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You can see in this picture the standing stones arranged in straight lines and in circles. These stones mark a burial ground for the ancient Vestini tribe.
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Photo courtesy Diego Meozzi/Stone Pages

The Stones of Fossa

The stone structures of England and France are very famous. But, one can also find stone rings, tombs, and dolmen structures in present-day Italy. One such megalithic structure is a site in Fossa, Abruzzo. At the Fossa site, you'll find Menhir or upright stones. The stones are arranged in circles and straight lines. They are also arranged in terms of height, from largest to smallest, so that the line of stones looks like a descending staircase.

These megalithic structures were likely put into place by the ancient Vestini tribe somewhere between 1,000 - 800 B.C. This period is considered the early Iron age.

Archeologists have found human bones at this site leading them to think it was used as a burial ground for the Vestini tribe. The stone slabs that are set in straight lines are aligned East to West. Some think that this alignment might have been both astronomical and religious. These ancient people would have seen the Sun cycle over and over again, with the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West. If these people believed in a sort of after life or reincarnation they would have hoped for a similar cycling of human soul as they buried people here. And so we see that these people might have related their culture and religion to the movements of the Sun in the sky.

Besides human bones, archeologists also found pottery, bronze vases, weapons and ornaments. These artifacts were probably buried with the original owners upon their death.

Last modified September 19, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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