Rectangular dolmen

A rectangular dolmen (German: Rechteckdolmen), extended dolmen (German: erweiteter Dolmen) or enlarged dolmen[1] 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[2] 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.[3]

Megawal18
Rectangular dolmen (above), passage grave with sections and a polygonal dolmen (below)

Capstones and passageway

Whilst the simple dolmen as a rule only had one capstone (but could have two), the rectangular dolmen, which differs primarily in the orientation of its support stones (standing) from the simple dolmen (lying), usually had two capstones (but also can have just one). Once a third capstone is added, it is called a great dolmen (Großdolmen) in Germany. A sub-grouping of this type of dolmen is based on the ever-present entranceway, which, for example, could be designed with a roof-height half stone or single-angle (einwinkelnd) support stones.

Mounds

Within long mounds, rectangular dolmens are usually oriented at right angles to the axis of the enclosure. The proportion of rectangular dolmens in round (including oval) mounds, compared with simple dolmens, increases in Schleswig-Holstein from 20% to at least 27%. The proportion of mounds is probably higher, because experience has shown that circular mounds leave fewer traces than stone enclosures. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, however only two of the 20 "extended dolmens" surveyed by E. Schuldt were covered by round mounds.

Entrances

Most types of dolmen that form part of the Nordic megalith architecture genre are open at one end (i.e. are accessible). Occasionally, a short passage is built in front the chamber, often of just one or two pairs of stones of 1.0-1.5 metres in length. Even at undisturbed sites, it is often so short that it does not extend out as far as the stones of the enclosure or the stones around the mound, and just forms the ante-chamber to the main chamber. The place in the enclosure where one would have expected there to be a gap is closed, so that the stone in the row forming a side of the enclosure would have to be removed in order the get into the dolmen.

Dolmenmontebubbonia
Monte Bubbonia dolmen, Sicily

In Denmark and Sweden, the passages could be much longer, especially in the round mounds that are much more common there. In Sicily, Monte Bubbonia dolmen is a chambered tomb 2.20 mt length, made of colossal splinters of rock, with no significant modifications, in rectangular shape.[4]

Distribution

Rectangular dolmens, which are generally over 2 metres, and sometimes over 3 metres, in length and 0.9 to 1.5 metres wide, continued the trend of increasing the size of the interior of the chamber, a tendency already seen in the development of simple dolmens. About 145 of these chambers occur in Schleswig-Holstein, where it the most common type of dolmen. It is also found throughout the entire coastal region and on the East Frisian Islands and its distribution reaches the Elbe south of Lake Plön, where it is also seen south of the river in Lower Saxony. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 54 extended dolmens have survived of an estimated 98 formerly.

Rectangular dolmens also occur in groups within stone enclosures. Whilst in Denmark up to five dolmens may be found in one enclosure (Stenbjerggård Barrow), in Germany the sites at Waabs in the district of Rendsburg-Eckernförde has three rectangular dolmens and the one at Kampen on Sylt has three polygonal dolmens in a single enclosure (both are in Schleswig-Holstein). A far greater number of enclosures, but also a few round mounds, have two dolmens or chambers.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bakker, JA (1992). The Dutch Hunebedden, University of Michigan.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ J. Müller In: Varia neolithica VI 2009 p. 15
  4. ^ Salvatore Piccolo, Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric dolmens of Sicily, Brazen Head Publishing, Thornham/Norfolk 2013, pp. 9-12

Literature

  • Mamoun Fansa: Großsteingräber zwischen Weser und Ems. 3rd revised edition. Isensee, Oldenburg, 2000, ISBN 3-89598-741-7 (Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Nordwestdeutschland. Beiheft 33).
  • Michael Schmidt: Die alten Steine. Reisen zur Megalithkultur in Mitteleuropa. Hinstorff, Rostock, 1998, ISBN 3-356-00796-3.
  • 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).
Bare Island projectile point

The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Racloir

In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.

It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.

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.

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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