130 homes have been discovered at the Germany’s ‘Stonehenge’ by archaeologists who now believe that there was a community living around the monument. The residential area was uncovered by a team that included researchers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany during their recent excavation of the site. The ancient archaeological site is located near the present-day village of Pömmelte, in district Salzlandkreis in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany and is known as Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, German for ‘Ring Sanctuary of Pömmelte’. The circular shaped site, dating back to third millennium BCE, was discovered in 1991 after people in an airplane flying overhead spotted it. Using aerial photography, the site was found to consist seven rings of palisades, ditches, and raised banks that were used to position wooden posts, reports the Heritage Daily.
Earlier excavations have found remains of dismembered bodies of woman and children at the site, leading to being assumed that it was a ritualistic site used between 2300 BC and 2050 BC. According to archaeologists, it was used for astronomical observations as well as ancient rituals like human sacrifice. Discovered bodies suffered severe skull trauma, rid fractures as well as at least one of them had their hands tied together before they died. The broken skulls and rib bones found at the site have been confirmed to be of women, children and teenagers and left in pits at the site and experts confirm that the injuries either led to their death or were inflicted just before they died.
The discovered remains suggest that it was used to worship the dead and other evidences of ritual sacrifice were also found around including animal bones, drinking vessels, axes and mutilated human bones. However, the newly found evidences suggest that there was a permanent residence around the monument countering the assumption that it was purely a seasonal ritualistic site to be used at certain times of the year.
Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, which bears resemblance to the Stonehenge in the UK, has several concentric circles with wooden or stone structures. Finding by the experts have been published in the Antiquity journal.