Passage grave

The passage grave is a form of Neolithic megaliths, which consists of a chamber and a structurally -contrasting lateral transition. This design is primarily in Germany and Scandinavia, as well as occasionally be found in France and the Netherlands. It was built 3500-2800 BC as the megalithic Funnel Beaker Culture ( TBK ). Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of Neolithic societies. Their origin and function are considered as indicator of social development.

Ground plan

The either oval, polygonal, rectangular or trapezoidal, and distended ( weak D -shaped) or provided with parallel long and dull eingewinkelten narrow sides of floor plans of the chambers are much longer than wide ( plants do not meet this requirement, applicable in Germany as a dolmen ). The Megalithic Monuments of Eben village in Barleben at Wolmirstedt in Saxony -Anhalt is the only one shifted parallelogram as a floor plan.

According to the terminology of Ewald Schuldt (see types of Mecklenburg megalithic tombs ), it differs from the dolmens in that it has one of the two longitudinal sides, a ( lateral ) access. The new German research sees in it a variation of the dolmens, the dominant regional, in the province of Drenthe ( Netherlands), in the western Lower Saxony (as Emsland Chamber) and otherwise occurs as " holstein chamber " and in neighboring Mecklenburg and Saxony- Anhalt.


The passage grave is called in Denmark Jættestue ( " big room" ), Sweden Gånggrift (s), in France Dolmen à couloir. Although British - Irish plants have ( translated) the same name (passage grave), but structurally they look completely different.


Access the passage tomb is transverse ( lateral) to the longitudinal axis of the chamber. Only when the round in about a Polygonaldolmen orientation is impossible. A generally different definition applies for Sweden. In Poland, only plants from erratic blocks include ( but not from disk ) into the Megalithkategorie, where there do not exist passage graves.

Square or round investments ( upper right) are expected generally to the dolmens. There are in the distribution area some unusually small passage graves with only two capstones (eg Amelinghausen - Sottorf in the Lüneburg Heath, Klein Stavern in Emsland ). On the other hand, there are west of the Weser unusually long chambers. An easterly exception to this are located in the Elbe -Weser Triangle plants Lehnstedt 82 and 83 Although the supporting stones of passage tombs (unlike Urdolmen ) already stand upright on its smallest area, some passage graves were built in pits (stone chamber of Deinste in Lower Saxony and Wangels dam village in East Holstein ), they likely represent the earliest copies Represents the so-called Trapgraf ( stairs grave - D13 in Gieten Eext ) - in the Netherlands Drenthe is another special feature.

The " Holstein Chamber " or " North German long chamber " is a rectangular shape of the passage tomb, which is predominantly represented in Holstein. With 58 plants ( 68 % ) is the so -called Southern Group (south of the Eider ) in Schleswig -Holstein twice as well represented as the ovoid chamber of the northern group, with which it overlaps in space Eckernförde. The length of the chambers varies from 3,0 to 8,5 m, although investments between 3.0-5.5 m account for about two-thirds, while those above 6.0 m form the remaining third. The width varies from 1.0 to 2.25 m. 60% of the chambers to achieve a width of 1.5 m. Usually, the three systems, but often four to six capstones. For almost half of a short passage from one to two pairs of stone could be detected. An eccentric position of the Ganges or the chamber opening to the chamber length occurs at 40 % of the plants, while the middle layer (20%) occurs mainly in long chambers. The rest is as far destroyed, that a statement on the situation of the Ganges can not be made. The original shape of the hill is determinable only at 50 % of the plants. Thereafter, in the north outweigh the round hill, in the eastern and western area of ​​distribution, however, the long beds, in each case by twice.

While the stone material consists mostly of the erratic blocks of the Ice Age ( boulders ), a few plants from other stone material ( Luebbe stones) are created. Another special form provides the " multicultural " cemetery of Wartin. Here is a passage grave has been created in a giant bed of stone plates ( E. Kirsch 1993). On the terrace of the glacial valley Randow no large attachments are available.

Stone chamber at Dohnsen, district Celle

Steenaben trapezoidal passage grave at Lamstedt

Kleinenkneten II; three passage graves in the common Hunebeds

Chamber and passage

The width / length ratio of the passage graves is generally between 1:1.2 to 1:6. This ratio only exceed the long Emsländische chambers with up to 1:14 clearly ( De Hoogen Stener in Werlte, approximately 30 m long). The usually short, but sometimes ten feet long corridor in the middle position or towards one end displaced flow into the chamber. Delayed transitions are especially common in Holstein and led to the name " Holstein Chamber " In the short passage tombs, the supporting stone number ( odd or even ) on the access side is responsible. The " Lüneburg group " according to Friedrich Laux shows the rapid transition from the Dolmentypen the passage grave. There are:

  • Two Urdolmen
  • Ten chamberless hunebeds
  • Five advanced or Rechteckdolmen
  • Over 90 passage graves

Whether it ever was, however, a succession of dolmens and passage graves, as postulated by the early Danish research, has become controversial. See Bautrupptheorie.

Ceiling expansion

While it initially only ceiling structures in the passage grave, the (pictured above) win their statics of the bearing capacity of a three-point support, is the final step in the architectural construction with boulders, the real yoke structure. In her three stones are ( a yoke ) trilithenartig installed as a static entity. However, because these " two- point support " for untreated natural stone is highly unstable, the stones of the yokes support one another laterally. The two ends in this capstone series, however, always consist of three-point requirements, since they provide the necessary support of the entire structure. An intermediate step is only occasionally occupied edition of the capstones to the intermediate masonry. The top stones are next to the duct stones, which in the later destruction of the chambers first away stones.


Passage graves usually come before already because of their sometimes great length in a relatively short, rectangular or oval hunebeds. From the Emsland even several plants with double oval enclosure ( Lähden, Thuine ) are known. In particular, in Denmark, there are a significant number of which are in round hills. Some passage tombs on Lolland -Falster, which have long narrow chambers and a short walk are surrounded by giant or giant beds that are otherwise more typical of dolmens. In Lower Saxony, the grave is the IV Oldendorfer Totenstatt in a 80 m long, the. Drangsted of even in a 90 m long bed A passage grave in Holstein is located in a 70 m long barrow. Even longer mounts are known in Germany only for other types.


The passage grave is a characteristic of the Funnel Beaker culture megalithic, she was initially assigned its own time horizon. The passage grave was then time between the dolmens and stone cist time. In Denmark, only about 500 of the 2,087 plants preserved passage graves.

Secondary chambers

Some particularly common in Jutland Danish passage graves have side chambers. 13 of these plants can be found around the Limfjord ( Lundehøj, passage grave of Fjelsø ), a few in Djursland ( Tustrup ) on Zealand and Lolland ( Torhøj ). The various compartments arranged side were performed at the same time with the main chamber. That they had a special function, it can be deduced that elsewhere emerged at the same district systems, which show a more differentiated division of the chamber. One of a kind is the Visihøj or Hvisselhøj (see picture) in which crossings three parallel chambers open up that are in sort of three, whichever is shorter loaves of bread at a time.

Double passage grave

Some graves were ( Danish: dobbeltjættestue, swedish dubbelgånggrift ) as duplex units built by zusammenbaute two chambers on their narrow sides. In Röddinge on the Moen Klekkende Høj was apparently built from an overly long chamber that was divided, so that the axes form a line and not a lie angle, like the other plants in round hills. The Møllehøj in Hornsherred has two oval-shaped chambers that have only a short common Trennstein. This Ganggrabart has parallel access. More rarely, as in Græse on Zealand, on the other hand more often in Jutland ( passage graves of Snæbum ), the two chambers are independent, but related to each other in the same hill. Double passage graves found in 57 examples on Zealand:

  • Aldersro at Værslev, Børnehøj in Roskilde, Djævelhøj of Tikøb, passage graves of Græse at Frederiksund, Hyldedysse at Rorby, Korshøj at Ubby, Møllehøj in Hornsherred at Hyllinge Kirke, Ølshøj or Ullershøj at Smidstrup, Østrup at Undløse, Ormshøj at Årby, Østerhøj and Måneshøj (also Månehøj ) on the Svinø Peninsula, Troldhøj ( Stenstrup )
  • Isolated on Mon, Langeland ( in Tvedeskov ), Funen, Ærø ( Lindsbjerg Dysse ) and Samsø ( Rævebakken ).
  • A dozen of these plants are from North Jutland ( passage graves of Gundestrup, Snibhøj at Hobro, Tulsbjerge ), particularly from the southern Himmerlands known
  • Three are in Skåne (eg Snarringe, Stora Kungsdösen ).

In Aldersro at Værslev Zealand on three passage graves are in the same barrow. Several passage graves in a common enclosure, in contrast to Dolmen rare, but are, for example, also the grave # 2 of Kleinenknetener stones in Germany.

Passage grave box

Passage grave boxes are by Hans -Jürgen Beier passage grave derivatives. They are considerably smaller than passage graves, possibly sunk, built of stone slabs and provided with lateral approaches. They most frequently occur in the lower reaches of the Oder front ( Beeskow, small -Rietz, both Oder-Spree district, Wartin 1 and 2 Uckermark and Loewenbruch Teltow -Flaming, all in Brandenburg). In Mierzyn (German Möhringen ) on the outskirts of Szczecin, is another plant.