Empty graves in LBK cemeteries – indications of special burial practises


  • Eva Lenneis Institute of Pre- and Protohistory at the University of Vienna




Neolithic, LBK, burial practices, cenotaphs and/or cleaned graves


After a short overview of LBK burial rites, I propose a definition of empty graves, dis- tinguishing them from cenotaphs. Until now, empty graves have been found only in twelve LBK graveyards, comprising an average of 10.2% within these cemeteries, which seem to cluster in some regions and to be absent in others, which might be due in part to bad soil conditions for preserving skeletons. The proportion of empty graves within the graveyards varies considerably and is highest in Lower Austria/Moravia and Bavaria. Some 53% of the empty graves yielded no finds, 45% some ceramic remains and 10% stone tools only, or in addition (Fig. 3). There are never remains of ornaments, indicating that when the corpses were disinterred they were still securely wrapped in winding sheets. The open questions remain as to what kind of ritual treatment these bodies underwent next, and where the human remains were finally reburied.


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31. 12. 2010




How to Cite

Lenneis, E. (2010). Empty graves in LBK cemeteries – indications of special burial practises. Documenta Praehistorica, 37, 161-166. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.37.13