An old burial mound (also called a kurgan) with a round Stonehenge-like structure has been unearthed during road work in the village of Novooleksandrivka, Ukraine. The mound measures 120 meters by 80 meters (394 feet by 263 feet), with a height of 7 meters (23 feet). Based on pieces of ceramics found there, it is estimated that the mound dates back about 5,500 years.
Inside of the mound, experts found 24 burials that date back to the Bronze Age, Scythian time period, and the Middle Ages. However, their most exciting discovery was a circular stone structure made from stone blocks that was located in the inner portion of the mound. This structure – which is called a “cromlech” – measured several meters in height with a circular diameter of 18 meters (59 feet).
According to Dmitry Teslenko, who is the head of the Dnieper archaeological expedition of the Ukrainian Archaeological Guard Service, stated that the cromlech dates back about the same time as the ceramics that were found (around 5,500 years ago), “...However, it is impossible to say with certainty whether it was erected from the time of the first burial or later.”
There were a lot of ground-up shells in the ceramics which were the same as those associated with the Trypillia culture, indicating that they may have had contact with those who built the mound. Teslenko explained this further, “At the same time they led an absolutely different way of life. If the Trypillians led a sedentary life, farming in the forest-steppe zone, the burial mound under study belongs to nomadic pastoralists from the steppes.”
As for those who were buried in the mound, Teslenko stated that toe bones belonging to a dog were found next to a human skeleton. A 30-year-old male and a 10-year-old child were found along with a pot. They even found a triple grave where a man was lying in the middle with a woman and child positioned against him on either side.
A young man between the ages of 18 and 20 who was believed to have been a rider and was an expert in combat was found with several weapons buried with him – “an iron battle ax, bronze and bone arrows, a Scythian short sword-akinak with gold plating of the handle, guards and a cap for the point.”
There is still much more work to be done at the burial mound as it is still being explored. This includes the most elite of those buried as their remains have yet to be uncovered because they were placed in the most protected part of the stone structure.
Additional research needs to be conducted in order to know whether or not those buried in the mound were related, when they passed away, and how they died. Numerous pictures of the site can be seen here.