Western Europe's massive prehistoric tombs were built in a burst of activity over a few centuries around 4000 BC, suggests dating evidence, rather than continuously throughout the Stone Age.
In the current European Journal of Archaeology, archaeologist Chris Scarre of the United Kingdom's Durham University, looks at the latest dating of "megalithic" prehistoric tombs stretching from Sweden to Spain. The mound-shaped burial sites are better known as "barrows" in Great Britain, or "passage tombs" for their intersecting halls of corbel stones.
"It trivializes the tombs to call it a fad, but building such structures seems to have become a fashion where great numbers were built and then there was a cessation for centuries," Scarre says, in an interview. Improved dating of materials such as birch bark, bone and stone left in the tombs now reveals the clustered construction times of the mounds, he says.
Read the rest of this article...