Forteviot’s Barrow Cemetery

Painting by David Simon

The new Bronze Age social order was marked by the conspicuous burial of individuals, in sharp contrast to the mixed burials of Neolithic tradition. Instead of cremation, the body was interred in astone cist with grave goods. This shows the dagger burial (dating to around 2000 BC) as it might have looked once a mound of boulders and cobbles had been raised over the megalithic cist. The barrow fills part of the henge ditch but respects the site of the Neolithic cremations within the interior which by this time were nearly 1000 years old. How such memories were preserved and transmitted without writing is one of the great achievements of prehistory.

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