Czech Republic Highway Construction Reveals Prehistoric Burial Monument

During a rescue highway excavation in the Czech Republic, a team of archaeologists from the University of Hradec Králové (UHK) discovered a prehistoric monumental burial ground.

The ancient long barrow, located at the border of the villages Dlouhé Dvory and Lípa in the country’s eastern Bohemia region, measures roughly 620 feet long and 50 feet wide at its largest point. It is believed to date to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of Europe’s earliest known funerary monuments. The structure may also be the longest of its kind in the region.

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“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 archeology at the faculty of arts, 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.”

The posthole and gutter of the long barrow’s entrance have been uncovered thus far on the D35 highway between Plotiště and Sadová. Therein, they found two central burials. The first contains a human skeleton, with a ceramic vessel offering, while the second has another human body, with five chipped flint artifacts; both were laid on their left side facing north.

Despite these finds, however, the grave was disturbed by what is believed to be a younger burial pit. Further analysis on the pit is needed to determine if it was ever used as a grave, as no human remains have been found there. Alongside the central burials and pit, another grave was also uncovered. Though it contained human remains, the skull was very badly fragmented.

“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 added.

There are an additional 30 graves nearby the burial mound. Researchers think graves were added around the long barrow over time, making it a fairly substantial monument to the dead during its time. The team is currently studying grave samples to better understand these burials.

The D35 highway project is currently undergoing repairs as well as construction to connect Liberec and Lipník nad Bečvou.


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