Dolmen - Wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Dolmen (disambiguation).
Trethevy Quoit – Koyt Trethewi, a Cornish dolmen
A dolmen (/ˈdɒlmɛn/) is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone ("table"), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic (4000–3000 BC). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact.
It remains unclear when, why, and by whom the earliest dolmens were made. The oldest known dolmens are in Western Europe, where they were set in place around 7,000 years ago. Archaeologists still do not know who erected these dolmens, which makes it difficult to know why they did it. They are generally all regarded as tombs or burial chambers, despite the absence of clear evidence for this. Human remains, sometimes accompanied by artefacts, have been found in or close to the dolmens which could be scientifically dated using radiocarbon dating. However, it has been impossible to prove that these remains date from the time when the stones were originally set in place.
3 Dolmen sites
3.1.4 Middle East
3.2.1 Horn of Africa
3.2.2 North Africa
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
The word dolmen has a confused history. The word entered archaeology when Théophile Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne used it to describe megalithic tombs in his Origines gauloises (1796) using the spelling dolmin (the current spelling was introduced about a decade later and had become standard in French by about 1885). The Oxford English Dictionary does not mention "dolmin" in English and gives its first citation for "dolmen" from a book on Brittany in 1859, describing the word as "The French term, used by some English authors, for a cromlech ...". The name was supposedly derived from a Breton language term meaning "stone table" but doubt has been cast on this, and the OED describes its origin as "Modern French". A book on Cornish antiquities from 1754 said that the current term in the Cornish language for a cromlech was tolmen ("hole of stone") and the OED says that "There is reason to think that this was the term inexactly reproduced by Latour d'Auvergne [sic] as dolmen, and misapplied by him and succeeding French archaeologists to the cromlech". Nonetheless it has now replaced cromlech as the usual English term in archaeology, when the more technical and descriptive alternatives are not used.
Dolmens are known by a variety of names in other languages, including Irish: dolmain, Galician and Portuguese: anta, German: Hünengrab/Hünenbett, Afrikaans and Dutch: hunebed, Abkhazian: Adamra, Adyghe Ispun, dysse (Danish and Norwegian), dös (Swedish), Korean: 고인돌 goindol(mordenized word: stacked stone), "dol(stone)", "dolmaengj (pebble-stones, varied stones)", and Hebrew: גַלעֵד. Granja is used in Portugal, Galicia, and Spain. The rarer forms anta and ganda also appear. In the Basque Country, they are attributed to the jentilak, a race of giants.
The etymology of the German: Hünenbett, Hünengrab and Dutch: hunebed - with Hüne/hune meaning "giant" - all evoke the image of giants building the structures. Of other Celtic languages, Welsh: cromlech was borrowed into English and quoit is commonly used in English in Cornwall.
This is known as a keyhole entrance
Rectangular, enlarged or extended dolmen
Simple dolmenDolmen sites
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Asia
The capstone is covered with grass for protection during the transport, the stick with kain shows the stone is for a raja, Sumba, 1931, Tropenmuseum
Korean dolmens exhibit a morphology distinct from the Atlantic European dolmen. The largest concentration of dolmens in the world is found on the Korean Peninsula. With an estimated 35,000 dolmens, Korea alone accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s total. The largest distribution of these is on the west coast area of South Korea, an area that would eventually become host to the Mahan confederacy and be united under the rule of the ancient kingdom of Baekje at one time.
Three specific UNESCO World Heritage sites at Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa ( Hwasun – 34°58′39″N 126°55′54″E / 34.9775414°N 126.931551°E / 34.9775414; 126.931551) by themselves account for over 1,000 dolmens.The Korean word for dolmen is goindol (Hangul: 고인돌) "supported stone". Serious studies of the Korean megalithic monuments were not undertaken until relatively recently, well after much research had already been conducted on dolmens in other regions of the world. Since 1945, new research has been conducted by Korean scholars. In 1981 a curator of National Museum of Korea, Gon'gil Ji, classified Korean dolmens into two general types: northern and southern. The boundary between them falls at the Bukhan River although examples of both types are found on either side. Northern style dolmens stand above ground with a four sided chamber and a megalithic roof (also referred to as "table type"), while southern style dolmens are normally built into the ground and contain a stone chest or pit covered by a rock slab.Korean dolmens can also be divided into three main types: the table type, the go-table type and the unsupported capstone type. The dolmen in Ganghwa is a northern-type, table-shaped dolmen and is the biggest stone of this kind in South Korea, measuring 2.6 by 7.1 by 5.5 m (8.5 by 23.3 by 18.0 ft). There are many sub-types and different styles. Southern type dolmens are associated with burials but the reason for building northern style dolmens is uncertain.Due to the vast numbers and great variation in styles, no absolute chronology of Korean dolmens has yet been established. It is generally accepted that the Korean megalithic culture emerged from the late Neolithic age, during which agriculture developed on the peninsula, and flourished throughout the Bronze Age. Some dolmens depict astronomical formations, dated up to 3000 B.C. effectively the first star-chart in the world. How and why Korea has produced so many dolmens are still poorly understood. There is no current conclusive theory on the origin of Korea's megalithic culture, and so it is difficult to determine the true cultural character of Korean dolmens. Some dolmens are also found in Manchuria and the Shandong Peninsula. Off the peninsula, similar specimens can be found in smaller numbers, but they are often considerably larger than the Korean dolmens. It is a mystery why this culture flourished so extensively only on the Korean peninsula and its vicinity in Northeast Asia.
Karnataka: In Karnataka more than 50 dolmens are identified on top of Pandavara Betta about 7 km (4.3 mi) away from Somwarpet towards Shaniwar Sante in Madikeri (Coorg) District.
Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu more than 100 dolmens are identified in the Moral Pari near Mallachandram  located 19 km (12 mi) from Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu.
Telangana: In Telangana dolmen graves are identified near Thatikonda, Jangaon district. Also at Dharmasagar reservoir, Warangal Urban District, Telangana.There are also dolmens in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in South India.
See also: Dolmens of North Caucasus and Dolmens of Abkhazia
Over 3,000 dolmens and other structures can be found in the North-Western Caucasus region in Russia, where more and more dolmens are discovered in the mountains each year. These dolmens are related to the Maykop culture. This great city of dolmens was built along the shores of the Black Sea from Maykop down to Sochi. The inhabitants were metal workers. The dolmens were vaults or safes of stone, with a narrow circular entrance that could be tapped with a round screw of stone. Supposedly the dolmens were used to hide and protect metal objects: gold, silver, bronze, jewels and some other treasure. Trade of these objects was done with Persia, Assyria, Egypt and Crete. The Dolmen City was pillaged and sacked by Scythian invaders in the early first millennium BC. The metal workers were enslaved.
Dolmens can be found in Israel, Syria, Iran and Jordan. Numerous large dolmens are in the Israeli National park at Gamla and some of dolmens can be viewed in the meshkin shahr at shahr yeri or pirazmian.There are many examples of flint dolmens in the historical villages of Johfiyeh and Natifah in northern Jordan. The greatest number of dolmens are around Madaba, like the ones at Al Faiha village, 10 km (6.2 mi) to the west of Madaba city. Two dolmens are in Hisbone, and the most have been found at Zarqa Ma'in at Al-Murayghat, which are being destroyed by gravel quarries.In Turkey, there are some dolmens in the Regions of Lalapasa and Suloglu in the Province of Edirne and the Regions of KOfcaz, Kirklareli and Demirkoy in the Province of Kirklareli, in the Eastern Thrace. They have been studied by Prof. Dr. Engin Beksaç, since 2004. And also, some of so-called monuments are in the different regions of Anatolia, in Turkey.
Gochang Dolmen, a table-style dolmen, Korea
Hongseong dolmen, a dissection-style dolmen, Korea
A dolmen erected by Neolithic people in Marayur, India
Dolmen circles, Sulimalthe, Somwarpet
Dolmens of Marayoor in Kerala, India
Megalithic Dolmen at Dannanapeta in Andhra Pradesh, India
Dolmen in the Zhane river valley, Russia
Flint dolmen in Johfiyeh, Jordan
Flint dolmen in Johfiyeh, Jordan
This dolmen has been moved to the yard of the Jordan museum
Horn of Africa
In northern Somalia, the town of Aw Barkhadle, named in honour of the 13th century scholar and saint Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn, is surrounded by a number of ancient structures. Among these are dolmens, burial mounds, menhirs (standing stones), and stelae.
In northern Tunisia, Dougga is an important ancient site, which contains a necropolis with dolmens. The settlement also features a sanctuary dedicated to Ba'al Hammon, neo-Punic stelae, the mausoleum, architectural fragments, and a temple dedicated to Masinissa, the remains of which were found during archaeological excavations.
Dolmen at Roknia, an ancient necropolis in the Guelma region of northeast Algeria; the site includes more than 7000 dolmens spread over an area of 2 km (1.2 mi)
See also: Dolmens of Western Pomerania
Megalithic tombs are found from the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea and North Sea coasts south to Spain and Portugal. Hunebedden are chamber tombs similar to dolmens and date to the middle Neolithic (Funnelbeaker culture, 4th millennium BC). They consist of a kerb surrounding an oval mound, which covered a rectangular chamber of stones with the entrance on one of the long sides. Some have a more complex layout and include an entrance passage giving them a T-shape. Various menhirs and dolmens are located around the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. Pottery uncovered in these structures allowed the attribution of the monuments to the Ġgantija and Mnajdra temples culture of the early Neolithic Age.Dolmen sites fringe the Irish Sea and are found in south-east Ireland, Wales, Devon and Cornwall. In Ireland, most dolmens are found on the west coast, particularly in Connemara and the Burren, which includes some of the better-known examples, such as Poulnabrone dolmen. Examples such as the Annadorn dolmen have also been found in Northern Ireland, where they may have co-existed with the court cairn tombs.
In Mecklenburg and Pomerania/Pomorze in Germany and Poland, Drenthe Netherlands, large numbers of these graves were disturbed when harbours, towns, and cities were built.The boulders were used in construction and road building. Others, such as the Harhoog, in Sylt, were moved to new locations. There are still many thousands left today in Europe.
By 2017, all the hunebedden in the Netherlands were put in a 3D atlas (accessible to the public for free) using photogrammetry. The data was obtained from a collaboration between the Province of Drenthe and the University of Groningen, subsidized by the Gratama Foundation.
Bulgaria: There are interesting dolmens in the regions related to the Sakar and Rhodope and Strandzha Mountains in Bulgaria. There is also a dolmen in Horë-Vranisht, Albania. It is locally known as "Guri me qiell" ("Stone in the sky") or "Sofra e Zotit" ("Table of the God").
Channel Islands: Many examples appear on the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, such as La Pouquelaye de Faldouet, La Sergenté, and La Hougue des Géonnais. The term Houge derives from the Old Norse word haugr, meaning a mound or barrow. The most famous of these sites is La Hougue Bie, a 6,000-year-old neolithic site that sits inside a large mound; later a chapel was built on the top of the mound.
France: In France important megalithic zones are situated in Vendée, Quercy and in the south of France (Languedoc, Rouergue and Corsica). Amongst the vast Neolithic collections of the Carnac stones in Brittany, several dozen dolmens are found. Across the country, several dolmens still stand, such as the ones of Passebonneau and des Gorces near Saint-Benoît-du-Sault.
Ireland: The largest dolmen in Europe is the Brownshill Dolmen in County Carlow, Ireland. Its capstone weighs about 150 tonnes.
Italy: In Italy dolmens can be found in Apulia, Sardinia and in Sicily. In this latter region there are small dolmens located in Mura Pregne (Palermo), Sciacca (Agrigento), Monte Bubbonia (Caltanissetta), Butera (Caltanissetta), Cava dei Servi (Ragusa), Cava Lazzaro (Siracusa), Avola (Siracusa). In the area named Cava dei Servi was found an atypical dolmen, away from the trilithic characteristic shape; it's a semi-oval monument formed by four rectangular slabs fixed into the ground. Another three slabs are on top, leaning in such a way they reduce the surface and form a false dome; two large parallelepiped boulders complete the construction.
Portugal: Dolmens can be found across Portugal, ranging from simple ones to more complex examples of megalithic architecture, such as the Almendres Cromlech or the Anta Grande do Zambujeiro.
Spain: In Spain dolmens can be found in Galicia (such as Axeitos), Basque Country and Navarre (like the Sorgin Etxea) and the basque name for them is Trikuharri or Jentiletxe, Catalonia (like Cova d'en Daina or Creu d'en Cobertella), Andalusia (like the Cueva de Menga) and Extremadura (like "Dolmen de Lácara").
United Kingdom: Lanyon Quoit is a dolmen in Cornwall, 2 mi (3.2 km) southeast of Morvah. It stands next to the road leading from Madron to Morvah. The capstone rested at 7 ft (2.1 m) high with dimensions of 9 by 17.5 ft (2.7 by 5.3 m) weighing 13.5 tons.
The dolmen Er-Roc'h-Feutet in Carnac, Brittany, France
Crucuno dolmen in Plouharnel, Brittany, France
Poulnabrone dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland
Kilclooney More dolmen near Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland
Lancken-Granitz dolmen, Germany
T-shaped Hunebed D27 in Borger-Odoorn, Netherlands
Dólmen da Aboboreira, Baião, Portugal
Dolmen of Avola, Sicily
Dolmen of Monte Bubbonia, Sicily
Dolmen of Cava dei Servi, Sicily
Dolmen of Oleiros, Spain
Dolmen Sa Coveccada, Mores, Sardinia
Cromlech at Enstone, Oxfordshire (p. 124, Feb 1824)
Plan of Cromlechs Near Kits Coty House, Kent (p. 124, Feb 1824)
Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites
Antequera Dolmens Site
Irish megalithic tombs
List of megalithic sites
Nordic megalith architecture
^ Lewis, S. (2009) Guide to the Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany, Nezert Books, ISBN 978-952-270-595-2
^ Bakker, Jan Albert (2009). Megalithic Research in the Netherlands, 1547–1911. Sidestone Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-9088900341.
^ Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne, Origines gauloises. Celles des plus anciens peuples de l'Europe puisées dans leur vraie source ou recherche sur la langue, l'origine et les antiquités des Celto-bretons de l'Armorique, pour servir à l'histoire ancienne et moderne de ce peuple et à celle des Français, p. PR1, at Google Books, 1796–97.
^ OED "Dolmen", 1st edition, 1897
^ Questioning Knockeen – Local educational website – The keyhole entrance in the image is the same one that is pictured on the website. The Wikipedia image is many years more recent than the educational website image.
^ a b c d Holcombe, Charles (2011). A history of East Asia : from the origins of civilization to the twenty-first century (1. publ. ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-521-51595-5. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
^ a b c d Nelson, Sarah Milledge (1993). The archaeology of Korea (Asian ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-521-40783-4. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
^ a b Joussaume, Roger Dolmens for the Dead Batsford Ltd (Jan 1988) ISBN 978-0-7134-5369-0 p. 141–142
^ Jensen Jr., John. Earth Epochs: Cataclysms across the Holocene. John Jensen. p. 276. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
^ Meyerhoff, Janusz (2013). Misteryous Megalithic Structures. Lulu. ISBN 978-1-304-65092-4. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
^ UNESCO World Heritage List. "Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites." http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/977
^ Megalithic Cultures in Asia, Kim Byung-mo, 1982, Hanyang University Press
^ Holcombe 2011, p. 79.
^ Nelson, Sarah Milledge (2012). The Archaeology of Northeast China: Beyond the Great Wall. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-134-81659-0. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
^ Joussaume, Roger Dolmens for the Dead Batsford Ltd (Jan 1988) ISBN 978-0-7134-5369-0 p. 280
^ "Krishnagiri District Website". Krishnagiri.tn.nic.in. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
^ Map, The Megalithic Portal and Megalith. "Gamla Dolmen field". Andy Burnham.
^ Oldest archaeological org in Israel: http://www.hadashot-esi.org.il/report_detail_eng.aspx?id=1164&mag_id=115
^ "Madaba dolmens". Video on YouTube. Missing or empty |url= (help)
^ "Where have all the dolmens gone?". Video on YouTube. Missing or empty |url= (help)
^ Briggs, Phillip (2012). Somaliland. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 98. ISBN 1-84162-371-7.
^ Journal of European Archaeology (JEA), 5 (1997); Emilia Pásztor and Curt Roslund: Orientation of Maltese dolmens.
^ 3D atlas
^ Edward Frederick Knight. Albania: A Narrative of Recent Travel – Primary Source Edition. Blackstaff Press. p. 257.
^ "The Scandinavian Contribution in Normandy". Viking.no. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
^ Weir, A (1980). Early Ireland. A Field Guide. Belfast: Blackstaff Press. p. 101.
^ Salvatore Piccolo, Ancient Stones, op. cit.
^ Salvatore Piccolo, ibidem, pages 13 onwards.
^ a b The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. 94 (1): 124. February 1824 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=mKVJAAAAYAAJ&dq=the+gentlemans+magazine+1824&source=gbs_navlinks_s. Retrieved 13 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
Holcombe, Charles (2011). A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-51595-5.
Piccolo, Salvatore (2013). Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Thornham/Norfolk: Brazen Head Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9565106-2-4. Further reading
Trifonov, V., 2006. Russia's megaliths: unearthing the lost prehistoric tombs of Caucasian warlords in the Zhane valley. St.Petersburg: The Institute for Study of Material Culture History, Russian Academy of Sciences. Available from 
Kudin, M., 2001. Dolmeni i ritual. Dolmen Path – Russian Megaliths. Available from 
Knight, Peter. Ancient Stones of Dorset, 1996.External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dolmen.
Look up dolmen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.World heritage site of dolmen in Korea
The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map
Dolmen Museum in Italian and English
Goindol: Dolmen of Korea
Research Centre of Dolmens in Northeast Asia
Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland
"Dolmen (Goindol) sites in Korea". on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Jersey Heritage Trust
Dolmen Pictures by Robert Triest.vteEuropean megalithsArmenia
Brown Willy Cairns
The Bull Ring
Burnmoor stone circles
Long Meg and Her Daughters
The Merry Maidens
Nine Stones, Altarnun
Tumulus of Bougon
Caixa de Rotllan
Menhir de Champ-Dolent
Dolmen de Bagneux
Broken Menhir of Er Grah
Verziau of GargantuaGermany
Megaliths in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Route of Megalithic Culture
Beltany stone circle
Brú na Bóinne
Creevykeel Court Tomb
Gaulstown Portal Tomb
Grange stone circle
Templebryan Stone Circle
Uragh Stone CircleJersey
La Hougue BieMalta
Megalithic Temples (Borġ l-Imramma
Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni
Xagħra Stone CircleNetherlands
Anta Grande do Zambujeiro
Cunha Baixa DolmenRussia
Dolmens of North Caucasus
Megaliths in the Urals
Clach an Trushal
Ring of Brodgar
Barclodiad y Gawres
Bryn Cader Faner
Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Gwyn stones
Carreg Coetan Arthur
Lligwy Burial Chamber
Moel Tŷ Uchaf
Parc Cwm long cairn
St Lythans burial chamber
Tŷ Newydd Burial Chamber
Concentric stone circle
Recumbent stone circle
Photographs of stone circles
Middle Eastern megaliths
vteNeolithic Europe (including the Chalcolithic)↑ Mesolithic Europe ↑Horizons
Corded Ware culture
First Temperate Neolithic
Linear Pottery culture (LBK)Cultures
Windmill HillMonumental architecture
Unchambered long barrowTechnology
Neolithic long house
Secondary products revolution
Proto-Indo-Europeans↓ Bronze Age Europe ↓
New Stone Age
New World crops
Ard / plough
Mortar and pestle
Bow and arrow
Schöningen SpearsProjectile points
Game drive system
Langdale axe industry
Yubetsu techniqueOther tools
British megalith architecture
Nordic megalith architecture
Neolithic long house
Abri de la Madeleine
Alp pile dwellings
Wattle and daubWater management
Water wellOther architecture
Megalithic architectural elements
Sweet TrackArts and cultureMaterial goods
Art of the Upper Paleolithic
Art of the Middle Paleolithic
List of Stone Age art
Bradshaw rock paintings
Carved Stone Balls
Cup and ring mark
British Isles and Brittany
Mound Builders culture
Stone box grave
Unchambered long cairnOther cultural
Origin of language
Divje Babe flute
Origin of religion
Spiritual drug use
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dolmen&oldid=836217670"
Categories: DolmensBurial monuments and structuresMegalithic monumentsMonument typesStone monuments and memorialsStonesDeath customsMegalithic monuments in the Middle EastStone Age EuropeHidden categories: Pages using web citations with no URLPages with citations lacking titlesPages with citations having bare URLsArticles containing Irish-language textArticles containing Portuguese-language textArticles containing German-language textArticles containing Dutch-language textArticles containing Abkhazian-language textArticles containing Korean-language textArticles containing Hebrew-language textArticles containing Welsh-language textArticles needing additional references from January 2015All articles needing additional referencesAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from February 2016Pages using div col without cols and colwidth parametersWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiers
Not logged inTalkContributionsCreate accountLog in
Main pageContentsFeatured contentCurrent eventsRandom articleDonate to WikipediaWikipedia store
HelpAbout WikipediaCommunity portalRecent changesContact page
What links hereRelated changesUpload fileSpecial pagesPermanent linkPage informationWikidata itemCite this page
Create a bookDownload as PDFPrintable version
In other projects
АдыгабзэالعربيةAragonésAsturianuAzərbaycancaБеларускаяБългарскиBrezhonegCatalàČeštinaCymraegDanskDeutschEestiEspañolEsperantoEuskaraفارسیFrançaisFryskGàidhligGalego한국어ՀայերենHrvatskiIdoBahasa IndonesiaItalianoעבריתBasa JawaქართულიҚазақшаLatviešuLietuviųМакедонскиമലയാളംNederlandsNedersaksies日本語NorskNouormandOccitanOʻzbekcha/ўзбекчаPlattdüütschPolskiPortuguêsRomânăРусскийSicilianuSimple EnglishSlovenčinaSlovenščinaСрпски / srpskiSrpskohrvatski / српскохрватскиSuomiSvenskaதமிழ்తెలుగుไทยTürkçeУкраїнськаVènetoTiếng Việt中文 Edit links
This page was last edited on 13 April 2018, at 11:52.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License;
For more information about dolmen check the Wikipedia article here
ZME Science posts about dolmen