Archeologists find structure older than Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids

Archeologists discovered the remains of a Stone Age structure older than Stonehenge and even Egyptian pyramids while digging near Prague.

 THE OLD NEW Synagogue and the Jewish town hall. (photo credit: MarkDavidPod)
THE OLD NEW Synagogue and the Jewish town hall.
(photo credit: MarkDavidPod)

Archeologists discovered the remains of a Stone Age structure older than Stonehenge and even the Egyptian pyramids in a dig near Prague. The archeologists said that it was around 7,000 years old from the late Neolithic or New Stone Age era and it's possible that a local farming community may have gathered there, but it is still unknown what the circular structure was used for.

According to Radio Prague International, the excavated site is roughly as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Jaroslav Řídký, a spokesperson for the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Science (IAP) and an expert on the Czech Republic's roundels, told Live Science that although "it is too early to say anything about the people building this roundel," it's clear that they were part of the Stroked pottery culture.

The director of the roundel excavation in the district of Vinoř, Miroslav Kraus said on behalf of the IAP, that revealing the structure could give them more clues as to what the building was used for. 

According to Radio Prague International, researchers first learned about the existence of the Vinoř roundel in the 1980s when construction workers were building pipelines. The current dig showed the entire structure for the first time. According to Řídký, the team has recovered pottery fragments, animal bones and stone tools so far.

The history behind roundels

A man looks at a reproduction of the Lascaux caves paintings at the Cap Science's exhibition hall in Bordeaux, October 12, 2012. (credit: REGIS DUVIGNAU/REUTERS)A man looks at a reproduction of the Lascaux caves paintings at the Cap Science's exhibition hall in Bordeaux, October 12, 2012. (credit: REGIS DUVIGNAU/REUTERS)

Řídký said that the people who made the Stroked Pottery ware are known for building other roundels in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. "The knowledge of building of roundels crossed the borders of several archaeological cultures," Řídký explained. "Different communities built roundels across central Europe."

Archeologists didn't know much about roundels until a few decades ago when aerial photography became part of the archeological tools needed. They now know that roundels are the oldest architectural evidence in all of Europe, Řídký told Radio Prague International.

When was the oldest roundel found?

Archeologists found the earliest roundel in Germany in 1991, calling it the Goseck Circle.

Řídký told Live Science that the people who built these roundels only had stone tools, so the roundels' sizes are pretty impressive. Roundels used to be popular for centuries but they suddenly disappeared around 4600 B.C., according to Live Science.