Enormous Neolithic cemetery discovered in Poland

Excavation of the Neolithic cemetery in Poland. Photo J. Bulas
In March 2021 it was announced that archaeologists in Poland have discovered a large cemetery containing dozens of graves dating from the Neolithicum around 5,500 years ago.

The site, near the village of Debiany in south central Poland, was discovered by accident by a team of archaeologists who were studying satellite photos. Initially they identified a rectangular shape ringed by a ditch but further geophysical study revealed what must have been a very large burial site. As a result the archaeologists launched a major investigation and enlarged the area under study, discovering a large number of graves. Investigation continues and the site is expected to reveal many more finds.

Each of the graves is aligned by wooden posts, unlike the more usual stone graves known from this period. The burial mounds are shaped like a trapezium and are surrounded by a wooden palisaded wall and ditches measuring 40 to 50 metres.

Archaeologist Marcin M. Przybyła believes that most of the remains of the dead and the grave goods were taken away while the cemetery was still in use. This was typical of many burial sites in Poland from that time.

Research at the site continues.

Two of the graves. They were all empty, which is often the case with graves from this period in Poland. Photo J Bulas

Text               Harrie Wolters

Translation     Alun Harvey


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