megalith

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megalith

a stone of great size, esp one forming part of a prehistoric monument

Megalith

 

a structure made of huge blocks of undressed or crudely dressed stone. Megaliths include dolmens, menhirs, cromlechs, cists, and covered galleries. They are found throughout the world, except Australia, primarily in coastal regions. In Europe, megaliths generally date from the Aeneolithic period and the Bronze Age (3,000-2,000 B.C.); those in England, however date from the Neolithic.

It is not always possible to establish the purpose of a particular megalith. For the most part, megaliths were used for burials or were linked with the burial cult. Evidently they were communal structures. Their erection constituted a very complex problem for primitive technology and required the combined efforts of numerous people.

REFERENCES

Artsikhovskii, A. V. Vvedenie v arkheologiiu, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1947.
Niderle, L. Chelovechestvo v doistoricheskie vremena. St. Petersburg, 1898. (Translated from Czech.)
Obermaier, H. Doistoricheskii chelovek. St. Petersburg, 1913. (Translated from German.)

megalith

[′meg·ə‚lith]
(archeology)
One of a group of large stones arranged in some pattern in a prehistoric monument.
References in periodicals archive ?
Secondly, recent excavations and restorations of megaliths in Denmark have revealed the symbolic meanings locked within these structures--their architecture and the raw materials used to create it--and have alerted us to the existence of complex ceremonial landscapes where individuals and groups, through a wide range of rituals, expressed their ideas about the nature of the world in which they lived (Dehn et al.
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Eventually all of these megaliths became just too big to function, and as long as they took to put together, they started breaking up and falling apart surprisingly quickly.
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That's certainly been true in relation to Europe's ancient megaliths.
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Their theory - that it was the wind, not slaves, that helped raise the megaliths of ancient Egypt - got some support last year when they used a mammoth kite to hoist a 3.
The much-debated first settlement of Australia and the Americas and the controversial Kennewick skull are considered, as is the significance of European megaliths.