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barrow



An ancient artificial mound of earth raised over the site of a burial. Barrows were usually near settlements or villages but far enough away that the dead would not be too close to the living. A barrow was regarded as sacred ground and was often near a temple. Other terms for barrow are tumulus and mound (in the US).

In Britain barrows were built from 2500 BC until the late Saxon period. Long barrows are generally Neolithic, round ones early Bronze Age. The Egyptians built some of the earliest barrows known, the great pyramids being a spectacular development of the custom of ceremonial burial.