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Dolmens and Passage Graves


The Gantofte dolmen outside Helsingborg is an impressive example of the earliest architecture from the Stone Age.

This period in our Nordic past covers 4.000 BC until 1.800 BC.
It is characteristic that agriculture spread and the population thus became more settled than before. This also changed the way people lived together. The tools, the flint axes, changed and new ways of storage became necessary, for example pottery. Instead of a population, which mainly lived off hunting and fishing, it was now the crops from the increasing agriculture, which became principal basis of existence. This is also why the period is called The Peasant Stone Age.
The Peasant Stone Age is normally divided into three periods referred to by the archaeologists as:

The Megalith Graves
The burial customs of the period means that there are still distinct traces in the cultural landscape of the Sound region after these early and enterprising peasants in the form of large stone graves. The so-called dolmen and passage graves. They are commonly called megaliths
In current Denmark we know about 6000 dolmen and 700 passage graves, but it is often only remnants, which can be seen.
Calculations estimate that there have been 20-25.000 of these megaliths in the period 3.500-3.200 BC. (See Odense Museum) A very interesting social historical phenomenon.
Traditionally the dolmens are dated the Eolithic period and the passage graves to the Paleolithic period, but the two megaliths are inextricably linked.
The large stone graves were for several hundred years used as single graves (chieftains?) and later as the common burial ground for the local area.

©  Øresundstid 2009