A monumental burial ground from the Funnel Beaker Period at Oosterdalfsen (the Netherlands)

Henk M. van der Velde, Niels Bouma, Daan C. M. Raemaekers

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In 2015 a rescue excavation took place at Oosterdalfsen (municipality of Dalfsen, Overijssel, the Netherlands) yielded traces of a burial ground, an earthen monument and a house plan, all dating from the Funnel beaker period. In total c. 137 graves were found. In several burial pits a corps silhouette was still visible indicating that these deceased were positioned in Hocker position. In total 123 pots were found in the graves. The decorated pots can be dated in Brindley
horizon 4–7 (c. 3200 – 2700 BC). One large structure consisted of a ditch with a proximal length of 30 m and width of 4 m. Because the presence of a central grave is not ascertained we do not interpret this ditch system as the remnants of a monumental grave, but rather as an ditch-delimited arena for burial rituals. The house was two-aisled in construction, similar to the ones found at Flögeln 1 and Penningbüttel. The Oosterdalfsen community seems to have created a
monumental expression in earth – the ditched feature. The large number of burials allows defining both norm and variation in burial rites in a meaningful way. The analysis of the pots, in combination with spatial analysis, will perhaps allow us to better understand the social built-up of the community that used the site for their burial rites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMegaliths – Societies – Landscapes Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the international conference »Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe« (16th–20th June 2015) in Kiel
EditorsJohannes Muller, Martin Hinz, Maria Wunderlich
Place of PublicationBonn
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-7749-4213-4
Publication statusPublished - 8-May-2019

Publication series

NameFrühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung

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