11,000-year-old submerged stone wall discovered off Germany was once used to trap reindeer
An underwater stone wall discovered in the Baltic Sea near Germany was built about 11,000 years ago for hunting reindeer when the location was dry land, a new study indicates.
The researchers suggest the local prehistoric people built the wall; its remaining parts were crafted from 1,670 stones and stretch about two-thirds of a mile (975 meters) long, stand 3 feet (1 m) tall and are 6.5 feet (2 m) wide. The team discovered the wall via sonar and dives to the location, which is at a depth of about 70 feet (21 m) and roughly 6 miles (10 kilometers) east of Rerik, Germany, in the Bay of Mecklenburg.
The wall may be the largest of its kind from the early Holocene (11,700 years ago to present) in Europe, the researchers said in the study. Based on similar prehistoric walls — including the ancient "desert kites" found in the Middle East — the authors propose that it was built on dry land by hunter-gatherers to drive wild animal herds into corrals where they could be killed. They also suggest that the wall in the Bay of Mecklenburg was used to hunt reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), which was a common species in that part of Europe at the time.