New finds shed light on ‘Germany’s Stonehenge’

Published 7 July 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The settlement may have had up to 1000 inhabitants.

In Pömmelte, Germany, archaeologists have made more than 200 finds that suggest the area was probably the site of a large Stone Age settlement and may have served as a religious center.

The Pömmelte Ring Shrine is located near the town of Barby, about 85 kilometers southwest of Berlin. The site was discovered in 1991 and has been nicknamed “Germany’s Stonehenge” because of its similarities.

The site has a large circular wooden structure with various posts, ditches and gates. The circle is approximately 115 meters in diameter and consists of a total of seven rings inside. It has been dated to around 2300-2050 BC.

Between 2018 and 2022, archaeologists excavated the area and it is now believed that the site may have been a settlement for several peoples during the Late Stone Age and Early Bronze Age. Among other things, traces of 140 houses have been found and it is estimated that the site probably had up to 1000 inhabitants. In addition, 78 silos with grain remains have been found.

Presumed religious center

A silo, preserved at a depth of about 1 meter, has a capacity of about 1.5 cubic meters. This corresponds to about 1,000 kilograms of grain. With a modern per capita grain consumption of about 100 kg per year, the contents of these pit silos could easily have fed 780 adults for a year“, the Saxony-Anhalt state archaeological authorities wrote in a press release.

The site probably also served as some kind of religious center, but the exact purpose of the poles is unclear. However, it is thought that they may have been related to astrology.

Graves were also found at the site, as well as vessel shards, an ox head, and the remains of cups with traces of dairy products.

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