barrow

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barrow, in archaeology, a burial mound. Earth and stone or timber are the usual construction materials; in parts of SE Asia stone and brick have entirely replaced earth. A barrow built primarily of stone is often called a cairn. Barrows occur in many parts of the world; they were built during the Neolithic period in Western Europe and in recent times in Buddhist countries. In European prehistory the characteristic barrows are either long or round. The long ones are from the Neolithic period and often contain several burial chambers. They may have been intended to simulate cave burials. The stone chambers were placed at one end of the mound and were approached by a passage, sometimes over 300 ft (90 m) in length. Round barrows, usually dating from the Bronze Age, normally contain a single burial. The round barrow was commonly bell shaped; another type had a low central mound that invariably contained cremated remains and was surrounded by a walled ditch or a circle of standing stones, usually about 150 ft (50 m) in diameter. Barrow building in Europe continued until the Christian era. Roman, Saxon, and Viking barrows are known, though such burials were apparently reserved for important personages. The erection of mounds over burials has been widespread (see tomb). The round barrow or stupa of Asia is usually a shrine for relics of the Buddha. See megalithic monuments and Mound Builders.

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barrow In archaeology, a prehistoric burial mound. Various types of barrow are found, but in Europe they are usually either long or round. Long barrows were built in the Neolithic period, and consisted of a long vault built of huge stones, roofed with stone slabs and covered with soil or chalk. Many long barrows were used for multiple burials. Round barrows primarily date to the early Bronze Age, but some in England were built as late as Roman and Saxon times. Usually containing a single body, round barrows vary in diameter from 1.5–50m (4.5–160ft) and are often surrounded by banks and ditches.

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bar·row1 / ˈbarō/ • n. a metal frame with two wheels used for transporting objects such as luggage. ∎  a wheelbarrow. bar·row2 • n. Archaeol. an ancient burial mound. bar·row3 • n. a male pig castrated before maturity.

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Barrow, city (1990 pop. 3,469), N Alaska; inc. 1958. It is the northernmost (71° 16′ N) U.S. settlement and the trade center of the Alaska North Slope. Government agencies, Eskimo crafts, and tourism are important to the economy. A U.S. navy arctic research laboratory is there. Point Barrow, 9 mi (14 km) NE, is the northernmost (71° 23′ N) point in the United States. The Will Rogers–Wiley Post crash (1935) site and monument lie to the southwest.

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barrow. Tumulus, or large mound of stones and earth over a burial. A long-barrow or long cairn may be a long, rectangular mound covering wooden or stone burial-chambers intended for communal entombment. A good example is the long barrow at Belas Knap, near Cheltenham, Glos.

Bibliography

Grinsell (1975, 1982)

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barrow2 ME. bar(e)we handbarrow XIV, wheel-barrow XV. — OE. bearwe :- *barwōn, f. *bar-, *ber- BEAR2.

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Barrow Village in Alaska; the northernmost US community. The US Navy operates a research station nearby. Whaling is the chief industry. Pop. (2000) 4581.

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barrow1 †mountain; grave-mound. OE. beorg, OHG.(G., Du.) berg :- Gmc. *berʒaz.

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