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Upright Burial Discovered in Germany

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Germany upright burial LOWER SAXONY, GERMANY—The remains of a young man who was buried in an unusual vertical position around 7,000 years ago have been discovered near the village of Groß Fredenwalde, around 50 miles north of Berlin. Researchers believe that the body was put in a standing position into a five-foot-deep pit with its back leaning against the grave wall, and then sand was filled in to a level above the knees. After the man’s upper body was allowed to decay and to be consumed by scavengers, the grave was filled in and sealed. “The burial is unique in central Europe and therefore it is difficult to find specific reasons for such treatment,” Thomas Terberger, the excavation director at the Lower Saxony Department of Historic Preservation, told Discovery News. The site is thought to be among the first real cemeteries in Europe, dating back to a period when Europe was inhabited by hunter-gatherers who tended to move from place to place. For more on archaeology in Germany, go to “World’s Oldest Pretzels,” one of ARCHAEOLOGY’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2015.

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