In Central Europe his “Stonehenge” appeared almost three thousand years earlier than in the British Isles. In the V Millennium BC, there is a large ceremonial centers, These wooden structures belong to the oldest monuments of monumental architecture. Ancient originals long decayed and razed to the ground, but archaeologists continue to find their tracks. What were these strange circular structures? Whether they were observatories, temples, altars or marketplace?
One of the earliest buildings of the kind erected in Lower Austria, in the town of Slec, about 6800 years ago. The first thing that met a man who came here is a huge moat surrounding the building. It led through a few narrow bridges. Having overcome the moat, the visitor met the new barrier — a palisade that protected the interior space.
Its height reached 2-3 meters. For his solid ring was not to look so closely were adjusted to each other’s posts. The Central part of the structure — the “Holy of holies” — remained inaccessible to the prying eyes that were brought into the everyday scenery a secret.
In the Federal state of lower Austria there are about forty such buildings. Sometimes they are surrounded by not one, but two palings, not one, but multiple trenches, which surround a circular space with a diameter of from 40 to 160 metres.
In recent decades, these monumental buildings find throughout Central Europe: in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, Bavaria and Saxony. There are already about three and a half hundred. What happened inside them? Scientists still can not accurately answer this question.
According to one hypothesis, these structures were huge calendar that celebrated the most important event of the year — a kind of Observatory that helped to observe the starry sky. In some buildings, the gates were oriented so that the sun looked into them precisely on December 21, the winter solstice. The other gates were noted, such as the Pleiades and, therefore, the arrival of spring and planting time.
The most famous of these buildings is located on the territory of the former GDR, in the town of Goseck. Today it is the oldest in Europe. The time of its construction dates back to around 5000-4900 years BC.
Its diameter has reached 75 meters. It was a huge building, clearly visible from afar. It was equipped with three gates and a double ring of palisade. Archaeologists and astronomers have proven that the two gates marked the place of sunrise and shodasamsa in the winter solstice in the beginning of the V Millennium BC.
As scientists believe, in this day inside the fence was going to know tribal — VIPs of the stone age. The fence separates them from the ordinary members of the tribe. At the expected hour in the door opening showed the sun was shining, turning winter to summer, night to day, darkness to light, death to life. First his wings cut through the quiet of the sanctuary, like lightning. In the opening the other gate it flashed when accomplishing the feat, hiding again in the darkness. At midnight on opening the third gate looked a month.
The age old solar Observatory was almost equally important for the man, as well as computer technology for our contemporaries. The economic system has accomplished an important coup. People abandoned hunting and gathering and started farming and animal husbandry, that is, tamed nature, conquered her, knew her temper, her cyclic changes.
In Central Europe then there is a very good environment for employment in agriculture. The average temperature was about two degrees higher than now. Observatory Goseki was on the edge of the most fertile region of Germany — its storehouses, the Magdeburg plain.
Obviously, it was the knowledge and the people of that time. On the territory of the former GDR, between Halle and Leipzig, archeologists discovered traces of human settlements Dating from the VI—Vтысячелетиями BC.
However, it would be wrong to reduce the purpose of all these buildings to a single purpose. Certainly they played an important social role, was the meeting place of all members of the tribe — a kind of forum of people of the stone age, played the same role that the marketplace in the Middle ages.
The same Gosek, according to the German archaeologist françois Bertemes, who led the excavations here, was not only an Observatory and a sacred place, but market, place of execution and burial, as well as the fortress, where members of the tribe took refuge in case of enemy attack: “If it was only on watching the sky, it was enough if the two pegs and stone, who served as vizier”.
Similar structures were apparently the main attraction of all the major settlements of the time, their calling card; they showed the power and wealth of the community, as it later did the true temple complexes — the sanctuary of antiquity, the cathedrals and mosques of the middle Ages.
They were certainly in the middle of the settlement.
In some communities there were even two circular “temple” — a smaller one, the other, a few hundred meters more. So in the Middle ages next to a modest little Church over time grew a handsome Cathedral.
Apparently, these buildings Neolithic should really be called sanctuaries without the quotes. Under the protection of the stockade was invisible gods in the fenced area there were no signs of human habitation, no rubbish left by them or the ruins of dwellings. Went here a cult, the meaning of which is still unclear to scientists.
Perhaps Central Europeans professed at the end of the Neolithic one and the same religion. Can we now reconstruct their beliefs based on individual artifacts known to us? Almost all of the ditches discovered shattered clay figurines, the so — called idols. Probably, they were intermediaries between the real, everyday world and the unknowable beyond.
There are also statues that depict women with curvy hips, perhaps symbols of fertility. Inside the temples, behind the stockade, carried out, probably, and some festivities were held solemn ceremonies, such as here prayed, concluded marriages, mourned the dead and performed rites of initiation of boys. At the end of the ceremony from behind the fence came the “new man” — a new full member of the tribe.
Around 4500 BC the sanctuary of the stone age are empty — just a few centuries after the appearance of the first of such facilities. In neighboring towns are still flowing everyday life, but ditches diligent sleep, as if they had never existed.
What is it? They went out of fashion? In Europe, celebrates the culture of the builders of the megaliths. Erected menhirs (standing alone the stones up to 20 meters), dolmens (tombs, similar to the gate, built of huge stone slabs), cromlechs (circles of separate upright stones).
The rest completed the erosion and the everyday work of laborers annually perekopivka land in areas that are revered to be sacred. At the time of the construction of Stonehenge, the wooden churches of the stone age was long forgotten.
“And yet, perhaps, and indeed in Central Europe, erected the monuments, which served as a model for the builders of Stonehenge?” — this question is no-no and will ask the researchers. This story is still waiting for its continuation.