Possible rondel discovered in Western Poland

A series of concentric cropmarks, indicating the possible presence of a rondel-like structure, has been sighted at Żelichów, North-West Poland. This find is extremely rare as only a handful of such Neolithic structures are known from Poland.

Aerial view of the cropmarks (by Tomasz Siergiej)

The series of circular features were initially spotted by an individual flying a hang glider two years ago and by a history enthusiast who browsed through satellite imagery last year. Archaeologists informed about the discovery suspect that the cropmarks indicate the existence of a circular enclosure, possibly a rondel. This type of structure was a characteristic Neolithic earthwork enclosure found in the Elbe and Danube basins, in modern-day Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as the adjacent parts of Hungary. Only three such other structures are known from the area of Poland, where they have been discovered only recently – in Bodzowo, Rąpice, and Wenecja. These rondels were used for a relatively narrow period in the Neolithic, between 4900-4600 BC.

Aerial view of the feature’s surrounding (by TVN24)

The possible rondel found near Żelichów is unique for the region, as no such other structures were found in the Western Pomerania region of Poland. The function of these structures still remains enigmatic, as some link them with places of cult and rituals, some view them as fortified places of refuge. Archaeologists plan to excavate the site next month to verify the existence of archaeological features under the cropmarks.

Aerial view of the cropmarks (by TVN24)

(after TVN24, Tomasz Siergiej & Wyborcza)

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