Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to megalith: post and lintel


a stone of great size, esp one forming part of a prehistoric monument
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


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.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


One of a group of large stones arranged in some pattern in a prehistoric monument.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the book's foreword, professor of British later prehistory at University College London, Mike Parker Pearson, writes: "Megaliths are among the most enduring remains from our prehistoric past.
Overall, the available empirical record suggests that Copper Age communities of the Lands of Antequera engaged in a wide range of burial practices which took place against a backdrop of morphological and architectural diversity, from the magnificent El Romeral tholos, perhaps the most majestic Iberian Copper Age megalith, to simple pits, through far smaller megaliths, perhaps built 'ex novo' or possibly erected in the Neolithic period and still used during the Copper Age.
Beyond the official 'megalith tour,' aided by the insights of historian Libanio in the environs of Evora, we continue to search for additional sites.
Named Gobekli Tepe, or "Potbelly Hill" in Turkish, the stone megaliths of Gobekli Tepe predate Stonehenge by 6,000 years.
We get to the centre of the village without managing to find any directions to the Megalith. The old men sitting in the nearby pub immediately point out the way: "Just follow the road, there are even pictures."
Two men used a hammer and screwdriver to chip away at the Heel Stone - the central megalith at the 5,000-year-old site - before they were spotted by security guards and chased away.
Salivary megalith with a sialo-cutaneous and a sialo-oral fistula: A case report.
The climax of the video is the dramatic erection of "Welcome", a megalith that greets guests to Earthwood and marks the equinox sunset.
From time to time, my mail delivers advertisements that offer a similar claim: some megalith is doing something new or different, "to serve me better." Riiiiight!
Austria's leading construction group, Wienerberger Baustoffe, has announced that it has signed an agreement on the acquisition of factories owned by Megalith, Germany's second brick manufacturer, from July 1.
Megalith content provider with cable network seeks Internet leader with 20 million subscribers.
Ralph Nader's recently published The Big Boys (with co-authors William Taylor and Andrew Moore) is a pathbreaking exploration of life at the summit of our corporate megalith, another of his examinations of the anatomy of power in the land of the moderately free and the home of the occasionally brave.