Archaeologists believe that the mysterious structure was built around 7,000 years ago.
Situated near Prague in the Czech Republic, this ancient structure was first discovered by construction workers back in the 1980s, but it was not until relatively recently that its full significance was realized.
Known as the Vinor roundel, the building was circular in shape and around 180 ft in diameter.
It isn’t clear what it was used for, but it has been speculated that local farming communities may have once gathered there and it was thought to be linked to a Neolithic settlement situated nearby.
The most startling thing about it, though, is its age – archaeologists now believe that it dates back as much as 7,000 years to the time of the Stroked Pottery culture which existed in Europe between 4900 BCE and 4400 BCE.
This means that it not only predates the Egyptian pyramids, but Stonehenge as well.
“Roundels are the oldest evidence of architecture in the whole of Europe,” said Jaroslav Ridky, a spokesperson for the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IAP).
Little is actually known about the nature and purpose of these structures other than that they likely served as some sort of communal gathering place.
Their size was also impressive – especially given that the people who built them only had access to primitive stone tools.
Around 4600 BCE, however, evidence of roundels disappeared from the archaeological record and it remains unclear why the people of the time stopped building them.
It is hoped that further analysis of the Vinor roundel will help to reveal more about how it was made and what the people of the time might have used it for.