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The Passage Grave Rævehøj

Some of the oldest man made constructions in Denmark are the passage graves, which date back from the younger stone age, and are built between 3,200 and 1,800 years B.C. They consist of a chamber and a passage way, covered by a mound, which is usually round.

[Rævehøj seen from a distance]

The passage graves were - as the name indicates - used as grave sites. One grave could contain up to several hundred skeletons when excavated.

[The passage into Rævehøj]

This particular passage grave - Rævehøj (Fox Hill) - is situated on the West coast of Zealand, at the village of Dalby, close to the Great Belt coast and app. 20 kilometers North of the regional center of Slagelse.

[The passage to the grave chamber seen from within]

Rævehøj was first "investigated" by fox hunters in 1852, who rummaged through the entire chamber. It wasn't until 1932 that the National Museum conducted an archeological survey of the site.

[Rævehøj's large rocks seen from up close]

Rævehøj is unusually big for a passage grave. In most, there are two layers of large carrying rocks, with a foundation layer of flat rocks in between them, to ensure that the upper ones have stable support.

Rævehøj has no less than four layers of carrying rocks, with three layers of foundation rocks between, which makes the chamber an enormous 2,5 meters (8.2 feet) high!

[The grave chamber of Rævehøj]

By the time the excavation was made, most of the contents of the chamber were destroyed. However, the entry passage turned out to contain many bones and artifacts, hidden below some flat rocks, including tools made of bone and flint stone as well as several decorated clay vessels. The decorations in the ceiling that you see on the last picture, are unfortunately of a much newer date, as are the very flat stones put between some of the carrying rocks near the entrance, to stabilize the walls.


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Copyright © Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen 1996-2007

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