A truly massive A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ritual site has been discovered in Poland and it’s almost 7000 years old. It is believed that the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ structure dates back over 6,800 years and was used by Neolithic peoples for 200-250 years. Archaeologists believe that new features were added onto the structure throughout the years, making it one of the largest Neolithic ritual sites discovered to date. But what was it used for?
A little Bit About The Ancient Ritual Site…
The circular structure is known as a roundel, because of its circular shape, and it is over 360 feet in diameter. For scale, that is over 3 times the size of the inner sarsen circle at Stonehenge, roughly the same size as the outer ditch at Stonehenge.
Located in the village of Nowe Objezierze, about 50 miles east of Berlin, the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ritual site was first spotted back in 2015. Since then archaeologists have been working tirelessly to uncover the secrets of this massive circular structure. The structure is made up of 4 concentric circles with 3 gates that lead to the interior. The ritual site is so massive that is clearly visible on Google Maps. Viewing the aerial photographs of the site, it is very difficult to ignore the similarity between it and crop circles, believed to have been made by e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳s!
What Did They Find At The Ritual Site?
There are similar circular enclosures dotted around Europe, mostly dating to between 4850 BC to 4600 BC. The majority of these magnificent structures are located around the river Danube, with 130 similar structures discovered in Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Ancient Ritual Site in Poland Excavaction
Carbon dating has allowed Specialists as Szczecin University to date the structure and it appears that the four trenches did not function simultaneously and were probably added on gradually. Each trench is larger and deeper than the last and it is believed that they were dug out at relatively regular intervals, with a new trench added every dozen or so years.
In their bid to unearth answers, archaeologists have excavated the area, and they have found hundreds of artifacts. Experts have found ceramics, bones, stone, flint tools, shells, and dye. The bones are now being analyzed to determine if they are human or animal.
What Was The Purpose Of This Ancient Ritual Site?
Given the date of the structure, it is believed that this was an A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ritual site. Researchers believe that the site was in use for between 100 and 250 years. Archaeologists have unearthed remains of human settlements in the landscape surrounding the rings but this structure was not inhabited. It is more likely that an enclosure of this size had a more significant purpose!
Although this Neolithic site is one of the oldest structures discovered, experts can see the similarities between other structures built later on and it is likely that they were used for the same purpose – worship. Europe is dotted with massive Neolithic structures, Newgrange and Stonehenge being the most well-known. Both of these A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ sites correspond with astronomical occasions so it is likely that this Polish ritual site is similar. For example, it is believed that the stones of Stonehenge was used by A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ astronomers to predict the eclipses of the moon and sun. Similarly, the 5000-year-old passage tomb, Newgrange, is lit up with sunlight on the summer and winter solstices.
Although there are no textual sources from the Neolithic area, researchers have gathered some evidence of belief systems of Neolithic societies from archaeological finds. Based on the Bronze age Celtic Paganism belief system and the frequent use of sun and moon symbols found on Neolithic artifacts, one can gather that their belief system was largely based on nature and the flow of time from one season to the next. Given that their crops thrived when there was more sunlight, it would make sense if A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ peoples viewed the sun as a god.
Stories Of Human Sacrifice…
Stories of human sacrifice have littered the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ history of Europe and groupings of human remains don’t really help! Researchers have found skeletal remains at the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ritual site in Poland but it has not been discovered yet if they are human or animal. Ancient sites such as this one were used in ritual celebration and large feasts would have been held to celebrate astronomical occasions such as the summer and winter solstices, the spring and autumn equinoxes, harvest time, etc. Peoples of this time were early farmers so they would have celebrated with a feast of vegetables and animals like cattle, sheep, and pigs.
What about the human remains? Many of these A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ sites were used as tombs, like Newgrange for example. Only noble people or royalty would have had the honor of being buried in magnificent sites such as this one. All over Europe, graves have been discovered with multiple occupants. Although this could be due to human ritualistic sacrifice, but it is far more likely to be the result of multiple people dying from disease at the same time. Mass graves have always been a common way of burying victims of plagues and diseases throughout history.
This A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ritual site is both impressive and mysterious but it is unlikely that anything particularly sinister happened here. It is far more likely that our A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ ancestors celebrated special occasions by throwing massive parties. But given the limited technology that our predecessors had access to, their knowledge of the astronomical calendar is impressive and one would wonder where they got this information…. were they really worshiping the sun, or something else in the skies?