Archaeologists in Poland have discovered a neolithic ritual site that is 6,800 years old and was used as a ritual focal point for 250 years.
The site is very large, about 360 feet in diameter, making it about three times the width of Stonehenge.
The structure, known as a “roundel”, featured large concentric circles separated by large ditches. The structure that was there featured three large gates. Archaeologists investing these gates found ceramics, flint, stone tools, crystals and paint pigments.
Interestingly, the site was not used every year but rather every dozen years or so. By looking at water erosion patterns in the ditches, they were able to determine that it was not used as frequently as one might have thought, indicating it was used to celebrate important holidays.
According to the project leader, Professor Lech Czerniak:
This is quite sensational, given the fact that it coincides with the dating of structures located on the Danube, considered the oldest. It seems equally important that the four ditches surrounding the central area of the structure probably did not function simultaneously, but every few dozen years, a new ditch with an ever larger diameter was dug,Professor Lech Czerniak from the University of Gdańsk
Roundels are featured elsewhere in the region as well, although on smaller scales than this site. Roundels have been found in Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Poland.
Roundels feature similar patterns to Stonehenge (gates, celestial alignments, concentric rings, etc) but may have been made using different materials, depending on the area.