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Tumulus
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Tumulus

Alternate meanings of barrow: see Barrow-in-Furness for the town of Barrow in Cumbria, England; also Barrow, Alaska in the U.S; also River Barrow in Ireland.


A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, kurgans or burial mounds and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn.

The method of inhumation may involve a cist, a mortuary enclosure, a mortuary house or a chamber tomb. Examples of barrows include Duggleby Howe and Maes Howe.

In Britain, early references to tumuli were made by William Camden, John Aubrey, and William Stukeley. During the 19th century in England the excavation of tumuli was a popular pastime amongst the educated and wealthy middle classes who became known as "barrow-diggers". This leisure activity played a key role in laying the foundations for the scientific study of the past in England.

Table of contents
1 Types of barrows
2 List of notable barrow diggers
3 References
4 External links

Types of barrows

Archaeologists often classify tumuli according to their location, form, and date of construction. Some British types are listed below:

List of notable barrow diggers

References

External links