Archaeologists Identify Stonehenge-Like Site in the Netherlands

The discovery was made in Tiel

Archaeological dig
The cite was found in Tiel, located in the center of the Netherlands.
Municipality of Tiel

What was daily life like in the Netherlands around 4,000 years ago? Thanks to a recent discovery in the municipality of Tiel, located in the middle of the country in question, we now have a much better answer to that question. As Live Science reported, the discovery has a few things in common with another millennia-old site in Europe, Stonehenge — including a design that seems tailor-made to line up with the sun on certain days of the year.

An announcement on Tiel’s website describes the space — via Google’s translation — as a “solar calendar sanctuary.” Specifically, the sun shone through a series of passages on the site on both June 21 and December 21, marking the change in seasons.

According to municipal archaeologist Ilse Schuuring, the process of uncovering the space has been taking place over several years. “Archaeologists have been conducting research for the past 6 years,” Schuuring said in a (translated) statement. “In 2017 and part of 2018, excavations took place at the Medel Business Park location. The archaeologists have documented traces and salvaged finds, photographed, drawn, meticulously researched and sieved everything.”

One of the most intriguing discoveries made at the Tiel site was a bead that originated from Mesopotamia, suggesting that there was at least some trade between the two communities. Archaeologists also discovered evidence of human burial on the site, with evidence suggesting that bodies were buried there for around 800 years.

Several objects from the archaeological dig are on display in local museums. Tiel’s announcement notes that an exhibit containing several artifacts is on display at the Flipje en Streekmuseum until October, while part of a grave can be seen at the National Museum of Antiquities. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past — and it may leave you wondering what other parts of history are waiting to be unearthed.

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