Heiliger Stein (Holy Stone) – Lich, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Lich, Germany

Heiliger Stein (Holy Stone)

A Neolithic burial site erected around 3000 BC. 

The Heiliger Stein (Holy Stone) is a Neolithic burial site erected around 3,000 BC, evidenced by the ceramics and lithic tools that were found in the grave. It is a megalithic grave, the only one of this kind in the area.

The building technique hints to a cultural connection to present-day Burgundy. The size of the grave (18m x 12m x 10m) and the items found in the interior hint to the conclusion that this was a collective grave for a small hamlet. The bodies were not burned but placed in the grave chamber. The burial objects were items of everyday life.

The grave is erected on a hill, overlooking the area. There are 16 postaments holding 3 ceiling plates, of which one weight between 6 and 7 tons. It had to be brought here from the place Muenzenberg, which is 2 km away with a difference in altitude of 33 meters.

A curiosity is a second grave found in this megalithic grave. It is a later erected stone box inside the original grave chamber. The items found in this grave hint that this second small grave was erected inside the much older grave during the Merovingian or Carolingian time, put there around the 7th or 8th century AD.

The grave has been object of several archeologic excavations and scientific studies. It was discovered in 1892 by Friedrich Kofler, who removed the earth, that back than still partly covert the grave and built it into a stone age monument. In 1913 Eduard Anthes investigated the grave in search of graves where the bodies were burned. He reconstructed the structure.

This lead to 80 years where the grave have not been recognised for what it is. Finally  Manfred Menke, PhD, from the university in Giessen carefully examined the grave from 1989 to 1998. He considered all findings and reconstructed the site as we can find it today. 

 

 

Know Before You Go

It would be wise to check the map before coming here as it is not possible to all the way drive to the grave .A parking lot at 50°28'24.4"N 8°47'59.6"E can be accessed troublefree from L3131.