On Saturday, I went to Kernavė, the “first capital” of Lithuania and a complex of five hillforts. In the 1200s, Kernavė was the economic-political center of Lithuania — but archaeological work on the site has revealed that the area was settled as early as the 9th-8th century BC. Hillforts are flat-top mounds used as fortifications, sacred sites, and settlements in ancient times. There are approximately 1000 hillforts across Lithuania, but Kernavė is the largest complex in the country. You can read more about archaeological discoveries at Kernavė here and here.
We also walked into the woods to find the Karmazinų pilkapynas — one of the largest sites of ancient burial mounds in the region with approximately 150 burial mounds dating back to the 6th century. These small hills are scattered throughout the forest along the river banks. It was a rainy afternoon, which added to the mysterious feeling in these ancients sites.
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