Archaeologists excavating a site outside Bern, Switzerland have unearthed a mysterious standing stone believed to date to the Bronze Age. The stone was discovered during an excavation of an 4,000- to 5,000-year-old archaeological site which is only now beginning to be studied. The stone measures two meters high by a meter long and weighs over three tons, and markings on the ground indicate that the stone likely stood upright at one time. The team of archaeologists working the site believe other stones may lie underground in the same area or perhaps were broken apart to be used in construction by early Europeans at a later time.
The stone is only one of a dozen or so found in Switzerland and is adding to a growing body of evidence which is beginning to suggest Bronze Age civilizations in the area were more developed than previously thought. The Canton of Bern Archaeology Department issued a statement saying this discovery is “all the more interesting because, with the exception of a few isolated finds, very little is known about the Stone Age settlement around the city of Bern.”
This new standing stone is only one of a series of discoveries in the area which add to researchers’ theories that an ancient city once stood in the area, somewhat contrary to what has been previously assumed about the area. Could this be the “Swiss stonehenge” as some news outlets have dubbed it?
Swiss archaeologists believe the stone might have been used as a gathering place for some sort of ritual or ceremonial purpose – but then again, what in archaeology isn’t assumed to be ceremonial? Finds like these make me wonder what future civilizations will think of the garbage and ruins we leave behind. What will they make of the ubiquity of the two-tailed Starbucks mermaid? What significance will they find in the golden arches of the world’s 36,000 McDonald’s locations? Let’s just hope they don’t develop the abilities to read the photos folders in the smartphone solid state drives they unearth amidst the rubble of 21st-century humankind. Some things are better left unseen. You know the photos I mean.