cromlech

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cromlech

(krŏm`lĕk) [Welsh or Breton,=crooked stone], term that has changed in meaning from its original equivalent to dolmendolmen
[Breton,=stone table], burial chamber consisting of two or more upright stone slabs supporting a capstone or table, typical of the Neolithic period in Europe. See megalithic monuments.
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. It later came to be used for a single standing stone and now usually refers to a circle of such stones; however, the term is used in this sense for such remains on the Continent, e.g., Britanny and Portugal, rather than for those on the British Isles.

Cromlech

 

a type of megalithic structure of the Neolithic period and primarily the Bronze Age. Usually, a cromlech consists of huge (up to 6–7 m high) free-standing stones that form one circle or several concentric circles. The stones enclose an area sometimes containing a dolmen or menhir. Cromlechs reveal that their creators already possessed the fundamentals of composition, a feeling for rhythm and scale, and the tectonics of post-and-lintel construction. Excavations within cromlechs have yielded burials, polished stone axes, modeled pottery, and stone grain mortars.

Cromlechs are encountered in Asia and America, but they are particularly abundant in Europe (France, Great Britain) and the USSR (in Transcaucasia). The cromlechs of Stonehenge and Avebury in Great Britain and Carnac in France are particularly well known. Their purpose is debatable. Most likely, they were ritual structures for burials and for religious ceremonies. According to one theory, cromlechs were connected with the sun cult and were temples of the sun.

A. L. MONGAIT

cromlech

1. A monument of prehistoric or uncertain date consisting of an enclosure formed by huge stones planted in the ground in a circle.
2. A dolmen.

cromlech

1. a circle of prehistoric standing stones
2. (no longer in technical usage) a megalithic chamber tomb or dolmen
References in periodicals archive ?
Pentre Ifan (Ivan's Village ) is a cromlech from around 3,500BC.
Cromlechs are possible dolmenic survivors in an era when the custom of incinerating bodies was introduced and no megalithic chamber had to be constructed.
In a synthetic study of cromlechs (Penalver, 2005), 1,452 monuments were counted and distributed in the following territories: 35% in Navarre, 15% in Lower Navarre, 20% in Bearn, 12% in Huesca and Gipuzkoa--to the west of the Oria and Leizaran rivers--and 5% in Lapurdi.
For example, what type of relations does a population that constructs this type of funerary architecture (cromlechs, burial mound cromlechs and burial mounds) have with groups where these structures are unknown but cists are known--e.
In the absence of a systematic study of cromlech evidence and based on the data from the literature, we can state that many cromlechs are located in schists, slates, sandstone, quartz, etc.
By contrast, in areas of sedimentary cover, these monuments are scarce, with a few sites in the calcareous sandstone of the coastal mountains of Jaizkibel --5 dolmens and 6 cromlechs--and Mendizorrotz --5 dolmens and 3 cromlechs--, as well as in the limestone of the Aralar Mountains--more than 50 dolmens and 2 cromlechs--, Andia--6 cromlechs and 12 dolmens--and Urbasa--1 cromlech and 23 dolmens--, in addition to the possible ruined dolmens inventoried as burial mounds in the last two areas (Barrero et al, 2005).
A progressive decrease in the number of cromlechs can be observed from the area around Valcarlos towards the east (Fig.
The burial-mound Cromlechs of Ondarre (Sierra de Aralar)
The depression in which the cromlechs are located consists of fluvial sediments deposited by the torrential stream or course, which is incorporated at the low point of Ondarre.
found the dolmens, menhirs, and cromlechs upon their arrival.
The cromlech is mostly sunk into the slope of the field, with large stones forming the walls and one massive capstone still in place.
Capel Garmon cromlech was erected in the Neolithic age between 2500-1900 BC for the communal burial of the dead