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Hagenah (Cist)

The Bronze Age stone cist of Hagenah is located southeast of the cemetery of Hagenah on the street "Krügerfeld" in a field. Parking is easy at the cemetery. Access should be possible all year round, as a small trail leads to the group of trees under which the stone cist lies.


The commonly known "Osterbarg" hill, which covered the stone cist, belongs to a destroyed group of burial mounds on the Geest ridge. After the First World War, the Osterbarg was gradually removed. In doing so, a tree coffin stone packing of about 2.5 m to 3.5 m was destroyed. At the end of 1930, one came upon a vertical stone slab, which was part of the stone cist. In 1964 the box was completely uncovered and is nearly in a perfect condition. Most of the cist is covered by a large capstone.

The monument stands today under high trees at a far visible place.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

The stone cist tomb of Hagenah

The stone cist tomb of Hagenah belongs to a group of ruined burial mounds, which lay on a Geest ridge beside the valley of Schwingetal. Once the tomb rested under the southeastern edge of a mighty mound of about 26 meters in length, 22 meters wide and 1.80 m -2 meters high. Due to frequent sand removal this mound was mostly destroyed. According to reports, a 2.5 m x 3.5 m large stone packing was removed before 1930, the stone cist was discovered at the southeast end of the mound remnant. Only after finds from the burial chamber came to light, the then monument conservator in Stade, Adolf Cassau, was notified. To preserve the remains of the mound, he examined only the interior of the stone cist. He was supported by archeology doctoral candidate Karl Kersten from Stade, who later became widely known as a prehistorian. From the excavation findings and the reports of the sand-mining worker, the picture of a completely paved chamber resulted, in which probably two burials were made: A body burial and a burial of cremated bones are considered secured. The brozen grave goods, a so-called northern palstave, a two-part fibula and a dagger were assigned to the body burial (see found drawings and image of the finds on this board). The axe and the fibula belong to the period II of the Nordic Bronze Age after Montelius (some 1500 - 1250 BC).

The state of preservation of the monument required in 1964 an archaeological follow-up. Dr. J. Deichmüller uncovered the stone cist completely, so that its structure could be completely clarified: Two narrow, long support stones border the long side of the chamber. A larger and a second smaller support stone are on the western narrow side; on the eastern narrow side is a "closing stone". A large capstone lies on the western chamber, a smaller cap covers the eastern third of the chamber. Several small stones close the gap between the two capstones. Very carefully, the joints between the support stones and capstones have been closed with hewn stones. Wedge stones provide good stability to the support stones embedded in the ground.

The History and Home Association of Stade has acquired the property with the stone cist to ensure the protection of this cultural monument from the older Bronze Age.

Byhusen (Chambered Tomb)

Byhusen is a megalithic tomb preserved only in remnants. The tomb is located southeast of Byhusen about halfway to Farven on the edge of a field. At the border of two fields several boulders lie in a hedge on a distance of about 50 m, which are probably the remains of a megalithic tomb. It may be the enclosure stones of a giant bed (Hunebed / Hünebett). According to Johannes Heinrich Müller and Jacobus Reimers, it was almost completely destroyed in the 1890s.

Driven on the K127 from Byhusen towards Farven. Turn right after a cemetry, just before you leave the village. This roads leads first through a forest, before it reach an open field. Continue until you come to a T-crossing (about 1 km after you leave the K127), turn left here. The remains of the tomb lies 75 m in the hedge on the right.

To be honest not much to see, maybe a visit in winter is the better choice.

Visited May 2019

Fehrenbruch (Cist)

This is a rather big stone cist from the late neolithic, constisting of 4 support stone pairs, two end stones and one big capstone. According to the information board, the stone cist was relocated from the western field, the original position was about 30.0 m southwest in the field.

Also two larger boulder are laying north of the stone cist, which are probably stones from now destroyed megealithic tombs from the same field.

In Fehrenbruch take the Fehrenbrucher Mühlenweg which leads to the west-northwest. Continue for about 1.2 km, passing a cemetry and you'll find the stone cist, along with an information board and a parking possibility, on the left side.

Visited May 2019

StoneExperienceRoute (Station 35)
Stone graves and Barrows Fehrenbruch

The burial cemetery in Fehrenbruch

In Fehrenbruch are still the remains of a large prehistoric cemetery, which gives the visitor an impression of the burial culture of the Neolithic until the early Iron Age. There are different graves of the respective epochs. At least three giant tombs, also called megalithic tombs, were buried in the area adjoining to the west, where the dead of a family were buried for many generations. These graves were built from partly huge boulders and were usually superimposed with up to 1.50 m high mounds.

Surrounding boulders are undoubtedly wall stones of such tombs of the Neolithic. The construction of such graves made of huge stones, which seems puzzling to us today, testifies on the one hand to the high degree of craftsmanship, but on the other hand also strengthens the popular belief that only giants could move such large stones.

The small stone cist from the Neolithic period for one person is unfortunately no longer available in the original condition. A reconstruction is located northeast of the original location. From the later Neolithic and older Bronze Age (2500-1200 BC) are the mounds of burial mounds. They originally had steep outer walls made of stones or grass sods and a higher domed summit. The dead were often buried in coffins of hollowed-out tree trunks.

Small shallow burial mounds over urn graves of the younger Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (1200-700 BC) have also been found here.

The act of giants
Even in the Middle Ages, it was believed that the Neolithic tombs, lined with tons of stones, could only have been built by giants for their own kind. The still common name "giant tomb" seems to take into account the creation of this legend, because a "Hune or Hüne" is by definition a superhuman and strong being, just a giant.

Anderlingen - Stone Cist (Reconstruction)

The stone cist of Anderlingen is the most famous stone cist of Germany, which was created about 3,400 years ago in the older Bronze Age. It was found in 1907 in a hill near Anderlingen and is now in the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover.

About one kilometer northeast of Anderlingen there were three burial mounds. In 1907, when they wanted to remove the middle grave mound to gain building material, they came across the stone cist.

At the site of the middle burial mound, the Anderlinger Kulturverein reconstructed the various graves as well as the burial mound. The reconstructed stone cist contains only a replica of the original picture stone, which is also Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover.

Drive from Anderlingen on the K109 to Sprakel and at the first opportunity turn right into the street Wiesenweg. The nicely reconstructed complex is then located after about 375 m on the left side.

Visited May 2019

taken from the two on-site information boards:

The burial mound with picture stone of Anderlingen

Discovery

In September / October 1907, a burial mound was dug in Anderlingen to gain building material. Gerdt Hinrich Brandt came across a stone box.

The stone box was then exposed to rain and snow for several weeks. As a result, over time, the adhering sand was washed away from the stones. Thus, in January 1908, the depiction of several persons on the southern end stone became visible.

After the discovery of the picture stone the provincial museum Hanover (today's federal state museum) initiated immediately excavations under the direction of Dr. Hans Hahne. Due to the frosty weather, only the stone cist and a small part of the surrounding area could be examined.

Burial mound

The burial mound was created in the Bronze Age between 1,700 and 1,400 BC. In the middle was a stone packing that served as a foundation for a tree coffin.

In the period between 1,400 and 1,500 BC, the mound was extended for two secondary burials. The stone cist with picture stone and a stone pavement was created, which probably served as a base for another tree coffin.

Some time later the mound was opened by grave robbers who deliberately visited the stone box.

Finds

Already in October 1907, the local historian Hans Müller-Brauel was notified of the find. He was able to secure a hatchet, a fibula (garment clasp) and a dagger (all made of bronze) from the stone cist. The wooden handle of the dagger decorated with bronze studs was still recognizable. But only the rivets could be recovered. Remains of leather-covered wood sheath were also still present. Other additions of organic material such as textiles or wood have not survived. On the stone cist some ceramic disks could be observed.

From the central stone packing only a tiny bronze fragment was recovered.

Picture stone

The most famous find is certainly the picture stone. It shows three persons. The left one raises his hands in praying posture, the middle one carries a hatchet and the right one is characterized by a long robe and an oblong-oval head.

Figurative representations within graves are only known from the Swedish sites Kivik and Sagaholm. Comparable figures are also found in the rock drawings in Bohuslän, Sweden. Presumably, a funerary ceremony or a mythical scene is depicted on the picture stone of Anderlingen.

Burials

During the first work on the burial mound in 1907 and in the excavations in 1908 several burials were observed, which were much younger than the Bronze Age.

A rich woman's grave was in the upper part of the grave mound. The dead was buried in the late 5th century AD with three gold-plated silver fibulae. Two brooches had a distinctive bird shape and were made in a Saxon workshop according to Franconian model.

In a neighboring hill was the richly decorated tomb of a Saxon warrior of the 5th century AD, who once served in the Roman legion.

Surrounding Area

Formerly there was a small group of altogether three burial mounds, presumably all from the Bronze Age.

Reconstruction

A reconstruction of the burial mound was built, as the picture stone of Anderlingen is one of the most important and well-known archaeological finds in northern Germany. It clarifies the Europe-wide relations during the Bronze Age.

The grave buildings were reconstructed on the former site. A newly raised mound gives an impression of the former appearance of the burial mound.

Hegebusch (Chambered Tomb)

The tomb is located northwest of Gnarrenburg and west of the district Brillit in the forest Hegebusch close to the municipal boundary to Basdahl. Apart from the GPS coordinates, a picture and the indication that at least four stones lying in a row, some deep in the earth, probably capstones would be recognizable, unfortunately there is no further information about this tomb on the German Wikipedia website. Therefore, I am not sure if I have really found the actual tomb, as the stones shown are located about 40m further north of the Wikipedia coordinates given on Wikipedia. In addition, the forest floor is now overgrown, so that the stones stand out only slightly from the vegetation.

To visit the site, you must have a GPS-device, as it lies in the woods and is not recognozable until you stand in fron t of it. Drive on the B74 from Kuhstedt north towards Brillit. Around 580 m after the forest ends on the left and right side, turn left into the Hegebuschstraße and continue until the road ends. Park here and wald straight on towards the forest on a field track. The tracks first make a zigzag (first left, then right and then again left). After another 450 m you reach a T-junction on a larger forest road, turn right here. Walk for about 200 m before you turn left into the woods, from here you must use the GPS device.

One warning: during my visit the grass on the field track was very high and I caught several ticks. So this is only for real enthusiasts and/or completists. Also a visit during winter might be the better choice.

Visited May 2019

Gnarrenburg (Chambered Tomb)

The megaltihic tomb lies north of Gnarrenburg in a pine forest, not far from the forest road that leads from Gnarrenburg to the district Brillit. Already in 1893 the grave was considered considerably damaged. Later, two more larger stones were removed. The site, which was examined by Jürgen Deichmüller in 1968, was restored, but it was not possible to determine the type (passage grave or grand dolmen). The chamber is south-west-northeast orientated, the partly quite small support stones are still in situ. At the eastern end of the chamber is a capstone, but all other capstones are missing. At the western end the burial mound is still clearly visible.

Drive from Karlshöfen on the L122 towards Gnarrenburg. Just before you cross a railway line turn right into the road Barkhausen. Drive around 1.8 km before you turn left into the road "Am Kirchendamm". Drive along this road for about 2.1 km, there is a very small parking lot and a forest track on the right side. During my visit, there was also a noticeable sign for the tomb. Park here and walk around 200 m along the forest track eastward, until you reach a beaten path leading in the wood on the left (also signed). The tomb is then only 50 m into the wood.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

Remains of a megalithic tomb from the Neolithic

The burial chambers of large boulders were built in the Neolithic funnel beaker culture (about 2500 - 2000 BC). They probably served individual families as crypts or ossuaries.

Findings from the tombs such as flint axes, arrowheads and clay pots are interpreted as funerary objects. This burial chamber contained shards of at least 24 decorated clay pots. The occurrence of many potsherds next to the stone chambers, mainly on the south side in the passage and outside the hill, point to rituals of funerary worship or ancestor worship, which we can not explain yet.

Following the burials of the funnel beaker culture, as in many other stone graves, there were burials with grave goods of the younger single grave culture. They show that the descendants of the builders have adopted the material culture of an immigrant population, for whom individual graves under burial mounds are characteristic.

Ostereistedt (Passage Grave)

Ostereistedt is an approximately northeast-southwest-oriented megalithic tomb whose comparatively long and thereby narrow chamber originally had probably seven capstones. Only two of them have been preserved, both of them no longer in their original position. A capstone lies rolled on the northeastern end of the chamber, a second has fallen into the chamber. From the chamber are still four supporting stones of the northwest and five of the southeast long side and the northeast capstone preserved in situ. The entrance was in the middle of the southeastern long side. Around the chamber are some stones that are probably remnants of a destroyed enclosure.

The tomb is difficult to find, even with a GPS device. Drive on the L122 from Ostereistedt towards Rhadereistedt. Before you leave the village turn left in the Bahnhofstraße. Drive through Wennebostel and cross a railway line. I parked approximately 360 m after crossing the railway line (N53° 17' 31.0" E9° 09' 29.3"), where a forest track leads to the right. From here, the tomb is about 450m northwest as the crow flies. So first take this forest track for about 200 m, before reaching a slightly overgrown path that leads in a slight arc to the northwest. After about 300 m you should see the tomb in the wood.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

Remains of a megalithic tomb from the Neolithic (approx. 2,250 BC)

Originally thick boulders lay as capstones over the burial chamber. A dry masonry of broken granite stones filled all the gaps. A layer of clay and mounds covered the grounds. On the south side a passage led into the tomb.

The stone tombs are tombs of the first peasant population. At the same time the cultivation of various cereals, other crops and livestock begins. Also larger stone axes were made, which enabled the felling of trees for large houses. Excavated floor plans of various post structures give us an idea of the type and size of the houses.

Badenstedt (Chambered Tomb)

In the Steinalkenheide south of Badenstedt is a Bronze Age burial mound field with about 70 burial mounds, at the northern edge lies the heavily destroyed megalithic tomb Badenstedt (also known as Fürstengruft, Steinhaus or Hünenkeller). The site is oriented northeast-southwest and was already heavily destroyed in Sprockhoff's recording in 1930. Six stones, including a capstone, were still present, but gave little information about the structure of the site. A capstone was removed in 1920 and used for a war memorial. The last official excavation in 1973 found that the grave had already been ransacked deeply, so that its original dimensions were difficult to estimate. It is believed that the chamber was 5.3 meters long and consisted of eight support stones and four capstones. At the time of the excavation were still 5 support stone and a capstone available. To make the tomb look more dignified, these stones were moved together and the capstone was put back on top. That means today's condition does not reflect the original structure.

Nevertheless due to the atmosphere and surrounding a nice site to visit!

The tomb can be reached via the Badenstedter Straße between Badenstedt and Oldendorf. Turn right (south) into the road Zum Mühlenberg when you enter the village Oldendorf. After 600 m you come to a T-crossing, turn right here and drive on this road for about 2.5 km until you reach the Steinkalkheide and see the tomb on the right side.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

Restored megalithic tomb

The oldest structure of this prehistoric burial ground is this stone grave. According to a report from 1841, the then already damaged burial chamber was called "Steinhaus" or "Hünenkeller", around 1871 it was romantically called "Fürstenruft".

Like all similar sites, the stone monument was used as a family crypt around 2500 before Christ birth.
All the gaps between the large boulders were wedged with rubble and leaked from the outside with clay. The whole burial chamber was hidden under a mound of earth. Neolithic burial objects have not survived here.

In the archaeological investigation in 1978, a capstone and 5 apart, partially damaged supporting stones were still present.
A capstone was already removed in 1920 and used as a war memorial.
The district of Rotenburg restored the site according to the excavation findings and the example of other stone tombs. The remaining stones were brought together in a new arrangement.

Steinfeld 1 (Passage Grave)

Steinfeld 1 is an approximately east-northeast west-southwest oriented chamber (5.2 x 1.9 m). It is surrounded by a round enclosure, which is rather unusual for this region. Only one support stone is missing, the rest are partly in situ. Three capstones lie on their support stones, one has fallen into the chamber. Formerly five stones could have covered the chamber. A small gap in the middle of a long side allowed access to the chamber.

The complex was reconstructed by repositioning overturned and displaced stones of the enclosure and adding the missing stones of the dry masonry between the stones. Only three stones of the enclosure were no longer available and had to be supplemented.

The only thing that bothers a bit is the nearby street, otherwise this is a great site to visit!

Drive from Steinfeld about 1 km northward on the L132 to Zeven. The tomb is located immediately to the right of the road under a group of trees. There is also a parking possibility right after the tomb on the right side of the road.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

Megalithic tomb from the Neolithic

In the period of 2700-2000 BC the population of the so-called funnel beaker culture built stone tombs of huge boulders, but also burial mounds and wooden chamber graves. South of the Niederelbe, megalithic tombs did not originate earlier than 2500 BC.

Out of the burial chamber, a covered corridor led through the hill to the outside.

Here are bones and grave goods not preserved. Presumably each burial chamber contained several consecutive funerals. In other landscapes the megalithic tombs show clearly different burial rides. Finds from the Steinfeld grave are no longer available. The shape of the burial chamber indicates a late construction.

By reconstructing the damaged stones and reconstructing the intermediate masonry, the site was restored to nearer originality. Only three missing enclosure stones have been replaced.

Steinfeld

The megalithic tombs at Steinfeld were several tombs of unknown number at Steinfeld (Bülstedt) in Lower Saxony. Today, there are only two tombs, they have the Sprockhoff numbers 649 and 650. Several other tombs, which lay between Steinfeld and Wilstedt were destroyed in the 18th or 19th century.

Steinfeld 2 (Passage Grave)

Steinfeld 2 is an approximately north-south-oriented chamber with three support stones on the east side, two on the west side, one stone on the narrow sides and originally three capstones. During Sprockhoff's recording in 1930 a supporting stone on the east side was missing and the middle capstone had slipped, while the southern one was still in place. The tomb has been reconstructed, the middle capstone was put back in place.

To get to the tomb you drive from Nartum to Steinfeld. Immediately in front of the village entrance, the road makes a sharp left turn, here you drive straight on into a forest road and reached after about 100 meters a trail parking lot. From here, continue for about 350 m before the tomb, along with an information board, is on the left of the path.

Visited May 2019

taken from the on-site information board:

Megalithic tomb

From 2700 to 2000 BC the stone tombs served our oldest peasants as crypts.

The huge boulders were moved and lifted by a few people using lifting beams and rollers. Transportation was best on hard frozen ground.
The capstones are trimmed sideways so that they could form a closed ceiling. There were gaps between the side stones. From this it can be seen that first the capstones were placed on a mound or wooden scaffolding in the final position and the side stones were fitted individually underneath. For this purpose, the gaps between the supporting stones were required as a space for movement. All spaces and gaps were wedged with rubble and sealed with clay from the outside. The whole was arched over by a round mound.

Nartum (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Nartum is a grand dolmen with a northeast-southwest oriented chamber of originally around 5 m length. Three (of formerly four) supporting stones on each side and the southwestern end stone are preserved. All capstones, which were still present in the 19th century, are all missing. At the eastern end of the tomb is a beautiful oak that is believed to be more than 100 years old.

The tomb is located directly on the outskirts, about 150 m southwest of the cemetery of Natum on the so called Hünenkellerfeld plot. Drive on the Hauptstrasse in Nartum westward. Turn right into Raiffeisenstrasse just before you leave the village. After 150 m you reach the car park of the cemetry, park here. The access path to the tomb is signed on the left about 10 m before you reach the car park.

Visited May 2019
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During my first trip to Ireland back in 2006, I was bitten by the 'megalithic' bug and since then I seek for every opportunity to visit as much sites as possible, with a bias for stone circles.

As I live in the southwest of Germany (not an area famous for megaliths), I rely on my holidays to be able to visit these sites.

My TMA Content: