David Fontijn, Arjan Louwen, Sasja van der Vaart, Karsten Wentink
1 School of Culture and Society - Prehistoric Archaeology, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University2 School of Culture and Society - Prehistoric Archaeology, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
In the Late Bronze Age Barrow Landscape of the Himmerland-area, Denmark
Throughout prehistory and up to this present day, roads have played a crucial role in the exchange of knowledge, ideas as well as resources. In the Bronze Age they formed part of a general landscape discourse where the communication lines were materially manifested by the barrows and conversely, where barrows were crucially dependent on roads and entailed their maintenance. In this way certain linear structures emerged and became a very dominant characteristic of the landscape. This paper proposes that this relationship between roads and barrows did not only exist as a well-defined large-scale spatial structure but also gained relevance on a conceptual scale where it played a crucial role in socio-ideological navigation and contextualization. The case study presents an analysis of barrow distributions in the Himmerland area. It points towards the fact that barrows with a central position in the mobility complexes maintained a similar active mnemonic role in the landscape. It further argues that barrows and mobility lines probably existed as two mutually dependent landscape components playing very different roles in both a very collective and at the same time a very individual remembrance and contextualization. The road as a basis for a bodily experience to understand and remember more complex phenomena attached to the barrow landscape such as myths, genealogical time, individual biographies etc. - And vice versa. The barrows served as collective material anchors and a fixation of the movement. Together this mutual dependency constituted an axial line through the landscape which was actively used to maintain memories but also induced oblivion.
Barrows and Beyond: Current Research on the Structuration and Perception of the Prehistoric Landscape Through Monuments, 2013, p. 225-250