The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Latdorf (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

The tomb is located halfway between Latdorf and Borgesdorf south of the L73 directly east on a dirt road. The tomb has a northeast-southwest oriented, slightly trapezoidal burial chamber with a length of about 7 m and a width of about 2.5 m. It is not built of granite boulders, but of sandstone slabs. The tomb is still relatively well preserved. Three capstones are still present, an access to the burial chamber is not visible. In the summer, the grave is probably overgrown and difficult to photograph especially from the east.

You drive from Latdorf on the L64 in the direction of Gerbitz. Approximately 450 m behind Latdorf, turn left onto the L73 in the direction of Borgesdorf. The road leads first to the southeast and then after about 700 m east around a lime dump around. Shortly before the road makes another bend, turn right into a dirt road. Here you can park or carry on about 150 meters before the grave is immediately left of the dirt road.

Visited April 2019

Steinerne Hütte

Middle Neolithic period: approx. 4,100 - 2,700 BC

The Steinerne Hütte (Stone Hut) is a burial ground that was built in the middle Neolithic period (about 4,100 - 2,700 BC) by the people of the so-called funnel beaker culture (in our area so by representatives of the Baalberger and the Bernburg culture). Such giant's grave (megalithic tombs) were widespread in large parts of western, northern and central Europe, with the known megalithic tombs in the Bernberg-Köthen area belong to the southernmost representatives.

The imposing construction of the megalithic tomb (length: approx. 8 m, width: approx. 2 m, height: approx. 1.5 m) was reconstructed in 1958 by the state museum of prehistory Halle / Saale. It was constructed from cut sandstone slabs. In addition to the 10 support stones and 5 cover plates, several upright limestone plates have been preserved in the northwestern part of the burial chamber as well as remains of a floor plaster.

The tomb was formerly probably covered by a hill. Unfortunately, its removal took place at a time when archaeological findings were neither observed nor documented, in the present case probably before the 19th century. A consideration is based here on a destruction of the hill in the Thirty Years' War, when in the fall of 1644 around Latdorf a huge Swedish army camp was built, for whose fortifications one could use the soil well. In addition, in 1918, the improper opening of the excavated burial chamber was said to have occurred, with all finds lost.

As a result, in the present case, we have no information on the findings. Readings (pottery shards and flint tools), which were made in connection with security work and site inspections, however, date safely to the Neolithic period. Due to the characteristic construction and numerous comparable findings it can be assumed that the people of the above-mentioned Baalberger or the Bernburg culture were the builders of the megalithic grave, and probably also subsequent uses by later cultures, such as in the Bronze Age, took place.

Latdorf (Chambered Tomb) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Grimschleben 2 (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

The passage grave Grimschleben 2 is located under a group of trees on the Bierberg directly on the edge of the road that leads over Latdorf to Bernburg. The impressive passage grave consists of probably carved sandstone blocks and has a length of 6.8 m and an outer width of about three meters, at a height of about two meters. Eleven carrying and four capstones are preserved, west there is a lateral access from two pairs of supporting stones and a capstone. Seen from the north in the direction of the longitudinal axis, the dolmen acts as a compact, closed stone house with a regular shape.

Drive on the L64 from Gerbitz towards Latdorf. About 1.5 km after you leave the village, the tomb is located at the highest point of the road directly on the left side, you can't miss it.

Visited April 2019

taken from the information board:

The Bierberg - Grimschleben 2

Middle Neolithic about 3,500 - 2,700 BC Chr.

Hard on the eastern edge of the street from Latdorf to Gerbitz, in a striking terrain on a hill, the Bierberg (ale hill) is located, one of the most impressive prehistoric tombs of the Bernburg country.

The monumental megalithic tomb (giant's grave) presents itself as a slightly sunken, trapezoidal chamber made of carved sandstone blocks from the immediate vicinity. It is oriented in north-south direction, measures 6.8 m in length and 2-4 m in width and has on the west side a 1.5 m long access. Apparently the burial chamber was once covered by a hill.

The grave was already mentioned in 1710 at J.C.BECKMANN, robbed in 1817 when removing soil and again dig in 1918 by bailiff ÖHLMANN improperly. Several "urns" and a cup-shaped vessel are mentioned. However, the finds have disappeared, so that no direct time-piriod or cultural classification is possible. Whether there were other burial places in the hill besides the primary grave, also has to remain open because of the sparse history of the story.

Comparably similar megalithic tombs in the closer environment, like the Steinerne Hütte in Latdorf, the Heringsberg in Grimschleben, the Hoher Berg in Wulfen or the Teufelskeller in Drosa, it is also a tomb created in the middle Neolithic, during the Walternienburger or Bernburger culture.

It thus joins the megalithic grave architecture that was widespread at that time over large parts of northern, western and central Europe up to our region.

Grimschleben 2 (Passage Grave) — Images

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Grimschleben 1 (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

The megalithic tomb Grimschleben 1 or Heringsberg belongs to the type of a grand dolmen and is located east of Bernburg at Nienburg-Grimschleben in the "Stone Age Landscape Latdorf" (between the Saale and the L73), which consists of several megalithic tombs and burial mounds. Overall, the tomb seems to be well preserved. Due to the flat construction and the fact that the grave is partially filled with earth, the end of the unusually large dolmen can not be clearly seen. Preserved are six support stones and at least five capstones. The chamber is of trapezoidal shape, oriented southwest-northeast. Length is at least 9 m, width over 3 m at the north-east end. At least the orthostat in the north-east end is missing.

In Grimschleben drive the Thomas-Müntzer-Straße south to the village exit. There it turns into a dirt road that leads to Latdorf. Follow this for about 300 meters to a group of trees to the right in the field. The tomb is located here.

Visited April 2019

taken from the information board:

Heringsberg - Grimschleben 1

Middle Neolithic period: approx. 4,100 - 2,700 BC Chr.
Late Bronze Age: approx. 1.300 - 750 BC.

In the Middle Neolithic period, monumental stone grave monuments, so-called giant's graves (megalithic tombs), were erected in large parts of northern, central and western Europe. Such a prehistoric tomb is also the Heringsberg. Together with other megalithic tombs in the vicinity (Steinerne Hütte near Latdorf, Bierberg near Gerbitz, Teufelskeller near Drosa, Hoher Berg near Wulfen) it counts to the southernmost representatives of such tombs in Central Europe.

The tomb was once covered by a mighty mound (height: 10 m, diameter: 70 m). His uncontrolled removal took place in 1729. Fortunately, this circumstance, a plan as well as information on the finds found here were handed down to us by Casper ABEL 1730 in his "Sächsischen Altertümern" ("Saxon Antiquities"). Accordingly, a vessel and bones are said to have been found in the burial chamber. In addition, other stone cists and urns (vessels with burned bones) were found in the mound, which are apparently burials of the late Bronze Age. Since the finds have not been preserved, only generally Middle Neolithic age can be assumed for the initial use of the burial site on the basis of comparative findings.

The former character of the monument as a dominant landmark is today severely disturbed by the nearby lime dumps.

The origin and meaning of the name Heringsberg ("herring hill") can not be safely determined. There may be a connection with the well-known from the Old Thuringian mythology hero Iring, who according to people's faith here his final resting place. More widespread, however, is the legend that Heringsberg is the tomb of Prince Buzico, which again refers to an ancestor of the ancient Wettins. The legends at least show that (long before archaeologists came on the scene) our ancestors were aware that Heringsberg and other comparable hills in our area were prehistoric tombs.

Grimschleben 1 (Chambered Tomb) — Images

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Drosa (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

The tomb is located north of Drosa in a field. Already around 1700 the megalithic site was uncovered and got the name Teufelskeller (Devil's cellar). Today, only six support stones and a huge and impressive capstone are preserved. The tomb originally had a mound, which had an extent of 19-20 m in north-south direction. In the vicinity of the tomb, two larger granite blocks were discovered, which probably belonged to a stone enclosure. The first had a height of about 1 m, the second a height of at least 2 m and a width of over 1 m.

The site gives the impression of a simple dolmen, but it is originally a passage grave. On the southern side was a 3-meter-long and 90-cm-wide corridor through which the dead were carried to the burial place for burial. The passage and the burial chamber separated a sill stone.

Drosa is located about 8.5 km northwest of Köthen (Anhalt) and just under a kilometer west of Wulfen. Already from the center of Drosa the grave is signposted and easy to find. Drive on the K2091 from Drosa towards Dornbock. After you leave the village turn right into the road Zum Großsteingrab, which leads in a north-east direction. Follow this road for about 700 m, passing allotment gardens to your left. Turn left at the end of allotment gardens, there is a parking lot and rest area. There is a path from here leading in 150 m to the tomb.

Visited April 2019

Drosa (Passage Grave) — Images

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Wulfen (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

Wulfen (also Hoher Berg) is a very well preserved neolithic megalithic tomb on the Hohen Berg in Wulfen. Originally there were two megalithic tombs in Wulfen, but one of them was destroyed in 1883. The preserved site belongs to the type of the passage graves. It consists of eight wall and three cover stones. The length of the tomb is 3.60 m. On the south side there is an access to the burial chamber. The tomb was discovered in 1784 and opened. The findings are now in the Museum of Köthen and testify to a long-lasting use of the grave. The tomb is to be considered, historically, as the most important and richest site of Anhalt.

The site is unfortunately not signposted. Coming from Köthen, one drives shortly after the village sign on the left in the street Hoher Berg. After about 230 m you reach the tomb, which is located on the right of the road on a small, well-kept mound.

Visited April 2019

taken from the information board:

Megalithic tomb Wulfen

The remainder of a megalithic burial site on the Hohen Berg was discovered here on the occasion of a rabbit hunt in 1784, the grave mound on the eastern side was dug up and the gable stone removed. There were a few urns "and other oddities". To get in comfortably, the grave contents of sand and clay were dug up and a door was placed on the east side, the key handed over to Pastor Renthe in Wulfen.
Excavations of the megalithic tomb, which was covered by a mound of 34 x 16 m in diameter and a maximum height of 4.5 m, took place in 1912 by W. Götze, Köthen. The roughly square burial chamber is oriented almost west-east, 1.80 m wide and 5.10 m long.
The inner height was from the ground, which formed a sandstone slab layer, to the ceiling 1.70 m. On the southern side is the almost 3 m long, 0.70 m to 0.95 m wide access to the burial chamber. A large stone, lying over the sill stone, closed this opening.
Of the 18 supporting stones and capstones are still eleven available. The finds of 1784 have been lost. The excavation of 1912 yielded a small vessel, some shards and flint equipment (Walternienburg culture and Bernburg culture of the Neolithic period 2700 - 2300 BC) and in the upper layers of the mound the skeleton of a executed in the late Middle Ages. The finds are in the depot of the archaeological monument care of the district administration Köthen.

Wulfen (Passage Grave) — Images

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Showing 1-50 of 3,183 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
During my first trip to Ireland back in 2006, I was bitten by the 'megalithic' bug and since then I seek for every opportunity to visit as much sites as possible, with a bias for stone circles.

As I live in the southwest of Germany (not an area famous for megaliths), I rely on my holidays to be able to visit these sites.

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