Monday, July 28, 2014

Hulbjerg Jættestue Of Neolithic Period

Hulbjerg Jættestue
Hulbjerg passage grave is located in southern Langeland. Travel from Rudkobing to the end of the island on 305 highway and 2.5 km before Bagenkop, where highway 305 leads to the west and at this point one will find Gulstavvej which tends to continue southwards.

On taking this lane after approximately 1.5 km turn towards the west, on the right onto Sogardsvej where the site is around 1 km along this lane towards the north side of the road.

The site is a few meters away from the road.The Hulbjerg passage is hidden by a round barrow towards the southern tip of the island of Langeland and originated from the earlyNeolithic period which was known as the Funnel Beaker Culture.

In 1960 the grave was excavated by archaeologist, one of Europe’s leading experts in late Stone Age burials, Hakon Berg of the Langeland Museum anddiscovered the remains of 40 individuals who had been buried during different periods of the Neolithic Age. Majority of them were children and adults from the ancient period of Funnelbeaker Culture which was predominated around 4,800-6,000 years ago.

One of Funnel Beaker Culture Site

Hulbjerg Jættestue
Hulbjerg is one of the Funnel Beaker Culture sites which were lucky to survive, for when Petersen of the National Museum surveyed the site in 1874; there were seven passage graves and dolmen within a square kilometre of the site.

By the end of the nineteenth century, all the passage graves were levelled though the efforts of Hakon Berge of Langelands Museum saved Hulbjerg towards posterity.

Hulbjerg Jættestue
He got engaged in excavations and then a major renovation programme in 1960 – 1961 took place where the entire chamber became filled with earth and the task became difficult for a couple of years.

The site was 21 meters in diameter with a height of 2.5 meters with an impressive chamber which was approximately 6 meters long and 2 meters wide leading along a passage.

 The walls of the chamber comprised of 13 large uprights, tightly constructed fine wall of hewn stone tiles while on the exterior, the chamber was sealed with clay layered with crushed flint. The ceiling consisted of five large slabs of rock while the floor had small flat stones which were covered in burnt flint.

Skull Showing Traces of Dentistry Skill

Hulbjerg Jættestue
The entire site was circular with the main mound of the tomb standing on a lower mount giving an impression of a two tier effect. The discoveries included a number of skeletons, amber beads, pots and flint tools.

The bones and skulls when discovered were all sorted out in separate piles where one of the skulls showed traces of the world’s earliest dentistry skill of the ancient period.

It was discovered that a flint drill had been used to drill down and puncture a painful abscess in the root canal treatment and this skull has been placed on display at the Langeland Museum.

The burial chamber, besides the skeletal remains also had sharpened flint axes and chisels, flint daggers, decorated ceramics, amber beads and transverse arrowheads.

 It is presumed that the Stone Age people may have visited their dead and could have involved them in their rituals.

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