Historical knowledge

Burial in dugout boats

In the last part of the Mesolithic period dugout canoes were sometimes used as coffins or lids for burials. At the underwater settlement Møllegabet, near Ærøskøbing in the archipelago south of Funen, archaeologists found a 2.5 m long piece of a dugout boat. This was in a refuse deposit at the water’s edge, just outside the settlement. In and around the boat lay the skeletal remains of a man of about 25 years of age. His skull showed the healed traces of a blow. The dead man was apparently placed in the boat, covered with a bark layer and then buried under water, close to the settlement.

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