Medieval burial mounds discovered in Lower Silesia


Share post:

Archaeologists working in Muszkowice (Lower Silesia) discovered two burial mounds from the early Middle Ages. They were surprised to find that the mounds were located in the vicinity of an over 4,500 years old megalithic tomb.

Medieval burial mounds discovered in Lower Silesia
Credit: A. Przybył

In the beginning of 2013 archaeologists reported the discovery of a dozen unknown cemeteries from the Neolithic period, approx. 4,500 years ago. All of them were in Muszkowicki Forest (near Ząbkowice Śląskie, Forestry District Henryków). Only seven had been known before 2013. This year during the research in one of them in Muszkowice, archaeologists made an unexpected discovery – two small circular burial mounds adjoined a monumental tomb.

“Archaeological research carried out in various places in Poland confirms the use of cemeteries for many centuries, from prehistory to the early Middle Ages. But there are few such evident and well-preserved examples, especially in the form of structures visible above the surface”, says head of excavations Dr. Agnieszka Przybył from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław. The research project is financed by the National Science Centre.

Medieval burial mounds discovered in Lower Silesia
Credit: A. Przybył

During the excavations that have been going on since May, archaeologists partially dug up both the Neolithic structure and the more recent burial mounds. They determined that the Neolithic tomb was about 45 m long and resembled an elongated trapeze. It was surrounded by a circle of huge boulders, and the whole structure was covered with soil. In the embankment, archaeologists found fragments of several broken vessels attributed to the representatives of the funnelbeaker culture – megalith builders, whose range included present-day Poland. A piece of a stone axe and flint tools were also found.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to locate the burial. The tomb was partially destroyed by a wide, modern ditch in the place where we expected to find the remains of the deceased. The work is ongoing and it we can not rule out that the tomb still hides the remains associated with the burial ritual”, the researcher hopes.

Medieval burial mounds discovered in Lower Silesia
Credit: A. Przybył

After a few thousand years, around the 9th-10th century, more tombs were built in the “tail” of the Neolithic tomb. “These were small structures in the form of circular embankments. In the embankments we found fragments of destroyed ceramic urns along with burned human bones”, says Dr. Przybył. Items discovered in the course of research, including fragments of vessels and iron spurs, helped determine the age of mounds.

“Interestingly, this is not an isolated case. Less than two kilometres west of the site, in the same forest, we found a similar arrangement of sepulchral (burial – PAP) structures – an oblong Neolithic tomb accompanied by two more recent burial mounds”, the researcher adds.

Author: Szymon Zdziebłowski | Source: PAP – Science in Poland [October 08, 2018]



Related articles

Sicilian amber in western Europe pre-dates arrival of Baltic amber by at least 2,000 years

Amber and other unusual materials such as jade, obsidian and rock crystal have attracted interest as raw materials...

New linguistic analysis finds Dravidian language family is approximately 4,500 years old

The origin of the Dravidian language family, consisting of about 80 varieties spoken by 220 million people across...

3,300 year old cult complex discovered in Israel

Archaeologists at the ancient site of Tel Burna, in Israel, have uncovered a massive complex they say likely...

Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified

An international team, led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH),...

Simulating the prehistoric use of fire through computer models

Archaeologists often use the percentages of heat-affected stone or bone artifacts found at archaeological sites as a way...

Norman Conquest of 1066 did little to change people’s eating habits

Archaeologists from Cardiff University and the University of Sheffield have combined the latest scientific methods to offer new...

Videoscope analysis of Neanderthal skeleton reveals detailed dental information

Scientific research once again puts the spotlight on the Man of Altamura, the most complete Neanderthal skeleton ever...

Ruins, ghosts and cats: Rome’s ‘Area Sacra’ to welcome visitors

History buffs will be able to roam the ruins of Rome's "Area Sacra", perhaps catching a glimpse of...