Sites & cities that bear the name of Lohra tomb

Lohra tomb

Today in : Germany
First trace of activity : ca. 30th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 30th century B.C.E
Recorded names : Steinkammergrab von Lohra

Description : The Lohra tomb (German: Steinkammergrab von Lohra) was a megalithic monument outside Lohra near Marburg in north central Hesse, Germany. It is one of the lesser known among its type in Central Europe. It dates to the late Neolithic, probably just after 3000 BC. It belongs to the gallery graves of the Wartberg culture, but is unique among them because of its rich ceramic assemblage. The tomb was discovered accidentally in 1931 by the farmer Jakob Elmshäuser who encountered an obstacle when ploughing a field. It turned out to be a large rectangular sandstone block, sitting just below the surface. Professor Gero von Merhart, specialist for prehistoric monuments in the area, was contacted. As a result, the site was excavated by students from the University of Marburg under the direction of Otto Uenze. Tomb architecture The sunken rectangular chamber measured c. 5 x 2.2m (internal measurements), narrowing somewhat towards the back. Although most of its orthostaths were missing, it was still possible to reconstruct its rectangular plan from the foundation trenches. The individual slabs reached a length of 60 cm to 1m, were 40 cm wide and about 80 cm high. Their weight varied between 800 and 1,000 kg. The tomb consisted of a large main chamber and a small open antechamber. They were separated by a large sandstone slab with a circular hole, similar to the one at Züschen. This so-called Seelenloch (German for "soul hole") had a diameter of 30–35 cm. It is suggested that such a small opening should not have served the passage of dead bodies but may represent a symbolic gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead during cultic rituals or offering ceremonies that took place in the anteroom. Only a quarter of the Lohra Seelenloch stone survived. The bottom of the sunken main chamber was covered with a clay floor of 3–5 cm thickness. The tomb probably had a wooden roof. The presence of many stones in and around the chamber probably indicates that it was originally covered by an artificial mound or tumulus.

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