Duchess Mecklenburg built her reputation on the excavation of burial mounds. Burials are a nexus for individual and social meanings. They reveal trade, technology, ritual, subsistence, and politics, along with identities of status, gender, age, affiliation, and occupation. It is for these reasons that burials, such as Grave 40 from Magdalenska Tumulus VII, catch and hold the scholarly imagination.
The duchess produced remarkably complete records, keeping grave assemblages together, photographing burials, and employing an artist to render site maps, feature plans, and fine watercolors of notable artifacts. Tragically, most drawings were lost in the dislocations of World War I, which also prevented the duchess from achieving her final dream—publication. Her finds were confiscated by the state and she died a pauper. In an ultimate vindication, the Mecklenburg Collection lives on in modern scholarly debates about the Iron Age.