The neolithic stone cist at Heveskesklooster (Prov. of Groningen, The Netherlands)

H.K. Kamstra, J.H.M. Peeters, D.C.M. Raemaekers

Abstract



The stone cist was a chance find resulting from the excavation of the dwelling mound (wierde) of Heveskesklooster. Owing to its location beneath this younger site and a layer of natural sediment, also the Neolithic surface surrounding the stone cist was excavated. This provided a rare opportunity to study the use of space surrounding the monument. The stone cist was probably built between 3200 and 2950 cal. BC. The flint assemblage testifies to the activities that took place in the area surrounding the stone cist. Although the particular date of these activities is difficult to correlate to the stone cist, it seems that these took place during both TRB and later Neolithic periods. The flint assemblage cannot easily be fit into a bipartite division between ritual and everyday activities. Compared to other TRB stone cists, the Heveskesklooster stone cist yielded few chamber finds. This is the first indication that later inhabitants of the site may have disturbed the content of the burial. Another can be found in the absence of some of the orthostats. Both arguments suggest that in their behaviour the Late Neolithic habitants at Heveskesklooster did not revere the stone cist burial as an ancestral place, but instead seem to have desecrated it. It is concluded that local Corded Ware communities may have had widely differing notions about the relevance of TRB monuments to their sense of ancestry and identity.


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