Station: [3] The Bronze Age on Föhr

F: The "Hünjbruatsbarig", which translates as “Dog Food Hill”, was a barrow grave in the west of the island, near Utersum. Like most of the other prehistoric burial mounds, of which there were originally more than 700, it was destroyed at some point over the past 200 years. The burial mounds conflicted with the needs of agriculture, which was becoming increasingly intensive.
If you’re interested in hearing the old local legend of “Dog Food Hill”, and your German is up to it, you’re welcome to access stop number three on our children’s tour.

M: At the beginning of the second millennium BC, the first bronze utensils appeared alongside the stone tools. That would have required far-reaching trade relations. Both tin and copper – the two components of bronze – had to be procured from far afield. But the people of Föhr discovered a "currency" to pay for these precious materials virtually on their doorstep: amber was in great demand as a commodity even in the far-off Mediterranean.

F: Nevertheless, the finely crafted bronze utensils were long reserved for the local elite. Everyone else made do with stone copies – as you can see from the beautifully crafted fishtail dagger in the showcase, top left.

M: The display cases to the right of the doorway will take you to the Late Bronze Age, a time when new burial customs began to gain acceptance. The dead were now cremated and the ashes given an urn burial. Grave goods included razors or tweezers, which suggests a sophisticated cult of the body.

F: In the display case, the large urn bottom left deserves special attention. You can almost look it in the face, because its handle terminates in a pair of ornaments, so that the whole thing resembles a face with a nose and eyebrows. Perhaps its enigmatic gaze was meant to keep evil spirits away from the ashes of the dead?

Fotos: © Dr.-Carl-Häberlin-Friesen-Museum