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Rare finds made on Bornholm - possibly from the Bronze Age.

DR-Inland in Denmark

Tuesday, July 09, 2024 • 7:07 PM UTC - in Denmark

Unusual finds have surfaced on Bornholm.

These are three new burial mounds, located underground and likely dating back to the younger bronze age.

"That's what Jens Berthold, chief archaeologist at Bornholms Museum, reports. The discoveries were made in April on a grave site with over 60 bautastones in the smaller forest Gryet outside Nexø.

Since they have only just been discovered beneath the ground and not yet excavated, it cannot be definitively concluded what the burial mounds consist of.

However, based on geophysical measurements, it is likely that they are long earthen mounds with stones.

- They are very rare, as most have been destroyed by farming or plowing. A plow can go 20 to 40 centimeters deep, and then it's all gone. That's why we only have a chance to find them in undisturbed forests, says Berthold to Ritzau.

(Photo: © Jens Berthold/Bornholms Museum/Free)

The largest find is 26 meters long and 4.5 meters wide.

They were all discovered using georadar, which is a geophysical method that, unlike excavation, does not disturb the ground. He compares it to humans undergoing X-ray examinations instead of having surgery.


Unclear what next step is


Two geophysicists from Vienna, Austria, have made the discoveries themselves.

Apart from examining the finds together with the geophysicists, Bornholms Museum has also contributed to preparing the site where the geophysicists were to work. Danmarks Naturfond, which owns Gryet, has paid for the measurements.

Among other things, trees that were on the ground surface had to be removed so they did not interfere with the machine used for measurement and needed to maintain contact with the ground, explains Jens Berthold.

> As an archaeologist, one would like to dig as much as possible to gain new knowledge.

> For example, we would like to know if there are remains of the dead left.

> Jens Berthold, chief archaeologist at Bornholms Museum

He further explains that it is currently unclear what the next step is regarding the work with the new finds. And there should be a responsible way to research.

- As an archaeologist, one would like to dig as much as possible to gain new knowledge. For example, we would like to know if there are remains of the dead or charcoal from a funeral pyre, which can help us date these graves more accurately.

- But every excavation also disturbs the ancient remains we want to preserve for future generations, says Jens Berthold.

According to the chief archaeologist, these finds can likely be dated to the younger bronze age based on existing knowledge of similar grave forms in the Baltic Sea region, where there are dating finds.

He also mentions that there are 30 similar grave constructions on Bornholm, but only a few in the rest of Denmark.

(Photo: © Graphics: Søren Winther Nørbæk)

Warning: This article was translated by a Large Language Model, in case of doubt, you can always visit the original source.