|19 November 2017
Prehistoric standing stone discovered in Switzerland
An oval-shape piece of sandstone 2 metres long, 1.3 metres wide, and weighing two to three tons, has been found as part of excavations of a known Bronze Age site at Breitenacher near Kehrsatz on the outskirts of Bern, Switzerland.
The stone narrows on one side to form a slight tip. Marks on the ground where it was found suggest it was once standing vertically. Judging by its size and shape, the stone is a menhir - a standing stone, often unmarked, possibly indicating a place of worship or meeting area.
Archaeologists estimate the stone to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. Its discovery near several 3,500-year-old Bronze Age houses could mean it played a role in the siting of the town, or was moved to its current location during the building or occupation of the town.
Until now only 15 menhirs have been found in Switzerland -usually simple stone blocks 1 to 4 metres high. The best example known in the canton of Bern is in Sutz-Lattrigen, on Lake Biel. This latest discovery is exciting because little is known about the population living around Bern at that time. Researchers hope to confirm whether or not it is a menhir by examining the site for any other stones with similar surrounding markings. Once the stone has been fully examined, it will be put on public view nearby.
Edited from The Local, The Independent (24 October 2017)
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