Sunday, 11 March 2012

Megalithic Tomb - Großsteingrab - Mürow (near Angermünde)

We have spent many years hiking up and down the lonely hills of the Derbyshire Peak District, and often the only features with which to orientate ourselves have been prehistoric tombs, dolmens, and stone circles. It was a joy to discover whilst cycling in the countryside around Angermunde in NE Brandeburg that the same ancient remains of peoples past can be discovered in Germany as well.

On a hillock beside the L28 between Frauenhagen and Mürow, a megalithic tomb lies hidden amongst the wild rose bushes. An impromptu information board beside a small sandy pull-in for curious travellers says that this is the so-called  Großsteingrab Mürow. It goes on to detail the findings of an excavation by Horst Geisler of the 'Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Potsdam' in 1965, including the skeletal remains of a man and a woman together with vessel shards, flint blades, whorl fragments, and vessels indicative of the 'Globular Amphora Culture' (Kugelamphoren-Kultur). These neolithic folk lived around 3400-2800 BC and were widespread across what is now Eastern Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, and Moldova. So, they were not likely to have been the same people who built the barrows in the Peak District, but their funerary constructions do look similar. (There were also evidence of modern-day pagan veneration at this burial mound, much as the Derbyshire hedge-witches and neo-druids perform).

Megalithic dolmen near Mürow

The massive stones of the grave have a thriving colony of lichen in wonderful shades of sulphur. Lichens live on the barest minimum of nutrition extracted from the stones, and can themselves live for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

These photos were taken in early October, and the wild rosebushes around the dolmen were bright with scarlet berries:

From the dolmen, looking north, you could see the small village of Frauenhagen:

The landscape around here was very reminiscent of the Peak District too, with rolling limestone glacial drumlins.

There were also some cute-looking deer too!

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