Successful experiment: Kiel University has a megalithic tomb.
Approximately 60 interested citizens, students and teachers of Kiel University literally pulled together today (May 14th) in order to set something big in motion. With only muscle power and simple tools, a megalithic tomb was constructed on the campus according to a Neolithic model.
The capstones, weighing tons, were pulled onto the chamber stones with the help of a wooden sled over a prepared ramp. Further building material was brought to Christian-Albrechts-Platz with an oxcart of the Arche Warder, which set out in the morning from Flintbek with a load of flint. After completion of the construction, CAU President Professor Lutz Kipp, accompanied by delegations from associated universities in Poland and the Netherlands, deposited a ceramic vessel in the tomb replica.
Numerous visitors viewed the construction work and took advantage of the colorful program accompanying the event in order to try out their skills in archery or to find out how our ancestors nourished themselves. To this end, students of the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, headed by Prof. Dr. Wiebke Kirleis, designed a poster exhibition that can be viewed in Mensa 1 (Westring) during the regular opening hours. Furthermore, on May 19th and 20th the student union (Studentenwerk) of Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with the Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes will provide a Neolithic meal in the Mensa. On May 19th, boiled beef with wild garlic-mustard pesto and barley porridge will be served. On the next day, suckling pig and carrot-onion vegetables are on the menu. On both days, apple sauce with honey and hazelnuts are planned as a dessert.
“This archaeological experiment has impressively demonstrated the workload that was shouldered by Neolithic societies in order to construct a megalithic tomb and the meaning that could be assigned to such a tomb”, explained Professor Johannes Müller, organizer of the action. “For our students it was also an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience with Neolithic working methods”, added his colleague Dr Walter Dörfler. The prototype of the newly constructed monument, megalithic tomb Wangels LA69, has been excavated in Eastern Holstein by Kiel archaeologists in recent years. From the 37th to 34th century BC, up to 30,000 megalithic tombs were in existence in Northern Germany, mostly with chambers built of boulders.
Text: Jirka N. Menke