In the United Kingdom, barrows of a wide range of types were in widespread use for burying the dead from the late Neolithic until the end of the Bronze Age, 2900-800BC.Square barrows were occasionally used in the Iron Age (800BC-43AD) in the east of England.The traditional round barrow experienced a brief resurgence following the Anglo-Saxon conquests, with the introduction of northern Germanic burial practices from continental Europe.
Salweyn in northern Somalia contains a very large field of cairns, which stretches for a distance of around 8 km.
An excavation of one of these tumuli by Georges Révoil in 1881 uncovered a tomb, beside which were artefacts pointing to an ancient, advanced civilization.
A cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, may also originally have been a tumulus.
Tumuli are often categorised according to their external apparent shape.
Jordanes tells that as Attila's body was lying in state, the best horsemen of the Huns circled it, as in circus games.
An Old Irish Life of Columcille reports that every funeral procession "halted at a mound called Eala, whereupon the corpse was laid, and the mourners marched thrice solemnly round the spot." Archaeologists often classify tumuli according to their location, form, and date of construction (see also mound).
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.
Patroclus is burned on a pyre, and his bones are collected into a golden urn in two layers of fat. Achilles then sponsors funeral games, consisting of a chariot race, boxing, wrestling, running, a duel between two champions to the first blood, discus throwing, archery and spear throwing.
Beowulf's body is taken to Hronesness, where it is burned on a funeral pyre.
Smaller tumuli were used as the burial mounds, while bigger (some up to 7 metres high with 60 metres long base) were the cenotaphs (empty tombs) and ritual places.