Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 1-2 (November 2009)Quentin Bourgeois; Luc Amkreutz; Raphaël Panhuysen: The Niersen Beaker burial: A renewed study of a century-old excavation
4 A Re-evaluation of the grave and the burial mound

4.6 Pre-barrow activities?

To the east of the wooden burial chamber three post holes were discovered, although Holwerda does not clarify their function. They were covered by the barrow, although it is unclear whether they are related to the burial ritual. No structure can be inferred from these three posts but the mound was partly dug away in that section. Another option is that they are not related to the barrow and the burial activities taking place. In that case they may belong to settlement activities on the site prior to its function as a burial place. Several long stretches of charcoal on the old surface indicate that a fire had burnt on the site before the barrow was built, perhaps representing the remains of burnt posts? Whatever the case, before the barrow was erected, several activities took place on the site, including the building of a construction and the burning of long posts.

Pottery found the year after the excavation indicates that the site may have been used as a domestic site in the funnel beaker (TRB) period. Many sherds belonging to multiple vessels were discovered during the ploughing of the terrain close to the barrow, including at least twenty TRB-sherds and possibly many more.

Together with the TRB-pottery, many other sherds were discovered. Next to several hundreds of undecorated sherds of pot-grit tempered pottery, two groups of decorated sherds can be identified. They belong to two large pot-beakers. Only parts of the rim and the body are preserved, no bottom sherds were found, indicating that they were probably deposited upside down (Lehmann 1965). Whether or not these activities are contemporaneous with the barrow is unknown, but the presence of pot-beakers close to barrows has been noted before. Possibly, we are dealing with a different type of burial ritual contemporaneous with the construction of the barrows (Louwe Kooijmans 1974, 291-292).