GIANT STONES OF THE MARK

Till the modern times people used the glacial erratics and rocks for house building or church erection in this very agricultural dominated North-Eastern small region of Germany called Uckermark while ‘Ucker‘ is just a nearby river, and the term ‘Mark‘ means borderland where frontiers are crossed to other lands.  The countryside offers sometimes a more brittle charm, but you can discover interesting places and a lot of nature with tremendous stones.

There, on the outskirts of the small and otherwise unspectacular village Trebenow (near the city of Prenzlau) a relic of the Neolithic period has survived in quite good and original condition, a typical stone grave of the Funnelbeaker culture being constructed around 3,000 BC. This old burial place is also known as Hünenstein (i. e. Giant’s Stone), and the bearing granite stones had been dug nearly 1 m into the ground. The massive granite serving as the roof has a length of nearly 3 m and a weight of more than 4 t, as a whole a real delicate construction.

Even with today’s technical equipment it would be still a demanding task to erect the astonishing structure which was looted in the course of time. Archeological research in 1904 resulted only in very little findings inside of the grave chamber: 2 horse teeth, 1 burnt small hollow bone and 2 undecorated grey ceramic shards. At a small country road in Trebenow a very small direction sign – which can be easily overlooked – draws possibly some attention to this archaic location, but you cannot see the grave itself from the street because it lies well hidden behind an agricultural barn.

While this archeological site locates within used farmland, the ritual place is usually only completely visible after the harvest during fall or winter. Dozens of similar places can be found in the lands stretching along the Baltic and North Sea, but the greater public does not know much of them like this secret and lonesome stony space in the Mark.

For developping and farming the erratics and stones, left in the Uckermark after the last ice age, had to be removed from the landscape anyhow. Therefore, it is not astonishing that this rocky legacy has been often featured in local traditions and legends. Petrification, the turning of people into a stone, comprises one common topic in this respect like in other more well-known mythologies, because stones as natural monuments are always reminding us to the opening of known history and much older ages, a beginning in fascinating form and shape.