It is my contention that the megaliths of northern Europe were constructed by the forefathers of the Germanic peoples who are themselves a fusion of the Northern European Megalithic culture and the Corded Ware/Single Burial/Battle Ax Culture.
The controversy of where to locate the historic Urheimat of the Aryan peoples may never be conclusively decided. Using different scientific disciplines such as comparative linguistics, archaeology, comparative mythology and more recently DNA studies we can at least throw some light upon the subject.
One thing is more or less certain and that the Out of Asia theory is no longer popular and indeed even in the 19th century was not universally accepted. My personal view is that the undivided Aryan people, what scholars would call the Proto-Indo-Europeans originally lived as one people somewhere in Northern Europe. Apart from my own biased sentiments this location best fits the known available evidence. There will be many people who will read this and fervently disagree with me but they are welcome to do so.
The Proto-Indo-Europeans-I shall now instead use the shorter and more convenient term of Aryans are associated with three material cultures which are usually closely linked by scholars: the Corded Ware, Single Grave Burial and Battle Ax cultures. For convenience sake and out of personal preference I will use the term `Battle Ax people` as a collective noun.
We must be careful and not make the simple equation that language = race. Sometimes it does but more often than not it is not a reliable indicator of ethnic and racial origins. Prior to the arrival of the Battle Axe people there already dwellt a Nordic population in northern Europe.
"The arrival in the North of people of the Corded Ware-Single Grave culture made very little change in the physical characteristics of the inhabitants, since the bearers of this culture were Nordic, as were those of the Megalithic culture in the North. Chemical analysis of the preserved hair of the Bronze Age tree-trunk burials show depigmented, that is, blond hair." [The Germanic People. Their Origin Expansion & Culture, Francis Owen, 1960].
What therefore changed were not the racial characteristics of Northern Europe but their physical cultures.
Not only were the speakers of Germanic Nordic but so were the bearers of Proto-Indo-European.
"The original speakers of Indo-European must have been Nordic."[Owen]
"At the same time the fact that the first Aryans were Nordics was not without importance. The physical qualities of that stock did enable them by the bare fact of superior strength to conquer even more advanced peoples and so to impose their language on areas from which the bodily type has almost completely vanished. This is the truth underlying the panegyrics of the Germanists: the Nordics` superiority in physique fitted them to be the vehicles of a superior language."[The Aryans, V. Gordon Childe,
The dominant physical type in Europe has always been Nordic and even today scholars are not in disagreement with this fact. The only physical culture that can be associated with the Aryans in Northern Europe has its location in Saxony and Thuringia.
"This leaves only the Corded Ware culture of Upper Saxony and Thuringia to be associated with the original Indo-Europeans."[Owen]
"On the basis of the archaeological and anthropological evidence the conclusion must be that the people of the Single Grave-Corded Ware-Battle Ax culture were the original Indo-Europeans."[Owen]
The bearers of this original Aryan culture expanded from the area of Saxony further north and towards the east into Russia. Many today speculate that the Aryan homeland is to be located in Russia but I contend that this is where the Aryans expanded into on their way to India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan etc. The direction of movement was always to the east-Der Drang nach Osten!
"It is difficult to see how the bearers of this culture could have originated in Southern Russia. It is true that the kurgans in that region were Single Graves and certain examples of the Corded Ware pottery, but many of them belong to the Bronze and even to the Iron Age. The older graves would be the result of the expansion of the Single Grave-Corded Ware people into Southern Russia from the West as part of the general expansion described above."[Owen]
Professor Owen points out that in the Central Asiatic steppes "There is no evidence of the use of such a device as the Corded Ware technique, nor is there any indication of the presence of anything like the Single Grave, the facetted battle-ax or the boat-ax. This explanation is a survival of the traditional belief of ex oriente lux."
The dogma of ex oriente lux or light comes from the east survives to the present day and there is a prejudice amongst many scholars against any idea of civilisation coming from the north or the west. Thankfully these blind book worms are being proved wrong every day as new evidence continues to emerge of the northern origins of civilisation-an Aryan civilisation at that!
This Aryan culture of Single Grave burial can be traced right back to the Mesolithic and even the Upper Paleolithic and may have influenced the development of the Northern Megalithic culture.
"That the people of the Single Grave-Corded Ware culture in their original home in Upper Saxony and Thuringia were physically of the Nordic type can scarcely be disputed, and this is equally true of all the areas into which these colonizers carried this culture, either by peaceful expansion or military conquest."[Owen]
The Aryan Nordic Battle Ax people emerging from the Saxon heartlands merged with the Nordic Northern Megalithic people to create what we now know today as the Germanic or Teutonic peoples. This actual prehistoric event is reflected in Germanic mythology in the war between the Aesir and the Vanir, the Aesir being the Battle Ax people who worshipped the Sky God whose symbol is the ax, later to become the hammer of Thunor, and the earth deities of the Vanir of which Nerthus is an early example.
"The amalgamation of the peoples and cultures of the Northern Megalithic and the Single Grave-Corded Ware-Battle Ax cultures which resulted in the formation of the Germanic people, was followed by a relatively long period of internal development before the first phase of Germanic expansion began."[Owen]
"The religion of the Sky God was introduced into Northern Europe by the Indo-European bearers of the Corded Ware culture."[Owens]
The union of the Aesir and Vanir reflects the intermarrying that took place between these two Nordic peoples to create the Germanic peoples.
"Thus Othin[Woden], who in the early developments of Teutonic religion probably was a Sky-god, was the husband of Jord, the Earth-goddess and mother of Thor, the thunder-god."[The Rites of Old Europe 12,000-3,500 BC, E.O. James]
Founding wars between two opposing pantheons of Gods may of course be found amongst other Indo-European peoples of course, reflecting similar prehistorical events but it is in the Eddas that we gain valuable literary primary evidence for the origins of the Germanic peoples which is supported by archaeology and other disciplines. The supreme meeting between the Battle Ax and Northern Megalithic cultures is best represented in England`s Stonehenge with its numerous Bronze Age axe carvings in the sarcens. Thus these two symbols: the ax and the megalith are sacred to the Aryan Germanic peoples today just as they were thousands of years ago.
"The new Temple of the God of the Sky stands where the festivals of the Great Goddess used to be held before the warriors with their battle-axes came across the sea from the east with their new god whom we could see was more to be feared."[Stonehenge of the Kings, Patrick Crampton, 1967]
"And these battle-axe users seem to have played a powerful role in the fusion of cultures which led to the extraordinary upsurge at the time of the final building of Stonehenge."[Crampton]
It is interesting that the author of Atlantis of the North, Juergen Spanuth also comes to a similar conclusion and points out that the oldest dolmens are to found in Schleswig-Holstein, the "heartland of the Nordic Megalithic" culture which he says spread eastwards and sounthwards. He also points out that the oldest axes in the world are to be found in northern Europe and draws a connection between the axe and the megalithic culture. Like other scholars Spanuth believes that the war between the Aesir and the Vanir referred to in the Younger Edda and the Heimskringla[both works by Snorri] is a mythologising of an actual event that took place in northern Europe; a clash between invading Battle Ax people and the more indigenous Megalithic people which ultimately led to their fusion into a single people: the Germanic people. This is reflected in the fusion of the Aesir and the Vanir, the Vanir being subsumed to the the Aesir who were clearly more dominant.
"The gods of the two peoples, the Vanir of the megalith builders and the Aesir of the Corded-ware People, also amalgamated with one another."[Spanuth]