Polygonal dolmen

The polygonal dolmen (German: Polygonaldolmen) is a visually very attractive megalithic architectural structure and is therefore often depicted as the archetypal dolmen.[1] It is encountered especially frequently in the north of the Danish island of Zealand, in the Swedish province of Bohuslän and on the Cimbrian Peninsula, for example, at Troldkirken in Jutland. In Schleswig-Holstein, there are 11 examples. In Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt (Lüdelsen) they appear are only occasionally.

Megawal60
Diagram of a polygonal dolmen seen from above
The Cava dei Servi dolmen (Ragusa-Sicily)
Cava dei Servi dolmen. Example of polygonal dolmen in Sicily

Neolithic monuments are expressions of the culture and ideology of Neolithic communities. Their emergence and function are indicators of social development.[2]

Five to nine supporting stones, or orthostats, shape the ground plan of the polygonal chamber. A single, sometimes especially large capstone covers them. An externally built entrance passage, whilst obligatory, has often not survived. In Dithmarschen the rectangular and polygonal dolmens of Albersdorf are particularly important. The Brutkamp is one of the most impressive examples of this type. Typologically viewed, the chamber of Hemmelmark, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, stands out, with its unusual dimensions of 2.8 × 2.25 metres and the division of sub-chambers by vertical slabs. Polygonal dolmen occur more rarely within stone enclosures (Schülldorf) and more frequently in round barrows (e.g. Dannewerk, Eckernförde, Haßmoor and Süderende).

Originally it was thought (e.g. by Ekkehard Aner, Johannes Brondstedt) that this type of dolmen originated in the west, due to its approximately circular construction. These views were refuted by comprehensive research by Ewald Schuldt in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which emphasized the autochthonous origin of different types.

See also

References

  1. ^ This detailed classification of dolmens into subtypes is only common in Germany. In the Netherlands and Poland these types do not occur. In Denmark and Sweden a distinction is only made between dolmens (Dysse, Döse) and passage graves. In Denmark the type of mound is used to distinguish dolmens in the nomenclature (Runddysse and Langdysse)
  2. ^ J. Müller In: Varia neolithica VI 2009 p. 15

Literature

  • Piccolo, Salvatore (2013). Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Thornham/UK: Brazen Head. ISBN 978-0-9565106-2-4.
  • Jutta Roß: Megalithgräber in Schleswig-Holstein. Untersuchungen zum Aufbau der Grabanlagen nach neueren Ausgrabungsbefunden. Kovač, Hamburg, 1992, ISBN 3-86064-046-1 (Zugleich: Hamburg, Univ., Magisterarbeit, 1987).
  • 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).
Baden culture

The Baden culture, c. 3600–2800 BC, is a Chalcolithic culture found in Central and Southeast Europe. It is known from Moravia (Czech Republic), Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, northern Serbia, western Romania and eastern Austria. Imports of Baden pottery have also been found in Germany and Switzerland (Arbon-Bleiche III), where it could be dated by dendrochronology.

Bank barrow

A bank barrow, sometimes referred to as a barrow-bank, ridge barrow, or ridge mound, is a type of tumulus first identified by O.G.S. Crawford in 1938.

In the United Kingdom, they take the form of a long, sinuous, parallel-sided mound, approximately uniform in height and width along its length, and usually flanked by ditches on either side. They may be the result of a single phase of construction, or be the result of the addition of one or more linear extensions to the bank of a pre-existing barrow. Although burials have been found within the mound, no burial chambers as such have been identified in bank barrows. These ancient monuments are of middle Neolithic date.

There exist fewer than 10 bank barrows in the United Kingdom; examples may be found at

Maiden Castle, Broadmayne and Martin's Down in Dorset;

Long Low near Wetton in Staffordshire.

Cerny culture

The Cerny culture (French: La Culture de Cerny, German: Cerny-Kultur) is a Neolithic culture in France that dates to the second half of the 5th millennium B.C. and that is particularly prevalent in the Paris Basin. It is characterized by monumental earth mounds, known as enclosures of the Passy type. The term is derived from the "Parc aux Bœufs" in Cerny in the department of Essonne who authorized the name.

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.

Cortaillod culture

The Cortaillod culture is one of several archaeologically defined cultures belonging to the Neolithic period of Switzerland. The Cortaillod Culture in the west of the region is contemporary with the Pfyn Culture

in the east and dates from between 3900-3500 BC. The Classic Cortaillod Culture of the western Alpine foreland and the Early Cortaillod Culture of central Switzerland pre-date this at 4300-3900 BC.

Evidence such as higher frequencies of dog bones and pendants made from dog metapodials suggests a special relationship between dog and man during the later part of this period in the western part and the early Horgen culture in the eastern part of the Alpine foreland.

Cursus

Cursus monuments are Neolithic structures which represent some of the oldest prehistoric monumental structures of the Islands of Britain and Ireland. Relics found within them show that they were built between 3400 and 3000 BC.

Superficially resembling ditches or trenches, they range in length from 50 yards (46 m) to almost 6 miles (9.7 km) and the distance between the parallel earthworks can be up to 100 yards (91 m). Banks at the terminal ends enclose the cursus. Over fifty have been identified via aerial photography while many others have doubtless been obliterated by farming and other subsequent landscaping activities.Examples include the four cursuses at Rudston in Yorkshire, that at Fornham All Saints in Suffolk, the Cleaven Dyke in Perthshire and the Dorset cursus. A notable example is the Stonehenge Cursus, within sight of the more famous stone circle, on land belonging to The National Trust's Stonehenge Landscape.

Dudești culture

The Dudeşti culture is a farming/herding culture that occupied part of Romania in the 6th millennium BC, typified by semi-subterranean habitations (Zemlyanki) on the edges of low plateaus. This culture contributed to the origin of both the subsequent Hamangia culture and the Boian culture. It was named after Dudeşti, a quarter in the southeast of Bucharest.

First Temperate Neolithic

The First Temperate Neolithic (FTN) is an archaeological horizon consisting of the earliest archaeological cultures of Neolithic Southeastern Europe, dated to c. 6400–5100 BCE. The cultures of the FTN were the first to practice agriculture in temperate Europe, which required significant innovations in farming technology previously adapted to a mediterranean climate.The constituent cultures of the FTN are:

the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criș culture, encompassing:the Starčevo culture, c. 6200–5200 BCE, Serbia, Bosnia, eastern Croatia and western Hungary;

the Kőrös culture, c. 6400–5100 BCE, eastern Hungary;

the Criş culture, c. 6400–5200 BCE, Romania;the Karanova I/II culture, c. 6300–5100 BCE, central and southern Bulgaria;

the Macedonian First Neolithic, c. 6600–5300 BCE, Macedonia;

the Poljanica group, c. 6300–5200 BCE, northeast Bulgaria;

and the West Bulgarian Painted Ware culture, c. 6200–5200 BCE, western Bulgaria.

Great dolmen

The great dolmen or grand dolmen (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. 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.

Hamangia culture

The Hamangia culture is a Late Neolithic archaeological culture of Dobruja (Romania and Bulgaria) between the Danube and the Black Sea and Muntenia in the south. It is named after the site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1952 along Golovița Lake.

Horgen culture

The Horgen culture is one of several archaeological cultures belonging to the Neolithic period of Switzerland. The Horgen culture may derive from the Pfyn culture and early Horgen pottery is similar to the earlier Cortaillod culture pottery of Twann, Switzerland. It is named for one of the principal sites, in Horgen, Switzerland.

Körös culture

The Körös culture/Criş culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture in Central Europe that was named after the river Körös in eastern Hungary. The same river has the name Criș in Romania, hence the name Criş culture. The 2 variants of the river name are used for the same archaeological culture in the 2 regions. The Criș culture survived from about 5800 to 5300 BC. It is related to the neighboring Starčevo culture and is included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Körös–Criş culture.

Narva culture

Narva culture or eastern Baltic (c. 5300 to 1750 BC) was a European Neolithic archaeological culture found in present-day Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast (former East Prussia), and adjacent portions of Poland, Belarus and Russia. A successor of the Mesolithic Kunda culture, Narva culture continued up to the start of the Bronze Age. The technology was that of hunter-gatherers. The culture was named after the Narva River in Estonia.

Neman culture

Archaeologists use the name Neman culture to refer to two archaeological cultures (7th to 3rd millennium BC) which existed in the Mesolithic and continued into the middle Neolithic. It was located in the upper basin of the Neman River (present-day northern Poland, southern Lithuania, western Belarus and Kaliningrad Oblast). In the north, the Neman culture bordered the Kunda culture during the Mesolithic and the Narva culture during the Neolithic.

Rectangular dolmen

A rectangular dolmen (German: Rechteckdolmen), extended dolmen (German: erweiteter Dolmen) or enlarged dolmen is a specific type of megalith, rectangular in shape, with upright sidestones and, usually, two capstones. The term rectangular dolmen was coined by Ekkehard Aner and is used especially in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where dolmens with this type of ground plan primarily occur. A more precise term, however, is extended dolmen, used by Ewald Schuldt and Ernst Sprockhoff, because these types of dolmen also occur with trapezoidal ground plans (e.g. the Gnewitz).

Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of neolithic communities. Their emergence and function are a hallmark of social development.

Round barrow

A round barrow is a type of tumulus and is one of the most common types of archaeological monuments. Although concentrated in Europe, they are found in many parts of the world, probably because of their simple construction and universal purpose.In Britain, most of them were built between 2200BC and 1100BC. . This was the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. Later Iron Age barrows were mostly different, and sometimes square.

Tisza culture

The Tisza culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture of the Alföld plain in modern-day Hungary, Western Romania, Eastern Slovakia and Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast in Central Europe. The culture is dated to the 5th and 4th millennia BCE.

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.

Windmill Hill culture

The Windmill Hill culture was a name given to a people inhabiting southern Britain, in particular in the Salisbury Plain area close to Stonehenge, c. 3000 BC. They were an agrarian Neolithic people; their name comes from Windmill Hill, a causewayed enclosure. Together with another Neolithic tribe from East Anglia, a tribe whose worship involved stone circles, it is thought that they were responsible for the earliest work on the Stonehenge site.

The material record left by these people includes large circular hill-top enclosures, causewayed enclosures, long barrows, leaf-shaped arrowheads, and polished stone axes. They raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and dogs, and grew wheat and mined flints.

Since the term was first coined by archaeologists, further excavation and analysis has indicated that it consisted of several discrete cultures such as the Hembury and the Abingdon cultures; and that "Windmill Hill culture" is too general a term.

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