Jul 05, 2024

Prehistoric Burial Ground Found Under Road Construction Site in Hradec Králové

The monumental burial mound dates from the 4th millennium BC – making it one of Europe’s earliest known funerary structures.

A team of archaeologists from the University of Hradec Králové (UHK) discovered the prehistoric burial ground during rescue excavations along a highway in the eastern Bohemia region.

The “long barrow” structure measures an impressive 190 meters in length, making it one of the longest of its kind in Central Europe – as well as one of the oldest.

“Mounds of this type are found mainly in northwestern Bohemia. They have not yet been reliably documented in Eastern Bohemia,” Petr Krištuf, a professor in UHK’s Department of Archaeology, said in a statement.

“In addition, the examined specimen represents the longest prehistoric mound not only in our region but probably in the whole of Europe.”

Invisible above ground prior to the excavation, two central burials were revealed during the dig: two human skeletons, both laid on their left side facing north, the first accompanied by a ceramic vessel, and the second with five chipped artefacts.

Researchers believe the orientation of the skeletons and offerings provides valuable information about the burial customs of the time.

The burial mound was partially disturbed by a younger pit, suspected to be another burial site – although more analysis is needed to confirm this – despite no human bones being found.

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In addition to the central burials, dozens of other graves were discovered within the mound. According to ARTnews, the team is currently studying grave samples to better understand these burials.

“Similar burial mounds in Central Europe usually consist of only one, maximum two, burials. From this point of view, it will be interesting to see how the discovered graves are related to each other and whether they represent the burials of relatives,” Krištuf noted.

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