Neolithic circular enclosures in Central Europe

Circle grave installations (including ring systems or grave Rondelle ) were Neolithic cultures Structures in Central Europe, which have been preserved only as archaeological findings. Because of its ditch and wall constructions they belong to the genus of the prehistoric " earthworks ". The oldest plants were circular or elliptical pits Wall combinations and come from the context of the Linear Pottery Culture ( Altneolithikum, 5500-4900 BC). In Southern Italy, even older, however, C-shaped plants ( Passo di Corvo ) have been found. The heyday of the circle grave sites was the time of the Middle Neolithic ( 4900-4500 BC). Later plants with altered structures (broken earthworks ) come from the Funnel Beaker Culture and Michel Berger culture (around 3500 BC), from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age.

  • 5.1 Germany
  • 5.2 Austria
  • 5.3 Poland
  • 5.4 Slovakia
  • 5.5 Czech Republic
  • 5.6 Turkey
  • 5.7 Hungary

Dissemination mittelneolithischer circle grave sites

The " ring ditch idea" has spread to 4,900 BC with the Lengyel culture from the room Hungary / Slovakia in the west. The distribution was carried out from this core area along the Danube and Elbe to the west and extended over Austria ( with an emphasis in Lower Austria ), Czech Republic and Poland to the west of Germany (see references list, paragraph 5).

The 120 plants include the following archaeological cultures of the Middle Neolithic: Lengyel Culture, Stroked Pottery, Rössen culture, Großgart Acher Culture, Upper Lauterbach Group and the Tisza Herpály - Csöszhalom culture.

With the help of aerial archeology, a large number of new mittelneolithischer Rondelle could be discovered. Thus, about 40 new circle grave sites were found only in Lower Austria since the beginning of systematic aerial archeology in 1961. Also in Slovakia, Bohemia and Moravia, in Lower Bavaria, on the Isar, Saxony, Saxony -Anhalt (especially near the Elbe) and Brandenburg new plants have been discovered since then. In the meantime, have been found already 32 plants in Germany that stretch over all linear tape ceramic groups and some show a continuity to the beginning of the Lusatian culture. Particularly extensive is to provide the facilities in Csoszhalom - Polgár in Hungary, the investment in Cífer in Slovakia, the system Schalkenburg at Quenstedt, Saxony -Anhalt and the investment Pömmelte - Zackmünde with the following investment Schönebeck dar. This obviously take account of their manner a special place and show hence the Besiedlungsweg, as evidenced by the Neolithic painted black pottery finds in Polgár and Pömmelte. Insufficiently researched are currently investing in the Czech Republic. For the time being is known is that there are three plants in Hašov, Horšovský Tyn, Czech Republic near the Austrian border, but are attributed to the Bronze and / or Iron Age. Better, however, fits a 7500 years old settlement in the middle of Prague, which suggests that there are some grave circle systems were built over modern urban planning and thus likely to remain untraceable, like it can be assumed under Brno.


The systems consist of one to three circular or elliptical, not always concentric trenches with a diameter of 40-300 m. In dual-circuit systems, the diameter ratio of 2:3 or 3:4 follow, in rare cases, 1:2. The trenches have a sharp, steep U- or even V -shaped cross section, 4-8 m, sometimes up to 10 m wide and reach depths between 3-6 m.

Various grave rings are of equal width from the inside to the outside or take in from the width. They usually have 2 to 4 and more regular breaks, which are much more numerous in the UK. A Erdbrücke forms the entrance to the inner region. Some are equipped with real gates.

Inside, sometimes one or more follow (for example Schalkenburg ) concentric rings palisade of logs that surround the center. The center is a flat -free region, which sometimes contains remnants of wooden structures.

The circuit systems are still isolated from the settlement, and are often on hills. In Lower Bavaria found in larger rings Rondelle grave of the extent of a medieval city, about 300-800 m. The only exact circular structure of Lower Bavaria from Schmiedorf - Osterhofen with three trenches, an outer diameter of 74 m and an inner palisade of 22 m, is located together with a second complex of only 52 m extent and only a ditch in a larger oval of 320 m × 260 m, a double grave system from the beginning of the 5th millennium BC, in which lay the two central roundel.


So far, three possibilities have been discussed in the research:

In research, particularly in southern Germany and Lower Austria, and recently also in Central Germany, the idea took hold that the principal axes of an astronomical alignment follow. In some cases it is downright Kalenderbauten, astronomical observatories and possibly Sun Temple.


Exact concentric only a few plants were constructed, for example, the circles of Schmiedorf - Osterhofen and Viecht. Most plants, however, are quite irregular: upset circles, ellipses. The ellipse of Master Thal is even constructed exactly two focal points. An amazing accomplishment, after all, 2000 years before Stonehenge, which also has a precisely elliptical shape.

Studies on the plants in Bavaria about 20 years ago - the first magnetic prospection carried out there in the years 1984 to 1988 - had already revealed that these were aligned astronomically with high probability.

The comparison of the Torachsen revealed that was always present astronomical orientation to the sun, most commonly to the sunrise of the winter solstice (azimuth of 127 degrees). The Bochum astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser ( see also Sky Disc of Nebra ) confirmed the orientation in an investigation Bavarian plants with a probability of 99.7%. The large and all the typical characteristics of owning investment Kothingeichendorf has exactly like the little champion of Thal an exact alignment of the compass. East and west gate instruct the Spring and Herbstäquinoktien, 21 March and 23 September at dawn and sunset. The same is true for Ippesheim in Middle Franconia, where the astronomer T. Schmidt -Kahler confirmed the absolutely regular orientation of the bridges and gaps in the palisades on the sunrise of the summer and winter solstice and the sunset of day and night are equally long.

But there are also differences in the details of each installation. The system of Ramsdorf - Wallerfing consists of three trenches, three gates and a Innenpalisade. It is equipped with 90/79 m diameter, the second largest plant of Lower Bavaria and has an elliptical shape.

The orientation of the two Torachsen in Ramsdorf - Wallerfing system fails and otherwise satisfies at an azimuth of 116 degrees exactly the Calendar theory of Alexander Thom. The well-known amateur archaeologist, who had developed extensive investigations and hypotheses to Stonehenge, postulated a general Megalithic calendar. This was aligned with the sun's path and the four important calendar dates, the day and night are equally long and the solstices. It would consist of 16 months. The derived 8 -month solar calendar based on the corresponding festive data among the Celts Samhain ( All Souls' Day on 1 November), Imbolc ( Candlemas February 2 ) were called. The orientation of the axes, ie neither followed nor the equinoxes the solstices, but the old start and finish dates of the seasons: November 1, February 2, May 1 The northwest gate with azimuth 217-228 degrees it falls exactly on the sunset of the winter solstice on December 21. If this early Stone Age calendar possessed universality, he would hereby established as early as the 5th millennium BC.

After this old basic astronomical calendar to set today the calculation of the seasons in the UK and Ireland, while they are displaced in Central Europe and the USA, according to the modern calendar. So the summer begins in Germany until the day of the summer solstice, while he was there already begins on May 1, and thus the solstice actually falls on the middle of summer. A relic of this earlier idea we have left is still preserved in the name of the Midsummer Night's Day on June 21, which differs from the modern calendar idea that the year is divided precisely on July 31 and this date today rather than the middle of high summer is considered.

There are also differences in the accuracy and the type of lines of sight, so many doorways fall centrally on the sunrise and sunset points, in others the right edge of the door is sighted, and in cases like Ippesheim and Steinabrunn, could be bearing lines on the edge of the door to significant points on horizon determined. In the case of Ippesheim on the Kappel and Bullnheimer mountain. As with a sundial, the shadow of the passages or individual wooden stakes could have on stones, thus enabling a determination of the exact day astronomical points within the systems.

But no Kalenderbauten

In contrast to the above theories, the astronomer Georg Zotti comes to a rather contradictory knowledge. A unique astronomical reference systems of all county grave is not recognizable. With the Astrosim project he evaluated the data of all the grave circle plants in Lower Austria. Based on the software he visualized the data for statistics and in 3D models. So the gates of the plant followed rather the slope in the terrain and in the rarest of cases sky events. Although there would be a system with 2 Pranhartsberg the very clear based on the solstice, but can not be used to refute a coincidence.


Due to the intensive agriculture in Central Europe, the monumental installations are leveled almost completely today and can be found in the rarest of cases by earthworks, unlike the medieval Slavic castle ramparts often. Found they are mainly through aerial photography and by subsequent magnetometer. Even the inner palisade rings could be identified in the case of Bavarian plants in the pictures of magnetic prospection, since the earth is enriched in the backfilled trenches ring magnetized with bacteria that are visible in the magnetic image (according to J. Cooper ).

The Fund 's history began in the 19th century. The first mention of such a plant dates from 1885 with the description of the Bohemian circle of ditches Krpy. From 1919 to 1924, the system of Zeholfing / Kothingeichendorf in Lower Bavaria has been scientifically studied. 1937 was dug in Mühlbach am Manhart (Lower Austria ) a circle of 42 meters diameter from.

The first complete excavation of a circular grave plant was in 1967 as part of a research excavation in Těšetice (South Moravia). With the circuit systems whatsoever settlements are connected, which are mostly found near or in a few kilometers from the complex.

In circle grave plants fragments are often found by mostly female, small female figures made ​​of clay. In addition to animal bones are found in the trenches also isolated human skeletal parts. In Friebritz (Lower Austria ) is a ritual corpse dismemberment is suspected.

In Ippesheim can make a rapid change in function of the system, after a few generations their calendrical purpose was abandoned. About 150 years after its construction in the 49th or 48th century BC found in its center a funeral ( victim? ) Is about a 30 - to 35 - year-old woman headfirst into a narrow shoulder-width slot instead. Why the plants were soon abandoned and a change went through in their ritual function remains unclear.

A full excavation of circular grave assets are rarely ( mainly for financial reasons).

List mittelneolithischer circle grave sites


North Rhine -Westphalia

  • Bochum- Harpen ( simple circular grave system)
  • Warburg Daseburg ( simple circular grave equipment - " Miniature circular ditch " )


  • Hopferstadt ( triple circle grave condition, the largest palisade trench Ø 152 m) - aerial survey since 1980, magnetic prospection 2001
  • Ippesheim ( simple circular grave condition, Ø 65 m) - 1980 1989 aerial survey, magnetic prospection 1997 excavation from 1998 to 2004, dates from the earliest days of the county grave sites 4900-4800 BC

Lower Bavaria

  • Eching - Viecht ( double circle grave system)
  • Irlbach, district of Straubing-Bogen ( double circle grave system)
  • Künzing -Unterberg ( double circle grave system) - ellipse of 100 m diameter
  • Landau an der Isar Master Thal, district of Dingolfing- Landau ( simple circular grave system) - exact ellipse 2 focal points, Ø 36/44 m
  • Oberpöring - Gneiding, district of Deggendorf ( double circle grave system)
  • Osterhofen - Schmiedorf 1 2, district of Deggendorf (single and triple circle grave system) - exactly circular, magnetic prospection 1984 examination 1995
  • Stephansposching, district of Deggendorf (1 outer ditch and 2 smaller inner palisade trenches )
  • Wallerfing - Ramsdorf, district of Deggendorf ( double circle grave system)
  • Zeholfing - Kothingeichendorf, district of Dingolfing- Landau ( double circle grave system) - scientific soil survey 1919-24, magnetic prospection in 1984 and 1996

Upper Bavaria

  • Questionable circle grave system of Moosburg an der Isar Kirchamper ( simple circular grave system? )

Mecklenburg -Western Pomerania

  • Wollschow, County Pasewalk ( triple ring ditch, Stroked Pottery ), associated with a significant number of megalithic


  • Bochow, Gd Niedergörsdorf ( double ring ditch, dated as Stroked Pottery Culture, around 4700 BC)
  • Quappendorf ( double ring ditch )
  • Nauen, OT mountains (multiple staggered grave system)
  • Dyrotz ( triple ring ditch )
  • Wulfersdorf ( multi - county grave condition, more than 3 rings but not precisely determined )


  • Circle grave system Dresden- Nickern 1 2 3 ( single, double and quadruple circle grave condition, Ø 126 m)
  • Eythra 1 2 (single and triple circle grave system)
  • Neukyhna 1 2 3 ( twofold, threefold and fourfold ring ditch ) - Ø 135 m, 4 rings, excavations in 2007


  • Goseck ( simple circle ditch ) - Luftprospektion 1991.1999, Full excavation from 2002 to 2004, in 2005 reconstruction as an open air museum
  • Kötschitz ( double circle grave system)
  • Quedlinburg 1 2 (two double circular grave system)
  • The Schalkenburg at Quenstedt ( fivefold circle palisades ) demonstrated to the Stroked Pottery belonging
  • Belleben I (part of rounders ) ( simple circle trench excavations in 2005, 2009-2011. )
  • Circle grave system of Pömmelte, more complex systems with 5 rings (proof of Corded Ware culture, Beaker and proto- Unetice horizon)
  • Circle grave system of Beautiful Beck follows the circle grave system of Pömmelte directly with similar dimensions


Lower Austria

  • Asparn Zaya, 2 times circle grave system Michelstetten (Ø 56/83 m ), partly prospected magnetic; simple plant Schletz (Ø 50 m), the prospectus magnetic and partially excavated
  • Altruppersdorf ( double circle grave system)
  • Au on the Leitha Mountains ( triple circle grave system)
  • Friebritz 1 2 (1: simple circular grave condition, Ø 55 m; 2: double circle grave conditioning, 3 doors, Ø 117/142 m, partially excavated )
  • Gauderndorf ( triple circle grave condition, Ø 55/78/98 m)
  • Glaubendorf 1 2 (1: simple circular grave condition, Ø 53 m; 2: Ø 72/92/112 m; aerial and magnetic prospection 1998-2000)
  • Gnadendorf ( double circle grave condition, Ø 51/76 m)
  • Göllersdorf circle grave system Gfletzgraben
  • Herzogbirbaum
  • Hornburg 2 3 (2: double circle grave condition, Ø 65/88 m; 3: triple circle grave condition, Ø 65/85/105 m)
  • Immendorf ( triple circle grave condition, Ø 55/85/105 m, aerial survey 1981)
  • Kamegg (two times the installation, Ø 76/144 m, first aerial survey 1961, excavation in the late 1980s )
  • Karnabrunn ( simple circular grave system)
  • Kleedorf ( simple circular grave system)
  • Kleinrötz ( double circle grave condition, Ø 70/104 m, 1997 magnetically prospected )
  • Michelstetten ( double circle grave condition, Ø 56/83 m, 1995 partially magnetically prospected )
  • Moosbierbaum ( double circle grave system)
  • Mühlbach am Manhartsberg ( simple circular grave condition, Ø 46 m, excavation 1937)
  • Oberthern ( double circle grave system)
  • Perchtoldsdorf 1 2 ( double and triple circle grave system)
  • Plank am Kamp ( double circle grave system)
  • Porrau ( double circle grave system)
  • Pottenbrunn ( simple circular grave system)
  • Pranhartsberg (home village on the Schmida ) I II (I: double circle grave condition, Ø 54/80 m, 1999 prospected magnetic; II: dual circuit grave condition, Ø 82/105 m, 1998 prospected magnetic)
  • Puch 1 2 ( 1 double circle grave condition, Ø 64/86 m, 1995 prospected magnetic; 2 = Kleedorf: simple circular grave condition, Ø 100 m, 1995 magnetically prospected )
  • Roseburg ( simple circular grave condition, Ø 42 m, 1985 prospected magnetic and partially excavated )
  • Schletz ( simple circular grave system)
  • Simon Field ( triple circle grave condition, Ø 60/90/125 m)
  • Statzendorf ( double circle grave system)
  • Steinabrunn ( double circle grave condition, Ø 59/80 m, 1997 magnetically prospected )
  • Stiefern ( double circle grave condition, Ø 49/73 m)
  • Strass im Straßertale ( double circle grave condition, Ø 57/77 m)
  • Strögen ( double circle grave condition, Ø 50/75 m, 1987 magnetically prospected and partially excavated )
  • Velm, Gde Himberg ( double circle grave system)
  • Wetzleinsdorf ( simple circular grave system - no more verifiable )
  • Wilhelm village 1 2 (single and dual circuit grave condition, Ø 165 m, excavation 1991-95 )
  • Winds at Melk ( simple circular grave system)
  • Würnitz ( double circle grave system)

Upper Austria

  • Oelkam ( double circle grave system)



  • Bajtava ( double circle grave system)
  • Borovce ( double circle grave system)
  • Bučany ( double circle grave system)
  • Cífer ( four times the grave circle system)
  • Demandice 1 2 ( single or double circle grave system)
  • Golianovo ( triple circle grave system)
  • Hosťovce ( double circle grave system)
  • Horne Otrokovce ( double circle grave system)
  • Kľačany ( double circle grave system)
  • Milanovce ( double circle grave system)
  • Nitrianský Hrádok (municipality Šurany ) ( simple circular grave system? )
  • Podhorany - Mechenice ( double circle grave system)
  • Prašník ( okres Piešťany ) ( simple circular grave system)
  • Ružindol - Borová ( single or double circle grave system)
  • Svodín 1 2 ( built into each way and two- loop grave system)
  • Žitavce 1 2 ( built into each double and triple circle grave system)


  • Běhařovice ( simple circular grave system)
  • Borkovany ( simple circular grave system)
  • Bulhary ( double circle grave system)
  • Described 1885 in d ref - Krpy (Bohemia )
  • Křepice ( double circle grave system? )
  • Mašovice ( double circle grave system)
  • Němčičky ( simple circular grave system)
  • Rašovice ( simple circular grave system)
  • Těšetice ( Okres Znojmo ) ( simple circular grave system)
  • Vedrovice ( Okres Znojmo ) ( simple circular grave system)
  • Snem henge A, B and C, Hašov, Horšovský Tyn ( probably just circle grave sites from the Late Bronze / Early Iron Age )


  • Pendik ( simple circular grave system)


  • Aszód - ( simple circular grave system)
  • Polgár Csőszhalom ( four - to five -fold or multi-phase circuit grave system? )
  • Sé ( double circle grave system)
  • Vokány ( double circle grave system)
  • Személy - Hegyes (a large multiple and a triple loop grave system)