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The element identity is regarded as the reason for the monumental erection of collective burials.
Estimations of the labour costs for the graves as well as calculations of the living population show that the associated society could have been much smaller than usualy thought. For the only well investigated contemporary settlement (Wittelsberg, Kr. Marburg-Biedenkopf) for example can a much larger population be expected. Anthropological Investigations show a distribution of ages and sex which do not imply an exclusive access to the burial site. The graves themselve are according to GIS-analysis grouped in small clusters in constant distance. Radiocarbon dating shows that at least some of the grouped graves where erected at the same time.
Because of these results a model of the burying society can be build which organised themselve according to ancestry (lineage) in oposition to the usual interpretation as territorial markers of regional comunities. Ethnological researches underpin this model. In all recent collective burying societies the access to a grave is controled by descent.