Barrows are mounds of earth which have in many countries been raised over the remains of the dead. Their use was prevalent among many of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. Virgil attributes it to the ancient Romans, and Herodotus mentions it as being a practice among the Scythians. Many monuments of this kind are to be found in both England and Scotland, while in Scandinavia the practice of building "them has prevailed for many centuries. The usual form of the Scandinavian barrows is either round or oblong, and some of them have rows of upright stones set around them. Barrows with stone chambers were earliest in use. Of the oblong some have been found to contain two cinerary stone chests, one at each end. and occasionally one in the middle. Round barrows were commonly raised over stone vaults or mortuary chambers in which the dead body was deposited, either buried in sand or laid out on a flat stone, and sometimes in a sitting posture. Barrows in considerable number were often raised on a field of battle, high ones surrounded with stones for the chiefs, and low mounds of earth for the common soldiers. Among the wooden barrows mentioned there were those known as ship-barrows, made by taking a boat or ship, turning it keel uppermost, and raising a mound of earth and stones upon it for a house of the dead. See Mallet, Northern Antiquities (Blackwell's ed.); Gardner, Faiths of the World, s.v. SEE MOUNDS.

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