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Questions

Delphi House of Questions was an EU Culture 2000 project by three EXARC members. Under this umbrella, other EXARC members as well collected and answered the most frequently asked questions by visitors to archaeological open-air museums. The largest part of this collection of questions you can find here – as many of them still carry importance. In most cases we offer the questions both in the original language and in English.

How did medieval people burry their dead (NL)?

Medieval people wanted to be buried as close as possible near the relics of a saint or a church altar. Rich people were buried inside the church, in a monastery church or monastery hallway...

Could the ornaments in megalithic graves be a rudimentary kind of writing (DE)?

The ornaments which in seldom cases are found in megalithic graves (especially in the Anglo-Irish and the Iberian regions) cannot be seen as an early form of writing. In general we find geometrical elements...

Were people in prehistory buried in some sort of covering, something like coffin or a bag (CZ)?

That depends on time and region. In Bronze Age Czechia there is evidence of wooden coffins either from planks or dug out from tree trunks. Timbered burial chambers...

Where were Romans buried (NL)?

If at all, Romans were buried outside the city-gates, probably for hygienic purposes. Travellers on the main roads leading to the city were greeted by a long queue of tombstones. The inscription on Roman graves sometimes even welcomed visitors coming to the city.

What is a megalithic tomb (hunebed)(NL)?

A megalithic tomb (in the Netherlands called 'hunebed') is a 'room' made of large boulders in which the dead were buried. The Dutch megalithic tombs were built between 3.400 - 3.200 BC by the people of the funnel beaker (TRB) culture.

What is the oldest board game in the world (NL)?

Board games are among the oldest games we know of in the world. In Egypt, boards for games were found, carved into roofs of a temple at Kurna, dating to 1,400 BC. The oldest game we know of was called Senet, found in the Tomb of Merknera, Egypt...

Did the prehistoric children play with glass marbles (NL)?

Yes and no. Marbles were used for playing as long as we know of. In Egypt and Pre Colombian America, marbles were used, made of fired clay. Children used whatever material came to hand: polished stones, nuts et cetera...

What did children in prehistory do (NL)?

There were no schools yet as nobody could read or write, so no time needed to be wasted on that. Instead, they had to help with jobs in and around the house like cooking, spinning wool and tending the cattle. Surely they had time for play as well. Excavations revealed for example small ceramic pots and animals. Maybe these were toys.

Did toys exist in prehistory? And if they did, from what materials (CZ)?

They surely existed but we are not able to recognize them as such in archaeological material. Miniature vessels, figures of people or animals, rattles and similar artefacts were often made but may have been used for religious and magical activities...

How did people hunt before bow and arrow were invented (NL)?

Bow and arrow were invented about 15,000 years ago, when the last ice age was ending. Before that, people used a stick to make their arm longer, thus enhancing the power with which the spear was thrown...

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