic tombs as a monumental grave architecture of this time are under the protection of the Lower Saxony Heritage Protection Law and must not be damaged.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
8th November 2018ce

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