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Karin Bojs: They came by boat over the oceans and traveled the stones

They are called megaliths, huge stones, which the ancients placed in the landscape. Sometimes that stenkammargravar, sometimes just as the raised landmarks. We have plenty of them in the south of Sweden jordbrukstrakter, the most visible memory we have of mankind's ancient stone age farmers.

In present-day Sweden began the megaliths be erected for about 5600 years ago. But agriculture itself and the first farmers arrived several hundred years earlier, about 6,000 years ago. We know today, partly thanks to new dna technology.

the Same pattern is visible in the british isles: the first farmers seem to have arrived about 6,000 years ago. Then they built large formations of ground and erected a log, for example, the earliest structures at Stonehenge. But a few hundred years later, even the british move the giant stones. In Stonehenge among other things, are huge boulders of the so-called wind, which has been dragged for miles all the way from Wales.

archaeologists have an argument about how the tradition to move the stones and travel the megaliths spread across Europe. Now in the week came a heavy post from Bettina Schulz Paulsson, university of Gothenburg. She has worked for over ten years, to compare 2400 updates, and publish their results in the journal PNAS.

Bettina Schulz Paulsson conclusion is that stenkammargravar spread from the northwestern part of the current France during a period of a few hundred years. They were dispersed by sea, along the entire Atlantic coast, the british isles, down to the Mediterranean and eventually also over the North sea and the Baltic sea to southern Scandinavia.

will she find the oldest traces. Already up to 7000 years ago built the early farmers in the Passy a whopping structure – 280 metres long – of the soil and pebbles where they buried their dead.

a Little later, around 6600 years ago, people started in the area of Carnac in Brittany to build the tombs with the chamber of the stone. From there it seems the technology have spread to the current Spain and all the way down to Corsica and Sardinia in the Mediterranean sea.

Another few hundred years later, for about 6300 years ago, was developed graves went to open, stepping in and reuse. The oldest known examples of such tombs found in the southwest of France, in a district called the Deux-Sèvres and is located southeast of the city of Nantes.

A variant of such tombs, so-called passagegravar, reached southern Scandinavia for about 5400 years ago. They look about the same over large areas.

, director of research at the national museum in Denmark, to comment, he compares stenåldersböndernas passagegravar at the medieval stenkatedraler. Sørensen believe that it was the itinerant gravbyggare who traveled in large areas.

Bettina Schulz Paulsson himself affirms that knowledge must have spread by sea. Not least because some very early examples in Sweden are Gotland and Öland, and there went the only to come with the boat.

for hundreds of years, many generations, is mankind's ancient stone age farmers their burial chamber. They buried their dead and held religious ceremonies. If these ceremonies, we don't know so much. But one element appears to be burnt and broken pottery.

And the rising sun. In most cases, is passagegravarnas opening directed towards the east or southeast, where the sun goes up.

must have required special skills, which surely came with båtfarande experts. In addition, required lots of people and even oxen – pulled.

It was a job that was a manifestation of collective force. Also stenåldersböndernas tombs were collective, with many people gravlagda together over hundreds of years.

Later came a new wave of people, with a completely different culture. They spoke indo-european language and built tombs where only single individuals had to be. But it is a different story.

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