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Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée Jean Pouilloux

Fédération de recherche sur les sociétés anciennes


Ancestral Landscapes


Ancestral Landscapes
Burial mounds in the copper and Bronze ages (Central and Eastern Europe – Balkans – Adriatic – Aegean, 4th-2nd millennium B.C.)


This volume provides a comprehensive study of the burial mound phenomenon which emerged in large parts of Europe during the Copper and Bronze Ages, with a major focus on the Mediterranean and eastern European regions.

Fifty-one papers are grouped into broad sections dealing with the symbolism of burial mounds, the relationship between landscapes, landmarks and cultural identity, burial customs as rituals and a new look at theories on diffusionism. They define the natural and cultural contexts in which tumulus burial architecture first appeared in these parts of the world and attempt to explain the ideological, social and ritual meaning of burial mounds as community monuments. Most contributions include new evidence from excavations and surface surveys, some provide a welcome re‑examination of old data, including skeletal remains.

The subjects discussed concern not only funerary practices and beliefs but also further archaeological issues such as landscapes and land use, early exploitation of metal resources, the organization of long‑distance exchange, interaction networks, and the emergence of complexity in human societies.



Preface and acknowledgements


Keynote lecture

Anthony Harding, The Tumulus in European Prehistory: Covering the Body, Housing the Soul

Burial mounds: symbolics and myth

Blagoje Govedarica, Die sakrale Symbolik des Kreises: Gedanken zum verborgenen Sinnbild der Hügelbestattungen

Giulio Palumbi, The Arslantepe Royal Tomb and the "Manipulation" of the Kurgan Ideology in Eastern Anatolia at the Beginning of the Third Millennium

Philippe Della Casa, Mythical Voyages and Ancestral Monuments: Tales on Knowledge and Leadership in Prehistoric Europe

Landscapes, landmarks and cultural identity

Julio Bendezu-Sarmiento, Réflexion sur l'espace funéraire et la notion de territoire en Asie centrale steppique aux périodes protohistoriques (IIe‑Ie millénaires av. J.-C.)

Jozef Bátora, Bestattungen unter Hügeln im Gebiet der mittleren Donau seit Ende des Äneolithikums bis zum Beginn der mittleren Bronzezeit

Mateusz Jaeger, Łukasz Pospieszny, Tumulus Culture Barrows in the Polish Lowlands. The Case of the Cemetery in Smoszew

Jan Turek, Jaroslav Peška, Andrea Matějíčková, Visible and Invisible Monuments. Late Eneolithic Burial Mounds in Forested Areas of Central Moravia

Ladislav Šmejda, Burial Mounds in West Bohemia: the Current State of Research

Claudia Sachsse, Burial Mounds in the Baden Culture: Aspects of Local Developments and Outer Impacts

Marko Porčić, Interpreting the Vertical Distribution of Bronze Age Tumuli in the Central Balkans

Vedran Barbarić, Tumulus or Cairn? The Case of the Central Dalmatian Islands

Giulia Codacci-Terlević, La scoperta della sepoltura a tumulo di Barbariga (Istria, Croazia). Novità e riscontri in relazione ai tumuli dell'età del bronzo rinvenuti nella penisola istriana e nell'Italia nord-orientale

Biba Teržan, Bernhard Hänsel, A Specific Type of Tholos in the northern Adriatic

Hrvoje Potrebica, Burial Mounds in Croatia: Landscapes of Continuity and Transformation

Stavros Oikonomidis, Aristeides Papayiannis, Akis Tsonos, The Emergence and the Architectural Development of the Tumulus Burial Custom in NW Greece (Epirus and the Ionian Islands) and Albania and its Connections to Settlement Organization

Christina Merkouri, Maria Kouli, The Spatial Distribution and Location of Bronze Age Tumuli in Greece

Yannis Galanakis, Mnemonic Landscapes and Monuments of the Past: Tumuli, Tholos tombs and Landscape Associations in Late Middle Bronze Age and Early Late Bronze Age Messenia (Greece)

Lucia Sarti, Pino Fenu, Valentina Leonini, Fabio Martini, Sara Perusi, The Bell Beaker Tumulus of Via Bruschi in Sesto Fiorentino (Florence, Italy): New Research

Serena Vitri, Alberto Balasso, Giulio Simeoni, Tumuli e strutture abitative presso Flaibano nell’alta pianura friulana (Italia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia): vecchi e nuovi dati

Armando D’Agnolo, Silvia Pettarin, Giovanni Tasca, I tumuli del Friuli occidentale: un aggiornamento delle conoscenze

Paola Càssola Guida, The Early Bronze Age in North Eastern Italy: the Making of a Monumental Landscape

Elisabetta Borgna, Individual Burial and Communal Rites: the Manifold Uses of Monumental Architecture in the North Adriatic Bronze Age

Burial practices, rituals and people

Yuri Yakovlevič Rassamakin, Eneolithic Burial Mounds in the Black Sea Steppe: from the First Burial Symbols to Monumental Ritual Architecture

Stefan Alexandrov, Prehistoric Barrow Graves between the Danube and the Balkan Range: Stratigraphy and Relative Chronology

Janusz Czebreszuk, Marzena Szmyt, Tumuli with Circular Ditch and the Ritual Scenario among Corded Ware Culture Societies on the North European Plain

Frank Falkenstein, The Development of Burial Rites from the Tumulus to the Urnfield Culture in Southern Central Europe

Carol Kacsó, Carola Metzner-Nebelsick, Louis D. Nebelsick, New Work at the Late Bronze Age Tumulus Cemetery of Lăpuş in Romania

Martin Hristov, The Early Bronze Age Ritual Structures and Necropolis from near the Village of Dubene, Karlovo Region

Kristina Mihovilić, Bernhard Hänsel, Damir Matošević, Biba Teržan, Burial Mounds of the Bronze Age at Mušego near Monkodonja. Results of the Excavations 2006-2007

Mile Baković, The Princely Tumulus Gruda Boljevića Podgorica, Montenegro

Sofia Asouhidou, The Early Bronze Age Burial Mound at Kriaritsi – Sykia (Central Macedonia, Greece)

Maria-Photini Papakonstantinou, Bronze Age Tumuli and Grave Circles in Central Greece: the Current State of Research

Vassilis Aravantinos, Kyriaki Psaraki, Mounds over Dwellings: The Transformation of Domestic Spaces into Community Monuments in EH II Thebes, Greece

Sylvie Müller Celka, Burial Mounds and "Ritual Tumuli" of the Aegean Early Bronze Age

Oliver Dickinson, Why Grave Circles A and B at Mycenae are Very Unlikely to be Burial Tumuli

Kalliopi Sarri, Sofia Voutsaki, The Argos "Tumuli": a Re-examination

Sofia Voutsaki, Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström, Søren Dietz, Tumuli and Social Status: a Re-examination of the Asine Tumulus

Jörg Rambach, Die Ausgrabung von zwei Mittelhelladisch I-zeitlichen Grabtumuli in der Flur Kastroulia bei Ellinika (Alt-Thouria) in Messenien

Giulia Recchia, Burial Mounds and "specchie" in Apulia during the Bronze Age: Local Developments and Transadriatic Connections

Francesca Radina, Un impianto dell’età del bronzo nell’Alta Murgia pugliese: il recinto e il tumulo del sito di Le Chianche (Minervino Murge, Bari)

Elisabetta Onnis, The Torre S. Sabina Tumulus (Brindisi, Italy) in the Context of Transmarine Relations during the 14th c. B.C.

Elodia Bianchin Citton, Claudio Balista, I tumuli funerari dell’età del Rame di Sovizzo-località S. Daniele (Vicenza): aspetti costruttivi, cronologici e cultuali

Lorenza Endrizzi, Elisabetta Mottes, Franco Nicolis, Nicola Degasperi, New Evidence of Ancestral Landscape in Trentino in the Copper and Bronze Ages: the Ritual Sites of Cles-Campi Neri and La Vela di Trento

Elisabetta Mottes, Michele Bassetti, Elena Silvestri, The Bronze Age Tumuli of Gardolo di Mezzo (Trento, Italy) in the Adige Valley

Diffusionism under examination

Volker Heyd, Yamnaya Groups and Tumuli west of the Black Sea

Janusz Czebreszuk, Łukasz Pospieszny, The Oldest Round Barrows of the European Lowlands

Krassimir Leshtakov, Bronze Age Mortuary Practices in Thrace: A prelude to Studying the Long-term Tradition

Fanouria Dakoronia, The Marmara Tumuli: their Contribution to Greek Protohistory

Georgios Styl. Korres, Middle Helladic Tumuli in Messenia. Ethnological Conclusions

Alberto Cazzella, The (Possible) Tursi Tumulus Burial near Matera and the Relationships between Southern Italy and the Aegean-Balkan Area in the First Half of the 3rd Millennium B.C.