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menhir(mĕn`hēr') [Breton,=long stone], in archaeology, name given to the single standing stones of Western Europe, and by extension to those of other lands. Their size varies and their shape is rough and squared, tapering toward the top. See megalithic monumentsmegalithic monument
[Gr.,=large stone], in archaeology, a construction involving one or several roughly hewn stone slabs of great size; it is usually of prehistoric antiquity.
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the simplest type of megalithic structure, consisting of a single block of upright stone sunk into the ground. Menhirs measure 4-5 m high and more; the highest one is in France, and it stands 20 m high and weighs about 300 tons. Menhirs some-times form long avenues (as in Karnak) or are sometimes ar-ranged in a circle (cromlechs). Apparently, they had a religious significance. Most of the menhirs are in northwestern Europe, but some have been found in Asia and Africa. They are common in the USSR in certain parts of Siberia and the Caucasus.