Exciting news has emerged about a mysterious civilization that once inhabited central Europe in 5500 BC, leaving little trace of their existence. Recent archaeological findings near Dresden, Germany, have shed light on this ancient high culture that lived in the humid valleys near the Elbe River. Archaeologists discovered at least four independent circular “places” around the Gebergrund, a valley leading a small river to the Elbe. These circular trenches, thought to date from 5500-4500 BC, are connected to the early Linear Pottery culture and are considered comparably large constructions only rebuilt during the Bronze Age, 3000 years later.
Despite numerous traces of settlements of this Linear Pottery culture being found on the southern slopes of the Dresden Elbe Valley district in the past 50 years, the purpose of these circular trenches remains unknown. They may have served as protection for a market place or village or may have had religious importance. However, excavations in Dresden have uncovered stone, bone, and wood tools, as well as ceramic figures of people and animals, indicating that the builders of the trenches were organized farmers who cultivated crops and lived in houses longer than 30 meters.
The emergence and disappearance of these monumental structures within a narrow time corridor of only 200 years has left archaeologists puzzled. It remains unclear if the people of this high culture were driven out of the area or if they changed their behavior or religion. Despite the mystery, the discovery of these circular trenches near Dresden may change our understanding of prehistoric civilization in the middle of Europe.
Image: The Gebergrund close to Dresden, where the ancient traces have been found (c) Blobelt
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