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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Already the pines on a distant tumulus away to the right were melting into one indistinguishable mass.
▪ Later tombs here have no tumulus above but consist of a single large room cut into the stone.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tumulus \Tu"mu*lus\, n.; pl. Tumuli. [L., a mound, a sepulchral mound, probably from tumere to swell. Cf. Tumid.] An artificial hillock, especially one raised over a grave, particularly over the graves of persons buried in ancient times; a barrow.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

ancient burial mound, 1680s, from Latin tumulus "hillock, heap of earth, mound," related to tumere "to swell" (see tumid).


n. (context archaeology English) A mound of earth, especially one placed over a prehistoric tomb; a barrow.


n. (archeology) a heap of earth placed over prehistoric tombs [syn: burial mound, grave mound, barrow]


A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds or kurgans, and may be found throughout much of the world. A cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, may also originally have been a tumulus.

Tumuli are often categorized according to their external apparent shape. In this respect, a long barrow is a long tumulus, usually constructed on top of several burials, such as passage graves. A round barrow is a round tumulus, also commonly constructed on top of burials. 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 may involve a dolmen, a cist, a mortuary enclosure, a mortuary house, or a chamber tomb. 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- with extended zero grade *tum-, 'to bulge, swell' also found in tumor, thumb, thigh, and thousand.

Tumulus (band)

Tumulus is progressive folk metal band from Yaroslavl, Russia. They were formed from the ashes of cult doom metal/ viking metal band Scald, after the death of Scald's frontman Agyl. From the beginning, Tumulus moved away from Scald's doom metal roots and played folk metal, combining metal music with traditional Russian folk and incorporated instruments as flute, tambourine and balalaika.

Tumulus (disambiguation)

A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves.

Tumulus may also refer to:

  • Tumulus culture, culture that dominated Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1600 BC to 1200 BC).
  • Tumulus (band), progressive folk metal band from Yaroslavl, Russia.
  • A synonym for Pressure ridge (lava) in volcanology.

Usage examples of "tumulus".

Un suono simile rispose da una capanna di guardia, situata sopra uno dei detti tumuli, capanna che Orazio certo doveva conoscere e della quale i suoi compagni non si erano accorti.

CHAPTER III THERE were grass-grown tumuli on the hills to which of old I used to walk, sit down at the foot of one of them, and think.

The heaps and piles which denote buildings are divided by mounds and tumuli of loose friable soil, white with salt,--miniatures of Babylon, Nineveh, and Troy.

Great numbers of pipes have been found in the raths and tumuli of Ireland, which, there is every reason to believe, were placed there by men of the Prehistoric Period.

It is probable, however, that the tumuli of Ireland antedate the Danes thousands of years.

In Ohio alone there are more than ten thousand tumuli, and from one thousand to fifteen hundred enclosures.

The rocky land gave way toward the horizon to heaps of golden stones jutting up like huge tumuli, untouched by snow.

He knew about the flight of birds, the patterns in lightning flashes, the sounds of thunder or earth movements, numbers, fireballs, shooting stars, eclipses, obelisks, standing stones, pylons, pyramids, spheres, tumuli, obsidian, flint, sky eggs, the shape and color of flames, sacred chickens, and all the convolutions an animal intestine could produce.

I saw them sitting on their haunches, singly and in groups, on the summits of irregular mounds and tumuli filling a half of my desert prospect and extending to the horizon.

Danish tumuli that stood shoulder to shoulder along the highroad, tombs of soldiers.

Beyond these tumuli habitations thickened, and the train came to a standstill in a tangle that was almost a town.

Breathing hard, he abandoned the carving knife in order to relight the flame and in another second, as the glow sprang from beneath the brassy meat cover, Iris Snow experienced a third transcending rush of emotion that took her far beyond rocks and tumuli and even the roast beef and Yorkshire that everyone was now enjoying happily.

The tiny creatures secreted a chemical cement, bonding the minute grains of dirt together so the odd-shaped tumuli glimmered with a metallic purple-and-blue sheen under the intense sunlight.

Shaw River, I was into a world of small hills like tumuli, the road dipping and rising endlessly, the rattle of the Holden on the ridged surface permeating my whole-body.

We could see the small Red Cross parties in the field climbing over the horribly grotesque tumuli of bodies, trying to disentangle the wounded from the dead and administer first aid to them.