Large burial mounds from the Bronze Age
In the Bronze Age centuries from 1700-500 BC, the present-day Denmark was part of a common European network of trade and exchange.
The high-ranking familes imported objects of bronze and gold from different parts of Europe. At the beginning of the Bronze Age, these infuential people were buried in the large round mounds that today influences many of the hills in the Danish landscape.
On the meltwater plains along the river Kongeå, there are monuments still standing guard over the important water thoroughfare. At the river's north side, they form a nearly continuous chain from Vamdrup in the east to Tobøl in the west. Both extreme points feature particularly largeburial mounds with very distingushed items.
Thousands of burial mounds
In the period 1500-1200 BC, thousands of peat burial mounds were erected all over the country. No less than 86,000 burial mounds have been registered in Denmark, where the majority have been built within the three centuries of the Late Bronze Age.
Unfortunately, only a fifth are still visible in the landscape. The burial mound group by North Vamdrup originally consisted of 26 round burial mounds that had dimensions of up to 8 metres high and 35 meters in circumference. Three of the mounds have been excavated and they contained all male persons of high standing in oak trunk chests.
Swords and jewellery
The man from Trindhøj was wearing a coat, jacket and round cap. He was equipped with a sword, jewellery to adorn his costume and bronze toiletries. The influentiral man from Guldhøj was armed with a bronze dagger and axe and in his oak coffin lay a folding chair quite similar to the kind of seats known in contemporary Greece and Egypt.
Bronze swords and wooden bowls with tin decorations have been uncovered from Great Kongehøj. The afore-mentioned burial mounds in the North Vamdrup group were examined in the 1800s and the content is exhibited at the National Museum in Copenhagen today.
About 25 km west of the huge burial mounds at Vamdrup was yet another concentration of 26 round burial mounds. The concentration lay between the villages of Tobøl and Plougstrup, and the largest burial mounds were positioned on the edge of the river Kongeå's meadow cliff. Therefore they created a particularly monumental impression when you sailed down the river or were in the area south of it.
A man's grave in an oak coffin was excavated here, containing a dagger and bronze costume jewellery, gold rings, amber beads and a bronze wheel with four spokes that resemble the wheels of the Sun Chariot. There are other known discoveries from the Tobøl-Plougstrup area, including several bronze sword and gold rings, which must originate from the ploughed-over burial mounds.
In recent years, the Skelhøj monument has been excavated. The tomb of this burial mound had unfortunately been robbed, so the deceased with belongings had almost completely disappeared. However, it was clarified in detail how the mound had been constructed from a carefully throught through and well-organized plan. See the the Bronze Age monument Skelhøj
Jørgen Jensen 1998. Manden i kisten. Hvad bronzealderens gravhøje gemte. København.