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Megaliths: Age

Celtic druids are often wrongly seen as builders of megalithic monuments.

Timeline megalithic civilization

 

Age determination

The age of megalithic monuments, build in natural stones, can not be determinate directly. Researchers can only use carbon dating on remains found in or near the monuments. But those remains can be more recent than the monument self...
Most megaliths are probably set up between 5000 en 1500 B.C. But lot of contradiction exist, some monument's dating are different according to different authors.

 

Age of standing stones

Accepted is that many standing stones are dated very early, the biggest are the oldest. The "Big Broken Standing Stone" in Locmariaquer (+- 20 meter) is estimated to be set up around 4500 B.C.

 Big Broken Standing Stone (Grand Menhir Brisť) - Locmariaquer, Bretagne-France
Big Broken Standing Stone (Grand Menhir Brisť) - Locmariaquer, Bretagne-France

 

Age grave-mounds

The first grave-mounds, the long barrows, had no stones inside. The long barrow of Lambourn (G.B.) is dated +- 4300 B.C.

The passage tomb "Table des Marchands" (Locmariaquer - Bretagne), one of the oldest stone buildings in Europe, is dated around 3900 B.C.
The "Tumulus de Kercado" (+-3800 B.C.), situated near the 'alignments' in Carnac is possibly much older. Some sources* give the date 4800 B.C. for Kercado.

(* 'Mensen in de steentijd' - Uitg. Kosmos, 1994)

Tumulus van Kercado, Carnac
Kercado-tumulus, Carnac

Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, de best known 'grave-mounds' in Ireland where built around 3200 B.C.

Knowth, a big 'grave-mound' encircled by smaller tombs
Knowth, a big 'grave-mound' encircled by smaller tombs

 

Age stone circles

The big stone circle in Avebury (G.B.) was erected probably around 3100 B.C.
Smaller stone circles mostly originate from the Bronze Age (after 2000 B.C.).

Stonehenge was constructed in different fazes. The oldest Stonehenge (+- 3100 B.C.) included a circular ditch with inside a mysterious ring of 'postholes', the so-called "Aubrey-holes"
Around 2160 B.C. a double circle of "Blue Stones" was set up inside the enclosure.
The famous big 'Sarsen Stones' where placed between 2600 and 2500 B.C. "Sarsen-Stonehenge" probably was the last big megalithic construction. Until +- 1550 B.C. some 'things' where changed around the construction. 

In comparison: The Big Cheops Pyramid (Egypt) was probably built around 2550 B.C.

Timeline Stonehenge

Warning The dates of the arrival of the Bleu Stones and the construction of Sarsen-Stones given above are the results of recent investigations by Prof. Mike Parker Pearson and his team, older sources give younger dates.

 

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Page published November 21, 2015

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