Located near the ancient Thracian capital cities of Seuthopolis (of the Odrysian kingdom) and Daosdava or Helis (of the Getae), perhaps they represented royal burials.
Examples of barrows include Duggleby Howe and Maeshowe.
The word tumulus is Latin for 'mound' or 'small hill', which is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *teuh The funeral of Patroclus is described in book 23 of the Iliad.
The internal structure and architecture of both long and round barrows has a broad range, the categorization only refers to the external apparent shape.
The method of inhumation may involve a dolmen, a cist, a mortuary enclosure, a mortuary house, or a chamber tomb.
During cremation, the Geats lament the death of their lord, a widow's lament being mentioned in particular, singing dirges as they circumambulate the barrow.
Afterwards, a mound is built on top of a hill, overlooking the sea, and filled with treasure.
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In Ukraine and Russia, there are royal kurgans of Varangian chieftains, such as the Black Grave in Ukrainian Chernihiv (excavated in the 19th century), Oleg's Grave in Russian Staraya Ladoga, and vast, intricate Rurik's Hill near Russian Novgorod.
Other important kurgans are found in Ukraine and South Russia and are associated with much more ancient steppe peoples, notably the Scythians (e.g., Chortomlyk, Pazyryk) and early Indo-Europeans (e.g., Ipatovo kurgan) The steppe cultures found in Ukraine and South Russia naturally continue into Central Asia, in particular Kazakhstan.
There are thousands of tumuli throughout all Croatia, built of stone (Croatian: gomila, gromila) in the carst areas (by the Adriatic Sea) or made of earth (Croatian: humak) in the inland plains and hills.