Cultural Postcards + [Northern Europe]

Heritage: Grave robbers plunder ancient Danish burial sites
Grave robbers have dug up and plundered four ancient burial sites in 'Mangehøje' north of Grindsted near Billund in Jutland. It is believed the sites date back to the Stone Age some 4,000 years ago.

Grave robbers plunder ancient Danish burial sites
Archaeologists and the police inspect the plundered burial mounds today 
near Grindsted, Jutland [Credit: Scanpix]

Lars Bjarke Christensen, an archaeologist from the Culture Ministry, is gutted over the theft and the loss of Danish history.

”It's a disaster. The grave robbers have ruined part of Denmark's history,” Christensen told DR Nyheder.

”The things we could have learned from the burial mounds have now been erased from history. We can no longer investigate how ancient life was in this area of Jutland.”

First grave robbing in a century

The archaeologists have not excavated the burial mounds either since they are protected, but they do know that other mounds from the same era contained artefacts – such as stone axes, jewellery and pottery – that were buried with the dead for use in the afterlife.

According to Christensen, the last time graves were plundered in Denmark was back at the end of the 1890s. He estimates the plundered artefacts won't net more than 15,000 kroner on the black market.

The police in southeast Jutland are investigating the incident.

Source: The Copenhagen Post [October 24, 2014]