Europe: Megalits / The Zuschen tomb

PHOTO: Athinaios 5110'26.09" 914'26.24"

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The Zuschen tomb is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Zuschen, near Fritzlar, Hesse, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist, it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to the late 4th millennium BC, it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture. The presence of incised carvings, comparable to prehistoric rock art elsewhere in Europe, is a striking feature of Wartberg culture tombs, known so far only from Zuschen and from tomb I at Warburg. The tomb was accidentally discovered in 1894. For a number of years, a row of sandstone blocks had impeded the local miller from ploughing one of his fields. When he decided to remove them, Rudolf Gelpke, an inspector from nearby Garvensburg castle, noted the unusual presence of sandstone in the area of a basalt outcrop. On a visit to the site, he recognised it as a prehistoric monument consisting of two parallel rows of regularly shaped vertical slabs. Gelpke erroneously associated the monument with the Chatti, a local Iron Age tribe.


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