The unchambered long barrow earthen long barrow, non-megalithic long barrow or non-megalithic mound (German: kammerloses Hünenbett or Hünenbett ohne Kammer), is a type of long barrow found across the British Isles, in a belt of land in Brittany, and in northern Europe as far east as the River Vistula (the Niedźwiedź type graves - NTT). The term "unchambered" means that there is no stone chamber within the stone enclosure. In Great Britain they are often known as non-megalithic long barrows or unchambered long cairns.
Since the 1980s, barrows of the Passy type, part of the Cerny culture, have been discovered in the French département of Essonne in the Paris Basin. These are not, however, megalithic structures.
Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of neolithic communities. Their emergence and function are a hallmark of social development.
In the region occupied by the peoples of the Funnelbeaker culture (TBK), unchambered long barrows fall into the megalith category because, in many cases, their generally very low mounds, which are located mainly along the lower reaches of the rivers Elbe (Lower Elbe), Oder and Vistula, have an enclosure of megaliths, about one metre high. Due to their small dimensions they were not suitable for constructing chambers, which is why there are no chambers made of large stone blocks. The enclosures (see Nordic megalith architecture) are trapezoidal or rectangular. East of the River Oder they are often trapezoidal or triangular with rounded tips, (Mound 9 at Sarnowo, near Konin, Poland) mostly, however, without transverse walls (megalithic and non-megalithic) dividing them into separate chambers. The site of Kritzow (Ludwigslust-Parchim), has guardian stones higher than a man. Apart from the sites researched by Ewald Schuldt in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Gnewitz, Rothenmoor and Stralendorf there are a further 11 in the area and five more examples in the forest of Sachsenwald. One group of three grave sites was first discovered in 1969 in the Alt Plestliner Holz, Vorpommern-Greifswald. One of these enclosures is 80 metres long. Five unchambered barrows were investigated in the 19th century by J. Ritter in the county of Hagenow.
All these sites are characterized by clearly defined mounds of stone (cobbles), which are covered beneath the mound with packed boulders. In the complex of Stralendorf (Ludwigslust-Parchim county) were six such mounds of cobbles, lying transversely and longitudinally, bounded by a 125-metre-long trapezoidal enclosure. Such mounds are sometimes found outside the enclosures or are found in or adjacent to barrows in which there are chambers, for example, in two of the four barrows of Grundoldendorf. The barrow of Alter Hau in the forest of Sachsenwald has a length of 154 metres and is one of the longest sites in Nordic megalith architecture.
The Tinnum long barrow (Langbett von Tinnum) on the island of Sylt is a long barrow that has neither a chamber nor a megalithic enclosure, but is constructed of stones about the size of a football. It clearly represents a transitional type.
If one considers sites without stone enclosures, whose mound had an enclosure of wooden posts in the past, of which there is now little trace, then the category of unchambered long barrows widens further, for example, to include the Tinnum long barrow, Barkjær (in Djursland) or Danica Nørremark (on Jutland). These so-called "Konens Høj type (Danish) or Niedźwiedź type graves (Polish) are especially common in the Funnelbeaker culture area east of the River Oder.
The 200 or so British earthen long barrows were constructed with an enclosure of wooden posts. They are especially common in Wiltshire and Yorkshire. Three sites lie in Scotland and one on the Isle of Man. The barrows were formed over wooden chambers. In East Scotland there is another chamberless and non-megalithic variant: the "chamberless cairn", of which there are about 50 cairns without chambers. These only occur in England (12) in Cumbria and Northumberland.
The earth mounds or tumuli in Brittany are pre-megalithic, such as the tertres allongés in Landes and Morbihan. They are low, slab-enclosed mounds, 15 to 35 metres wide and 40 to 100 metres long. They are rectangular or oval and contain dry walled internal structures for cremation ashes and grave goods. In the early megalithic period oversized earth mounds emerged, like the tumulus of Carnac, that has ciste-like elements. A newly discovered barrow of this type lies in La Trinité-sur-Mer.
Barrows with enclosures of wooden posts (without stone) are the Middle Neolithic enclosures of the Passy type, some of which are ascribed to the Cerny culture. This type of mound with wooden post or palisade enclosures are also found in the region of the early Funnelbeaker culture: the Konens Høj and Niedźwiedź type graves in Central Germany and Poland.
British, French and Nordic sites have no cultural connexion with one another at all.
Badshot Lea Long Barrow is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Badshot Lea in the south-eastern English county of Surrey. Probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives only in a ruined state. Built out of earth, the long barrow consists of a tumulus flanked by side ditches.
Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, the Badshot Lea Long Barrow is the only known example in Surrey. The nearest examples are the Medway Megaliths, clustered around the River Medway in Kent, and the long barrows of Sussex.
During the 1930s, the site was excavated by Alexander Keiller and Stuart Piggott.Bank barrow
A bank barrow, sometimes referred to as a barrow-bank, ridge barrow, or ridge mound, is a type of tumulus first identified by O.G.S. Crawford in 1938.
In the United Kingdom, they take the form of a long, sinuous, parallel-sided mound, approximately uniform in height and width along its length, and usually flanked by ditches on either side. They may be the result of a single phase of construction, or be the result of the addition of one or more linear extensions to the bank of a pre-existing barrow. Although burials have been found within the mound, no burial chambers as such have been identified in bank barrows. These ancient monuments are of middle Neolithic date.
There exist fewer than 10 bank barrows in the United Kingdom; examples may be found at
Maiden Castle, Broadmayne and Martin's Down in Dorset;
Long Low near Wetton in Staffordshire.Cerny culture
The Cerny culture (French: La Culture de Cerny, German: Cerny-Kultur) is a Neolithic culture in France that dates to the second half of the 5th millennium B.C. and that is particularly prevalent in the Paris Basin. It is characterized by monumental earth mounds, known as enclosures of the Passy type. The term is derived from the "Parc aux Bœufs" in Cerny in the department of Essonne who authorized the name.Cortaillod culture
The Cortaillod culture is one of several archaeologically defined cultures belonging to the Neolithic period of Switzerland. The Cortaillod Culture in the west of the region is contemporary with the Pfyn Culture
in the east and dates from between 3900-3500 BC. The Classic Cortaillod Culture of the western Alpine foreland and the Early Cortaillod Culture of central Switzerland pre-date this at 4300-3900 BC.
Evidence such as higher frequencies of dog bones and pendants made from dog metapodials suggests a special relationship between dog and man during the later part of this period in the western part and the early Horgen culture in the eastern part of the Alpine foreland.Cursus
Cursus monuments are Neolithic structures which represent some of the oldest prehistoric monumental structures of the Islands of Britain and Ireland. Relics found within them show that they were built between 3400 and 3000 BC.
Superficially resembling ditches or trenches, they range in length from 50 yards (46 m) to almost 6 miles (9.7 km) and the distance between the parallel earthworks can be up to 100 yards (91 m). Banks at the terminal ends enclose the cursus. Over fifty have been identified via aerial photography while many others have doubtless been obliterated by farming and other subsequent landscaping activities.Examples include the four cursuses at Rudston in Yorkshire, that at Fornham All Saints in Suffolk, the Cleaven Dyke in Perthshire and the Dorset cursus. A notable example is the Stonehenge Cursus, within sight of the more famous stone circle, on land belonging to The National Trust's Stonehenge Landscape.Dudești culture
The Dudeşti culture is a farming/herding culture that occupied part of Romania in the 6th millennium BC, typified by semi-subterranean habitations (Zemlyanki) on the edges of low plateaus. This culture contributed to the origin of both the subsequent Hamangia culture and the Boian culture. It was named after Dudeşti, a quarter in the southeast of Bucharest.First Temperate Neolithic
The First Temperate Neolithic (FTN) is an archaeological horizon consisting of the earliest archaeological cultures of Neolithic Southeastern Europe, dated to c. 6400–5100 BCE. The cultures of the FTN were the first to practice agriculture in temperate Europe, which required significant innovations in farming technology previously adapted to a mediterranean climate.The constituent cultures of the FTN are:
the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criș culture, encompassing:the Starčevo culture, c. 6200–5200 BCE, Serbia, Bosnia, eastern Croatia and western Hungary;
the Kőrös culture, c. 6400–5100 BCE, eastern Hungary;
the Criş culture, c. 6400–5200 BCE, Romania;the Karanova I/II culture, c. 6300–5100 BCE, central and southern Bulgaria;
the Macedonian First Neolithic, c. 6600–5300 BCE, Macedonia;
the Poljanica group, c. 6300–5200 BCE, northeast Bulgaria;
and the West Bulgarian Painted Ware culture, c. 6200–5200 BCE, western Bulgaria.Hamangia culture
The Hamangia culture is a Late Neolithic archaeological culture of Dobruja (Romania and Bulgaria) between the Danube and the Black Sea and Muntenia in the south. It is named after the site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1952 along Golovița Lake.Horgen culture
The Horgen culture is one of several archaeological cultures belonging to the Neolithic period of Switzerland. The Horgen culture may derive from the Pfyn culture and early Horgen pottery is similar to the earlier Cortaillod culture pottery of Twann, Switzerland. It is named for one of the principal sites, in Horgen, Switzerland.Jacket's Field Long Barrow
Jacket's Field Long Barrow is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Boughton Aluph in the south-eastern English county of Kent. It was probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period. Built out of earth, the long barrow consists of an sub-trapezoidal tumulus flanked by side ditches.
Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by a pastoralist community shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long-barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Jacket's Field Long Barrow belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Stour. Of these, it lies on the western side of the river, while Julliberrie's Grave and Shrub's Wood Long Barrow are found on the eastern side. The site was discovered in 1970, at which point it was concealed in dense woodland, although has yet to undergo thorough archaeological investigation.Karanovo culture
The Karanovo culture is a neolithic culture (Karanovo I-III ca. 62nd to 55th centuries BC) named after the Bulgarian village of Karanovo (Караново, Sliven Province 42°30′41″N 25°54′54″E). The site at Karanovo itself was a hilltop settlement of 18 buildings, housing some 100 inhabitants. The site was inhabited more or less continuously from the early 7th to the early 2nd millennia BC.
The layers at Karanovo are employed as a chronological system for Balkans prehistory.Körös culture
The Körös culture/Criş culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture in Central Europe that was named after the river Körös in eastern Hungary. The same river has the name Criș in Romania, hence the name Criş culture. The 2 variants of the river name are used for the same archaeological culture in the 2 regions. The Criș culture survived from about 5800 to 5300 BC. It is related to the neighboring Starčevo culture and is included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Körös–Criş culture.Long Burgh Long Barrow
Long Burgh Long Barrow, is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Alfriston in the south-eastern English county of East Sussex. Probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives only in a state of ruin.
Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, the Long Burgh Long Barrow belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced on the chalk downlands of Sussex.Nordic megalith architecture
Nordic megalith architecture is an ancient architectural style found in Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia and North Germany, that involves large slabs of stone arranged to form a structure. It emerged in northern Europe, predominantly between 3500 and 2800 BC. It was primarily a product of the Funnelbeaker culture. Amongst its researchers, Ewald Schuldt in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania excavated over 100 sites of different types - simple dolmens, extended dolmens – also called rectangular dolmens – passage graves, great dolmens, unchambered long barrows and stone cists - between 1964 and 1974. In addition, there are polygonal dolmens and types that emerged later, for example, the Grabkiste and Röse. This nomenclature, which specifically derives from the German, is not used in Scandinavia where these sites are categorised by other, more general, terms, as dolmens (Dysser, Döser), passage graves (Ganggrifter, Jættestuen) and stone cists (Hellekister, Hällkista).
Neolithic monuments are a feature of the culture and ideology of Neolithic communities. Their appearance and function serves as an indicator of their social development.Round barrow
A round barrow is a type of tumulus and is one of the most common types of archaeological monuments. Although concentrated in Europe, they are found in many parts of the world, probably because of their simple construction and universal purpose.In Britain, most of them were built between 2200BC and 1100BC. . This was the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. Later Iron Age barrows were mostly different, and sometimes square.Shrub's Wood Long Barrow
Shrub's Wood Long Barrow is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Elmsted in the south-eastern English county of Kent. It was probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period. Built out of earth, the long barrow consists of a sub-trapezoidal tumulus flanked by side ditches.
Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by a pastoralist community shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long-barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Shrub's Wood Long Barrow belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Stour. Of these, it lies on the eastern side of the river with Julliberrie's Grave, while the third known example in this tumuli group, Jacket's Field Long Barrow, is located on the western side. Shrub's Wood Long Barrow was discovered in the late 1960s, although it has yet to undergo thorough archaeological investigation.Tisza culture
The Tisza culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture of the Alföld plain in modern-day Hungary, Western Romania, Eastern Slovakia and Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast in Central Europe. The culture is dated to the 5th and 4th millennia BCE.Tor enclosure
A tor enclosure is a prehistoric monument found in the southwestern part of Great Britain. These monuments emerged around 4000 BC in the early
Neolithic.Windmill Hill culture
The Windmill Hill culture was a name given to a people inhabiting southern Britain, in particular in the Salisbury Plain area close to Stonehenge, c. 3000 BC. They were an agrarian Neolithic people; their name comes from Windmill Hill, a causewayed enclosure. Together with another Neolithic tribe from East Anglia, a tribe whose worship involved stone circles, it is thought that they were responsible for the earliest work on the Stonehenge site.
The material record left by these people includes large circular hill-top enclosures, causewayed enclosures, long barrows, leaf-shaped arrowheads, and polished stone axes. They raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and dogs, and grew wheat and mined flints.
Since the term was first coined by archaeologists, further excavation and analysis has indicated that it consisted of several discrete cultures such as the Hembury and the Abingdon cultures; and that "Windmill Hill culture" is too general a term.