The excavated stone age structure is about 55 meters in diameter, or about as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Jaroslan Řídký, a spokesperson for the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IAP) and an expert on the Czech Republic’s roundels, told Live Science via email: “it is too early to say anything about the people building this roundel.” He stated, however, that the people who built this roundel were part of the Stroked Pottery culture, which flourished between 4900 B.C. and 4400 B.C..
Miroslav Kraus, director of the roundel excavation in the district of Vinoř on behalf of the IAP, said that revealing the structure could give them a clue about the use of the building.
Researchers first learned about the existence of the roundel in the 1980s, when construction workers were laying gas and water pipelines. The current dig has revealed the structure’s entirety for the first time.
Thus far, the excavation team has recovered pottery fragments, animal bones, and stone tools in the ditch fill, according to Řídký. Some carbon-dating organic remains found in the excavation could help the team pinpoint the date of the structure’s construction and possibly link it with a Neolithic settlement discovered nearby.
According to Řídký, the people who made stroked pottery ware are known for building other roundels in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic.
Stone Age Structures have been found across central Europe
Roundels were not well-known ancient features until a few decades ago when aerial and drone photography became a key part of the archeological took kit. Now, archeologists know that “roundels are the oldest evidence of architecture in the whole of Europe,” according to Řídký. When viewed from above, roundels consist of one or more wide, circular ditches with several gaps that possibly functioned as entrances.
Hundreds of these circular earthworks have been found throughout central Europe, but their function is still in question.