Project title: Soil micromorphological investigations into the construction and landscape histories of Bronze Age oak coffin burial mounds in Denmark: experimental mound studies


Researcher: Ann-Maria Hart, Ph.D. student, Oxford University, England

and Helen Lewis, research associate, Institute of Archaeology, Oxford University, England

E-mail: amh50(at)cam.ac.uk or helen.lewis(at)conted.ox.ac.uk


Year: 2004




Iron layers have created very good conditions for preservation in some burial mounds from the Bronze Age. This has resulted in that we today - more than 3000 years later - can to find burials in which the oak coffin with textiles, bark containers and the body itself are very well preserved. Precisely which processes are involved in creating these special conditions for preservation has long been a mystery but attempts are being made to get closer to an answer through a combination experiments and excavation.


In 2000 two models of burial mounds were built at Lejre. This year the mounds were excavated and samples of the soil were taken for the purpose to be analysed. The samples will be compared with samples collected from an original burial mound from the Bronze Age in order to learn more about the processes operating within the mound. The samples can also be used to tell more about the use of land under and in the closest neighbourhood of the mound. The experiment is part of a series concerning the excavation of the Bronze Age burial mound Skelhøj on the Kongeå.


Reference number: HAF 10/04




Reconstructed burial mounds under excavation
The organic material in one of the 2 burials is very well preserved.