Great dolmen

The great dolmen or grand dolmen[1] (German: Großdolmen, Danish: Stordysse) is a type of megalithic site of the Funnelbeaker culture (TBK) that occurs in Nordic megalith architecture, primarily in the east of what is now German Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and which has two different types of entrance. Neolithic monuments are features of the culture and ideology of Neolithic communities. Their evolution and function act as indicators of social development.[2] The type of site, called Stordysse in Danish, does not follow the criteria listed below. In Germany, dolmens with three or more capstones are described as great dolmens and are divided into:

  • Great dolmens with an antechamber (Vorraum)
  • Great dolmens with a porch (Windfang)

The porch dolmen is mainly found on the island of Rügen and on the mainland opposite the island. The antechamber dolmen is found southeast of that, between Demmin and the island of Usedom. Several variant, but very rare examples recall the extended or polygonal dolmen types. In Mecklenburg there are 146 great dolmens, of which Ewald Schuldt has investigated 44. There are also two great dolmens in Schleswig-Holstein (Wees, Flensburg county and in Nebel auf Amrum), several in western Lower Saxony, but quite a few in Saxony-Anhalt (e.g. Lüdelsen 3).

Since the width of northern megalith sites is limited due to the source material used, the main design aim of their longitudinal extension was an effort to increase the size of the chambers. Great dolmens reach an average interior size of 14 cubic metres, a scale only otherwise matched by that of the gallery and passage grave. Great dolmens have up to five capstones lying on eight to twelve supporting stones. Several great dolmens were extended using wide piers (Zwischenmauerwerk), on which, in certain cases, even capstones may have been placed.

Like passage graves, great dolmens are a type of layout, in which the centre capstones were sometimes placed in a bay configuration (Jochbauweise, see picture). Whilst, initially, the roof was only built in such a way that its structural stability was based on a three-point support, in the later bay designs, a capstone could be supported on just two uprights (forming a single bay), the three stones being built as one unit, like a trilithon.

The 44 great dolmens that have been investigated were found in various configurations. Five were surrounded by rectangular and 8 by trapezoidal frames of standing stones; 4 were buried under circular mounds, but the majority, 26, were under mounds covered by boulders. In one case, the type of mound was not known because it had been removed. The trapezoidally-framed dolmens (e.g. Dwasieden, Lancken-Granitz I, Kruckow, Nadelitz, Pöglitz, Poggedorf Forest) have guardian stones, sometimes at both ends. The great dolmen of Gaarzerhof, which initially lay within a very short rectangular frame, was eventually covered with a circular mound.

Megawal24
Great dolmen construction features.
Key: Dreipunktauflage = 3-point support, Zwischenmauerwerkauflage = pier support, Jochauflagen = bay supports or trilithons, Vorraum = antechamber or forecourt, Windfang = porch

See also

References

  1. ^ Bakker, JA (1992). The Dutch Hunebedden, University of Michigan.
  2. ^ J. Müller In: Varia neolithica VI 2009 p. 15

Literature

  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut – Abteilung Madrid: Probleme der Megalithgräberforschung. Vorträge zum 100. Geburtstag von Vera Leisner. New York : de Gruyter Berlin u. a. 1990, ISBN 3-11-011966-8 (Madrider Forschungen 16).
  • Michael Schmidt: Die alten Steine. Reisen zur Megalithkultur in Mitteleuropa. Hinstorff, Rostock 1998, ISBN 3-356-00796-3.
  • Ewald Schuldt: Die mecklenburgischen Megalithgräber. Untersuchungen zu ihrer Architektur und Funktion. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1972 (Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte der Bezirke Rostock, Schwerin und Neubrandenburg. 6, ISSN 0138-4279).
  • Jürgen E. Walkowitz: Das Megalithsyndrom. Europäische Kultplätze der Steinzeit. Beier & Beran, Langenweißbach 2003, ISBN 3-930036-70-3 (Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte Mitteleuropas. 36).
Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.

Chamber tomb

A chamber tomb is a tomb for burial used in many different cultures. In the case of individual burials, the chamber is thought to signify a higher status for the interree than a simple grave. Built from rock or sometimes wood, the chambers could also serve as places for storage of the dead from one family or social group and were often used over long periods for multiple burials.

Most chamber tombs were constructed from large stones or megaliths and covered by cairns, barrows or earth. Some chamber tombs are rock-cut monuments or wooden-chambered tombs covered with earth barrows. Grave goods are a common characteristic of chamber tomb burials.

In Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe, stone-built examples of these burials are known by the generic term of megalithic tombs. Chamber tombs are often distinguished by the layout of their chambers and entrances or the shape and material of the structure that covered them, either an earth barrow or stone cairn. A wide variety of local types has been identified, and some designs appear to have influenced others.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Demmin

Demmin (German pronunciation: [dɛˈmiːn]) is a town in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. It was the capital of the former district of Demmin.

Goldbusch

The Goldbusch is a great dolmen (German: Großdolmen), a type prehistoric grave site, that lies between Altensien and Moritzdorf on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen. The megalithic tomb with Sprockhoff No. 508 was built between 3500 and 2800 B. C. in the New Stone Age as a megalithic site of the Funnelbeaker culture (TBK).

According to Ingrid Schmidt, "Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of New Stone Age communities. Their creation and function are features of social development".

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Great Dolmen of Comenda da Igreja

The Great Dolmen of Comenda da Igreja (Portuguese: Anta Grande de Comenda da Igreja, or alternately Anta Grande da Herdade da Igreja) is a megalithic funerary site in the civil parish of Nossa Senhora do Bishop, in the municipality of Montemor-o-Novo, in the central Alentejo region of continental Portugal.

Great Dolmen of Dwasieden

The Great dolmen of Dwasieden (German: Großdolmen von Dwasieden), is a great dolmen in the borough of Sassnitz, on the Jasmund peninsula of Germany's largest island, Rügen. It was excavated in 1970 by Ewald Schuldt and is designated a Sprockhoff No. 472. The megalithic site of the Funnelbeaker culture (TBK) was constructed between 3500 and 2800 BC.

According to Ingrid Schmidt, "Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of New Stone Age communities. Their creation and function are features of social development".

The site was painted in 1806 by the Greifswald-born artist, Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). His diagrams and sketches are kept in the Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology at Oxford.

Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro

Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro (Portuguese: Anta Grande do Zambujeiro) is a megalithic monument located in Nossa Senhora da Tourega, near Valverde, in the municipality of Évora, considered one of the biggest such structures in the Iberian Peninsula.

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Guardian stones

Guardian stones (German: Wächtersteine) are standing stones, always occurring in pairs, at the corners of rectangular and trapezoidally-arranged stone enclosures (hunebeds) around a dolmen. They are found especially in Scandinavia, in the German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony (Salongrab), Saxony-Anhalt (Drebenstedt, Leetze, Winterfeld) and occasionally in Holstein (Alter Hau). They are strikingly large stone blocks that form the corner post of enclosures or project above them like antae and lend the stone enclosures a monumental appearance.

Guardian stones are typical of trapezoidal enclosures. In Germany the most impressive examples of trapezoidal sites are Dwasieden, Dummertevitz and Nobbin on the island of Rügen.

At the Great Dolmen of Dwasieden, guardian stones of 3.3 and 3.5 metres in height guard the wide end of the dolmen and ones of 1.4 and 1.6 metres high stand sentinel at the narrow end.

At the wide end of the trapezoidal enclosure of Nobbin there are guardian stones of 3.3 and 3.4 metres in height, each weighing 25 tons. At the narrow end they are 1.5 metres high and weigh just under six tons.On the mainland, only a stone block at the enclosure of Kritzow, Parchim, reaches such a height. The guardian stones of sites in the Altmark are up to 2.8 metres high.

At several sites, guardian stones have been so arranged that the corner blocks jut out at an angle from the phalanx of stones. For example, the simple dolmen of Frauenmark, Parchim county, and the passage grave of Mellen, in the county of Prignitz. At the large passage grave of Naschendorf, Nordwestmecklenburg all the blocks at the narrow end are arranged in a concave way, so that the corners are very prominent. The same shape is seen at the wide end of the trapezoidal bed of Kruckow, Demmin county.

Entirely outside the phalanx of the enclosure are the guardian stones at a number of rectangular enclosures. These blocks are anta-like extensions of the stone sides of the enclosure and stand in front of it. Other guardian stones stand out very little or not at all from the rest of the stone enclosure. Examples are the enclosures of Grevesmühlen-Barendorf, Nordwestmecklenburg, Barkvieren, Rostock county and Mankmoos, Nordwestmecklenburg.

A variation of the guardian stone concept are those ends of long enclosures where all (four or five) almost equally high stones are many times higher than the stones along the two sides, as is the case at the Visbeker sites (Visbeker Braut und Bräutigam).

Investigations of the guardian stones of Dwasieden, Lancken-Granitz 1 and Nobbin revealed that the stones were not erected separately from the remaining blocks in the enclosures. Their bases are located at the same height as the other stones in the enclosure and there are or were always links in the shape of dry stone walls, to the other blocks. Although value was placed on especially high guardian stones, in general only glacial erratics were used that had a good surface on which to stand and therefore guaranteed stability. This necessity is demonstrated by the guardian stone of the Dwasieden site, which did not have a good base area for stability and fell over, as the 40 cup marks on its upper surface show.

Harhoog

The Harhoog is a dolmen, a rectangular megalithic tomb from the Funnelbeaker culture, located near Keitum on the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Discovered in 1925, it was moved to the present site in 1954 when a new airport was developed.

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Plano point

In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.

They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.

Tor enclosure

A tor enclosure is a prehistoric monument found in the southwestern part of Great Britain. These monuments emerged around 4000 BC in the early

Neolithic.

Uniface

In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Yubetsu technique

The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.

The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.

To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.

This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.

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