Menhir and Megalithic Grave Tell of Hereafter

Not far from the town of Langeneichstädt, on the open-air site of the Eichstädt Watchtower, you can explore two further highlights of Central German archaeological history. A megalithic chamber grave from the Neolithic period and a replica of a menhir with the mystical figure of a dolmen goddess carved into it bear witness to our distant ancestors' vision of the hereafter.

The grave was stumbled upon by field workers and dug up in 1987. It was constructed sometime between 3600 and 2700 B.C. On its discovery, the sandstone and shell limestone slabs of the tomb were removed to reveal a 1.76m-tall menhir statue. A starkly simplified image of the female deity as well as an axe motif, a masculine status symbol, are carved into the upper section of this stele. To the sides of the goddess, visible traces of rubbing strongly suggest that the menhir was the object of a religious rite. In touching the stone, worshipers hoped for fertility for the people, animals and crops. Pieces of jewellery made of animal teeth, copper, bones and amber were additionally found on the floor of the tomb. Due to the archaeological significance of the menhir, the original is preserved at the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle. 

Every year on the Sunday of Pentecost, the organisation dedicated to the Eichstädt Watchtower, the Warteverein e.V. Langeneichstädt, invites the public to a celebration at the site. Visitors can enjoy the convivial atmosphere and take advantage of the rare opportunity to climb the Watchtower. On 'Open Monument Day' as well, members talk and answer visitors' questions about the Watchtower and the Neolithic archaeological finds.

If you would like to get to know the mysterious dolmen goddess and discover the Late Stone Age megalithic chamber tomb for yourself, come to Langeneichstädt. The excavations are freely accessible to the public. Guided tours are given on request.