Vasagård – Causewayed and Palisade Enclosures of the Middle Neolithic TRB Culture on Bornholm

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Poul Otto Nielsen
Finn Ole Sonne Nielsen
Michael S. Thorsen


At the site Vasagård on the island of Bornholm a double causewayed enclo­sure dating from EN II to MN AIII is superseded by palisade enclosures con­structed from the beginning of MN AV and covering a larger area. The tran­sition from MN AIII to MN AV is dated to ca. 2900 BCE, without allowing for an intermediate period ‘MN AIV’, and regarded as a significant change in terms of artefact composition, ritual activities and possibly social organi­zation. Within the palisade enclosures seven post circles were investigat­ed. The material found in the postholes indicates that they are remains of cult houses, and that the rituals that took place there included destruction by burning of flint implements and other objects. Burnt, decorated daub from house walls emphasizes the special character of these buildings. The finds from Vasagård include hundreds of ‘sun stones’, small slabs of shale most of which are decorated with sun motives. Two stones with cup marks were found in contexts dating to respectively MN AIII and MN AV, indicat­ing for the first time that cup marks were carved into stones as early as dur­ing the TRB Culture. Activities at the palisade enclosures came to an end ca. 2800BCE. On Bornholm, MN AV is followed by a later and final stage of the TRB Culture in MN BI, which is represented by the settlements Li­mensgård and Nordre Grødbygård and to some degree also Rispebjerg, the second site with palisade enclosures found on Bornholm.

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Nielsen et al. 2024: P. O. Nielsen/F. O. S. Nielsen/M. S. Thorsen, Vasagård – Causewayed and Palisade Enclosures of the Middle Neolithic TRB Culture on Bornholm. JNA 26, 2024, 87–114. DOI: