Ancient burial mounds in the Danish countryside

Peat burial mounds from the Bronze Age more than 3,000 years old. Ydby Hede, Northwest Jutland. Credit: Public Domain.

No matter if you go by car, bicycle or hiking through the Danish countryside there is a good chance that you will pass by ancient tombs. You will find peat burial mounds from the early Bronze Age. They look like small hills – and you will propably also cross dolmens built of large granite blocks during the Stone Age.

Dolmens of stone (3500-3200 BC)
The dolmens were built of large granite blocks. The oldest dolmen chambers are small and thought to have been for single burials. Later the dolmen chambers became larger and an entrance was added, so they could be used for several burials. The dolmen chambers were covered with an oblong or round mound. The weather has often taken its toll on the dolmens, so that the mound itself has usually been eroded away. This leaves only the characteristic burial chambers, which were originally covered. 2300 dolmens are preserved in Denmark, only a tenth of the original number.

Peat burial mounds from the Bronze Age (1500-1200 BC)
Several burial mounds were built in the Early Bronze Age. In the burial mounds the elite of the time were buried, dressed in clothes woven from wool and with fine gifts of bronze. The majestic Bronze Age mounds are often located on hills. In the period 1500-1200 BC, thousands of peat burial mounds were erected all over the country. No less than 86,000 burial mounds have been registered in Denmark, where the majority have been built within the three centuries of the Late Bronze Age.

Source: National Museum of Denmark, kongeaastien.dk