In 2015, archeologists revealed roughly 170 stone structures in Lake Constance at the northern foot of the Alps. In a research paper, Urs Leuzinger and his team wrote, “The flat mounds of pebbles were found arranged in a row like beads on a string along the shallow water zone at the southern end of Lake Constance between Romanshorn and Altnau, some 200 to 300 m from the lakeshore at a depth of 3 to 5 metres.
Seismic reflection profiles and ground-penetrating radar measurements revealed that the mounds had not been formed by glacial or some other natural processes. According to archaeological and natural scientific investigations, they probably date from the Neolithic period, though the function of this 10 km long prehistoric feature remains enigmatic.”
Now Leuzinger is attempting to uncover “the mystery of an underwater trail of ancient rock piles, or cairns,” that go on for miles and miles below the surface of Lake Constance. They appear to have been made by humans living over 5,000 years ago.
The huge cairns have garnered a lot of attention since they were first discovered almost a decade ago.
Vice noted, Investigations into the nature of the underwater cairn site are ongoing, but the 2021 study presents evidence from sediment cores and samples collected from the cairns that suggests they date back some 5,500 years. Most of the work has been focused on cairn 5, but the researchers are currently examining a new formation that will be discussed in a future work and which may hold clues about how they were made by ancient humans.
“At the moment, we are analyzing a second cairn,” Leuzinger said. “It looks quite similar to cairn number 5” and also includes evidence of “cut marks from stone axes,” he noted.
Archaeologists have previously unearthed the remains of stilt-house villages, known as pile-dwelling settlements, that were built by Neolithic peoples over the marshlands around this lake thousands of years ago. Leuzinger believes that many of these villages must have been involved in the construction of the cairns, because the formation is too large to have been the work of solely one settlement.
“What is for sure, you can not build 170 cairns with only one village-population,” he said. There must have been an organization and a big wish of the community around the lake, to build such cairns. New finds show that there are also such cairns on the northern shoreline in Germany!”
Underwater stone arrangements have been found all over the world. In 2007, one was found in Lake Michigan, shocking archeologists. A report about the site said, “While scanning underneath the waters of Lake Michigan for shipwrecks, archeologists found something a lot more interesting than they bargained for: they discovered a boulder with a prehistoric carving of a mastodon, as well as a series of stones arranged in a Stonehenge-like manner.
Using remote sensing techniques is common in modern archaeology – scientists routinely survey lakes and ground for hidden structures. At a depth of about 40 feet into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, using sonar techniques to look for shipwrecks, archeologists discovered sunken boats and cars and even a Civil War-era pier, but among all these they found this prehistoric surprise, which a trained eye can guess by looking at the sonar scans photos in this article.”
The stones are arranged in a circle below the surface of Lake Michigan and are thought to be at least 10,000 years old. Remarkably, one of the stones in the outer ring looks to have a carving of a mastodon.