Death and beyond
Handling the deceased
Burial customs in Schleswig-Holstein from the Neolithic Age to the Iron Age (3500 BC to 500 AD) is the topic of this exhibition. Since the Middle Ages, the Church determined which image of death and of what follows is correct. But what do we actually know about our ancestors’ thoughts in prehistory and early history?
The handling of the deceased varies enormously in time and place, depending on the lifestyle and religious conceptions of a community. The necessity to dispose of a decaying body leads, for example, to different results amongst nomads than with settled farmers. It is important for the surviving relatives to retain control of the deceased and ward off detrimental influences. This is achieved via rituals and special treatment of the corpse.
Based on scientifically backed-up knowledge, emotional access to the topic was implemented creatively. Models and staging create historic landscapes and allow us to approach our ancestors’ world. Exceptional items such as Braak’s figures (Ostholstein), the bog body of the man from Dätgen as well as the rich graves from Hüsby form the focal points of the presentation.