Successful excavation of an early dolmen in Falbygden
The transformation processes in the emergence of agrarian, cooperative societies are still only partially understood in north-central Europe and southern Scandinavia.
Due to the structural similarities of socio-environmental regional dynamics between the Altmark in the south and Falbygden in the north, Gothenburg university has excavated an early dolmen in the rich settlement and burial landscape of Falbygden together with colleagues from Kiel university : the dolmen Tiarp 26.
The small rectangular chamber, which is located underneath a mound, could be completely excavated and recorded. Among other techniques, 3D scanner documentation was used to document burial rituals that took place around 3500 BCE.
In contrast to the passage grave phase that followed around 3350 BCE, large sections of the skeletons were not present in the burial chamber, despite excellent bone preservation.
Thus, in Neolithic Falbygden after the onset of neolithisation around 4000 BCE, the first deposits of human bones in wetlands around 3800 BCE and the first monuments around 3600 BCE, significant differences to the passage grave rituals with full inhumations (starting around 3350 BCE) are indicated.
The Tiarp 26 excavation was the first scientific excavation of an early dolmen in Falbygden Europe in many years. Karl-Göran Sjögren, Malou Blank and Tony Axelsson from the University of Gothenburg and Julia Dietrich, Ann-Katrin Klein and Johannes Müller from CAU Kiel were involved.
On site, the osteological specimens were determined directly by Torbjörn Ahlström, Lund University. For aDNA analyses Ben Krause-Kyora from Kiel was present, for envDNA analyses Anthony Henry Ruter from the Globe Institute, Copenhagen. The surprising results that are emerging will help to classify the considerable socio-ecological changes on a supra-regional level through joint evaluations, also with the participation of other scientists.