Intel's Germany chip fab site yields discovery of 6,000-year-old burial mounds — no word yet about potential construction delays

Excavation of burial mounds and a chariot grave
(Image credit: Oliver Dietrich, State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt)

Archaeologists working at the site where Intel plans to develop a series of multi-billion dollar chip fabs in Germany have discovered two prehistoric burial mounds. The State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt (LDA) examined the 300-hectare industrial park area ahead of site development works and unearthed two approximately 6,000-year-old monumental wooden chambers containing multiple human and animal remains. Sometimes, archaeological discoveries have caused significant delays to associated building projects, so Intel management could have concerns. However, the LDA press release doesn't mention any potential delays, saying that research and excavations started last year and are scheduled to be finished this April.

(Image credit: Oliver Dietrich, State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt)

The above images clearly show human and animal remains. The LDA explains that two large trapezoidal wooden burial chambers, 20 and 30 meters long, were built 200 meters apart at the proposed Intel Magdeburg site. These were probably constructed by the Baalberg people, whose culture dominated Central Germany and Bohemia from 4100 to 3600 BC.

The LDA investigations suggest a corridor between the mounds was formed for ritual processions during the Globular Amphora Culture (3300 to 2800 BC). In one of the above images, where a human skeleton is in the foreground, it is thought that evidence of a 'chariot grave' has been uncovered. This type of Neolithic burial is characterized by a person being buried in front of a cart and the towing animals "creating the image of a cart with a driver or a plow pulled by cattle." The archaeologists say the human remains are from a 35 to 40-year-old man and that the cattle were 2 to 3 years old at the time of their sacrifice.

The LDA's discoveries are described as spectacular by the press release, but it wasn't that surprising to find ancient burials in this area. In the planned industrial park area, these burial mounds formed a small hill called the Eulenberg in an otherwise moderately flat or undulating environment. Such uniform geographic features are often found to be manmade. 

Intel Fab 29 in Germany is scheduled to come online in Q4 2027

Remember, Magdeburg will probably be Intel's largest and most important site in Europe. The first two fabs are scheduled to come online in late 2027, and Intel will assess the viability of up to six additional fab modules.

Returning to our concerns about whether Intel's construction plans might be affected by the archaeological discoveries, and the scale of any interruption in the construction of the first two semiconductor factories, we have reached out to Intel for comment.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.