Mysterious 6,000-year-old ‘Stonehenge’ structures reemerge in Poland. What are they?

In the 90s, a mysterious, Neolithic-aged structure was discovered in Poland.

Since then, archaeologists have uncovered about 20 more of the Stonehenge-like sites, and now — due to this year’s drought — they’ve found two more, according to Science in Poland, a subset of the national news agency.

The two structures, known as “rondels,” were discovered in June in a wheat field in Kaczków using a drone, archaeologist Jerzy Czerniec told the outlet. The find marks the first time rondels have been identified in the region.

Here’s what experts know about the perplexing discovery.

Ancient Stonehenge-like structures

Known as “rondels” — which translates to “saucepans” from Polish — for their shapes, the structures date back more than 6,000 years, experts said. They were built in a relatively short period of time between 4850 B.C. and 4600 B.C.

The rondels were composed of two to three concentric ditches, according to scientists.
The rondels were composed of two to three concentric ditches, according to scientists.

Archaeologists said the structures are typically composed of ramparts and ditches, consisting of huge boulders and wood. The structures are often compared to Britain’s Stonehenge for their shape and concentric construction.

The newly discovered structures are about 85 feet in diameter and consist of two to three concentric ditches — smaller than previously discovered rondels, scientists said. They likely had oval palisades at their centers.

What were rondels used for?

While the purpose of rondels still remains somewhat of a mystery, Czerniec said archaeologists have an idea of how the structures were used.

Czerniec described the sites as the hearts of Neolithic settlements, and he said they are believed to have been used as ritual or ceremonial zones. There is also evidence that the structures were used as places of worship, meeting sites for local communities or astronomical observatories.

Other Neolithic structures

Czerniec said he has been studying the region since 2021, but he has been focused on other Neolithic-aged structures.

Archaeologists said long houses once surrounded the two rondels.
Archaeologists said long houses once surrounded the two rondels.

The other structures, known as long houses, are pillar structures built in the shape of an elongated trapezoid, according to Czerniec. The houses were constructed around a central point designated by the two rondels.

Kaczków is about 30 miles southwest of Warsaw.

Google Translate was used to translate the information from Science in Poland.

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