Near Prague, a mysterious 7,000-year-old circular structure

Archaeologists are investigating a so-called 7,000-year-old roundel (known as “rondely” in Czech) and a monumental structure located in the Vinoř district on the outskirts of Prague, Czech Republic.

The function of the ancient Neolithic structures is still unknown, but scientists hope that more research will clarify why the monumental structures were built and who and how they were used.

Roundels are large circular Neolithic structures that were built between 4600 and 4900 BC. They are therefore much older than Stonehenge in England or the Egyptian pyramids, making them the oldest monumental structures in all of Europe. However, these intriguing ancient structures are extremely well preserved.

Most people in the West have heard of Stonehenge in England, believed to have been built between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, and some may have heard of Newgrange (3200 BC) in Ireland. But very few people know about the “roundels” of Central Europe. And these circular Neolithic enclosures have secrets to reveal.

Artist’s impression of what the Neolithic structure might have looked like. Photo: Institute of Archeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

“The so-called roundels are the oldest architectural evidence in all of Europe. It is a series of circular ditches and they are always arranged in a circle with two, three, four or more entrances in the center, four being the most common. The circular ditches are generally one to three in number, or very rarely four. The whole structure averages between 30 and 240 meters, but they are most often found between 60 and 80 meters. Perhaps I should point out that these ditches are usually around one and a half meters wide, but we know of ditches up to fourteen meters wide and six meters deep,” said Jaroslav Rídký from the Institute of Archeology in the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. Prague International.

Miroslav Kraus, principal investigator of the research, notes that despite these findings, it is still unclear what function these structures served:

“One of those theories is that it could have been used as an economic center, as a trade center. It may also have been the center of a religious cult, where rites of passage or rituals related to the time of year were performed.

The so-called roundel, built about 7,000 years ago, is located in the Vinoř district on the outskirts of Prague|Photo: Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences

“Rockets were built in the Stone Age, when people hadn’t yet discovered iron. The only tools they could use were made of stone and animal bones.

To date, about 200 roundels have been found throughout Central Europe, 35 of them on the territory of the Czech Republic. Vinoř’s roundel, which is 55 meters in diameter, has an unusual floor plan with three separate entrances. The ongoing investigation of a roundel in Prague’s Vinoř district may provide scientists with more information about the structures’ purpose.

According to Kraus, the search is special because archaeologists have almost completely uncovered the structure.

“We have the opportunity to discover almost the entire structure, or rather what was left of it. At the same time, I should note that part of the structure was revealed in the 1980s, when laying gas and water pipes,” Kraus said.

Photo: Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences

Scientists will now take samples for analysis, and the results should provide researchers with more information about the original structure.

“It would be great to discover something that would indicate the real function of the building. However, this is highly unlikely, as none of the previously searched roundels revealed such information.

“It would also be great to find something that would suggest his real age. So far, radiocarbon dating of samples taken from the roundels has put their age somewhere between 4900 and 4600 BC. That’s a pretty broad time frame.

Research on the Vino roundel should continue until the end of September. Archaeologists previously discovered a Neolithic settlement northeast of the roundel that had been in use for 300 to 400 years.

Berta D. Wells