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The human skeleton in Neolithic grave found in Exing, Germany.	Source: S.Lorenz/Landratsamt Dingolfing-Landau

Remarkable Middle Neolithic Burial & Curious Grave Goods Unearthed in Germany

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Construction work for a new residential area in Exing, a municipality of Eichendorf, Germany, has revealed a remarkable grave from the Middle Neolithic period. District archaeologist Dr. Florian Eibl has dated the burial to around 4800 BC, and has a rather interesting collection of grave goods.

Grave Goods Indicate High Status

According to a Landratsamt Dingolfing-Landau press release, the burial site, distinguished by the rich array of grave goods, suggests that the interred individual was a person of significant status, likely a village elder. Likely comparable to a mayor of the time, this person was buried with an impressive assortment of artifacts. These include vessels for liquids and food, presumably provisions for the afterlife, and dyes used for body painting.

Particularly notable is the combination of a stone axe and adze (basically another kind of axe) found in the grave—an unusual pairing that is rarely seen together in such contexts.

A split boar's tusk further underscores the high status of the deceased, signifying their importance within the community.

Archaeologist Florian Eibl from Dingolfing-Landau district beside the skeleton at the excavations at the village of Exing, near the Bavarian town of Eichendorf. (Dingolfing-Landau District)

Archaeologist Florian Eibl from Dingolfing-Landau district beside the skeleton at the excavations at the village of Exing, near the Bavarian town of Eichendorf. (Dingolfing-Landau District)

Exing's Neolithic Significance

The area surrounding Exing has long been recognized as an important region during the Neolithic Age, with significant settlements such as Kothingeichendorf. This central site held Europe-wide importance, indicating that the region was a hub of activity and culture thousands of years ago. The recent discovery adds another layer to our understanding of the area's historical significance and the advanced nature of its Neolithic inhabitants.

The artifacts include pieces of gold jewelry, like this earring in the shape of a boat or barge from more than 2,000 years ago. (Dingolfing-Landau District)

The artifacts include pieces of gold jewelry, like this earring in the shape of a boat or barge from more than 2,000 years ago. (Dingolfing-Landau District)

Community and Scientific Response

District Administrator Werner Bumeder expressed the excitement and importance of the find:

“This sensational find shows us that there was fertile soil in the district 4,500 years ago. This find allows us to explore the past a little further."

The skeleton found at the site will now undergo examination by an anthropologist. Special photos will be taken to create a 3D view of the grave, allowing for a more detailed analysis and preservation of the discovery. The district and the market town are committed to ensuring that this rare and valuable find remains in the region, allowing for continued study and public appreciation.

Top image: The human skeleton in Neolithic grave found in Exing, Germany. Source: S.Lorenz/Landratsamt Dingolfing-Landau

 
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