German ‘Stonehenge’: human sacrifice at Pömmelte

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SITES resembling Stonehenge are older than reminiscence itself. Tales of Druids and magical rites arose lengthy after the standing stones true objective was forgotten.

Little could be inferred concerning the position such monuments performed in Neolithic cultures. We all know many have been aligned to the Solar and stars. There are traces of ceremonial pathways. Now, human sacrifice has entered the image.

However new excavations close to the German city of Pömmelte are elevating some disturbing potentialities.

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It’s the location of an historical stone-age sanctuary, up to date to Stonehenge itself.

It’s a fancy of concentric-ring mounds, ditches and deeply sunken picket posts.

It’s simply certainly one of a number of websites in Central Europe, Portugal and Spain that signifies round henge monuments should not uniquely British.


Archaeologists say the German web site seems to have been a gathering place for group occasions and rituals.

A sequence of pits have been uncovered containing proof these actions. This contains fragments of ceramic pots and cups, stone axes and animal bones.

They reveal the Pömmelte henge was energetic for some 300 years, ranging from 2300BCE.

However among the many Pömmelte scraps have been some disturbing finds.

The dismembered our bodies of 10 girls and kids.

Lead researcher André Spatzier says it seems the victims had been pushed into the pit. At the least one of many youngsters had their arms sure collectively.

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Whereas the archaeologists say they can’t but make sure of the aim of their deaths, the thought of formality sacrifice was a robust chance. No grownup males have been discovered within the pits, and the objects they have been buried with confirmed indicators of getting been ritualistically smashed.

A handful of male our bodies have been unearthed away from the pits, on the jap aspect of the henge. These males, aged 17 to 30, had been interred with nice care, in their very own graves.

Like Stonehenge, the location itself was not completely inhabited. There our bodies have been undamaged.

“The henge monuments of the British Isles are typically thought-about to characterize a uniquely British phenomenon, unrelated to Continental Europe; this place ought to now be reconsidered,” the researchers write within the journal Antiquity. “The distinctiveness of Stonehenge lies, strictly talking, with its monumental megalithic structure.”


The Pömmelte henge is a 115m-wide sequence of concentric mounds. Many have proof of ‘wood-henge’ fashion put up holes sunk inside them.

It was found from the air in 1991, however excavations solely started lately.

Excavations present it was constructed throughout the transition between the Neolithic Stone Age to the early Bronze Age. This is similar period as Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is positioned in such a means as to mark the arrival of the summer time solstice.

Pömmelte henge, nevertheless, has its 4 entrances aligned with dates half means between the equinoxes and solstices. Spatzier says these have been key agricultural planting and harvesting dates.

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Archaeologists imagine Pömmelte henge ended its days about 2050BC in what was prone to have been a ceremonial decommissioning. The picket put up holes had been full of artefacts. One of many concentric pits was full of ash — possible from the burnt posts.

“It appears like on the finish of the principle occupation, round 2050 B.C., they extracted the posts, put choices into the put up holes and doubtless burned all of the wooden and back-shoved it into the ditch,” Professor Spatzier advised Stay Science. “So, they closed all of the options. It was nonetheless seen above floor, however solely as a shovel despair.”

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