Underwater Stonehenge: Ancient Cairns Confirmed in Switzerland


In the depths of Lake Constance, Switzerland, lies a captivating mystery that has puzzled archaeologists for years—a submerged stone formation reminiscent of the famous Stonehenge. This underwater marvel consists of approximately 170 cairns, meticulously arranged by ancient humans more than 5,500 years ago. The exact purpose of underwater Stonehenge remains shrouded in mystery, but recent discoveries have shed light on its origins.

Unraveling the Mystery of Underwater Stonehenge

Submerged underwater Stonehenge, a testament to ancient human ingenuity and craftsmanship.
An underwater site is being inspected by a diver. Source: Thurgau Archaeological Office

Discovered during the depth surveys of Lake Constance in 2015, the stone cairns sparked curiosity and debate among experts. Initially, it was unclear whether they were a product of natural processes or evidence of human ingenuity. The stones remained hidden beneath the lake’s surface, further fueling the mystery surrounding their origin. Archaeologists couldn’t definitively determine whether the formation was a geological phenomenon, remnants of the last ice age, or evidence of ancient human activity, such as fortifications, graves, or temples.

The approximately 170 cairns on the bottom of Lake Constance were first thought to date back no more than 3,000 years. As noted by the archaeologists, the entire site is believed to have 170 cairns totaling nearly 17,700 cubic feet—500 cubic meters— of stones.

A Stupendous Revelation

A recent survey of the site has finally provided compelling evidence—these stones are not the works of nature but an intricate creation by our ancestors. Moreover, the stone formation dates back to the Neolithic era, making it more than 5,500 years old. Positioned at the meeting point of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, Lake Constance has witnessed the enduring legacy of these enigmatic structures.

The researchers say the rocks were intricately placed into position by mankind, although previous studies assumed they were a natural formation. As for the age of the “sunken Stonehenge,” the researchers say the rock formation dates back at least 5,500 years, which means the structure predates the Egyptian pyramids by several hundred years.

An Underwater Stonehenge Emerges

Dubbed the “Swiss underwater Stonehenge,” this elaborate formation lies submerged at a depth of approximately five meters. The rocks were meticulously placed in parallel lines along the lake’s shore, forming a remarkable configuration. Archeologists marveled at the sensational nature of this discovery during underwater investigations.

The Uttwil area
The Uttwil area contains regularly distributed stone structures (marked in red). Source: PD / Map: Swisstopo.

The elaborate stone formation has been dubbed the Swiss underwater Stonehenge and is submerged beneath the lake at a depth of around five meters. Archeologists have revealed that each series of rocks was placed in regular intervals in a line parallel to the shore of the lake. A spokesman for the Archeology Office of the canton of Turgovia described the finding as “sensational” after underwater investigations were carried out. Previously, a ship equipped with a 15-meter excavator arm was in charge of removing the material around the rocks and was used to reveal the rocks for study.

Unveiling the Secrets of Underwater Stonehenge

Submerged underwater Stonehenge, a testament to ancient human ingenuity and craftsmanship.
Divers have retrieved a small portion of poplar wood. Source: Thurgau Archaeological Office

Utilizing advanced technology, researchers were able to discern the human touch on these stones. High-frequency electromagnetic pulses, coupled with an underwater geo-radar from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany, allowed archaeologists to explore the lake sediments and stone deposits, seeking insights into the origins and purpose of these stone works.

The archaeologists say that based on the analysis and position of how the rocks were found are indicative of the work of humans and not of nature. In other words, the researchers are convinced the formation is not random and was created thousands of years ago.

The Handiwork of Ancient Humans

The analysis of the stone structures led to a crucial conclusion—the stones, about forty centimeters in size, rest on post-glacial, banded lake deposits and are distinctly above the underlying upper edge of the moraine. These telltale signs affirmed that these cairns were indeed erected by human hands.

The Quest Continues

Over the next few months, the Thurgau Archeological Office will complete the documentation of the discoveries and the remaining analysis. An international team of researchers should then evaluate the results and publish them in a scientific publication. What the structures served is still unclear, but archaeologists hope to reveal more about the mysterious stone formations through future studies and soul analysis.

Unraveling History

The underwater Stonehenge in Switzerland stands as a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of our ancient ancestors. As the exploration of this fascinating site continues, we are reminded of the vast expanse of human history and the mysteries that still lie beneath the earth’s surface.

What is the significance of the underwater Stonehenge in Switzerland?

The underwater Stonehenge in Switzerland holds immense historical and archaeological significance. It provides insights into the craftsmanship and skills of ancient humans.

How old is the submerged stone formation?

The stone formation dates back more than 5,500 years, making it a remarkable testament to prehistoric times.

Why were the stones placed in the underwater formation?

The exact purpose of the stone formation remains unknown. Archaeologists speculate it could have served as a ceremonial site, burial ground, or religious structure.

How was the underwater Stonehenge discovered?

The stone formation was discovered during depth surveys of Lake Constance in 2015. It remained hidden until advanced technology unveiled its true nature.

Can the underwater Stonehenge be visited by the public?

Currently, the submerged Stonehenge is not accessible for public visits due to its location beneath Lake Constance. However, ongoing research may lead to further discoveries and interpretations that could shape future accessibility plans.

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