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Megaliths: Function

Dolmen often are seen as burial tombs and standing stones as landmarks, a much to simplistic view.


Grave chambers?

In many megalithic tombs never where found human remains. Small megalithic tombs where probably used as funeral place, often only holding ashes, the big monuments 'are asking' for another explanation...

We have to consider that similar buildings can have a different function, like modern electric transformer houses that looks like a chapel.
A monument also can have several functions, in many churches people are buried without calling it burial places...


Ritual places

Many megalithic monuments probably had a ritual function and a astronomical purpose (calendar...).

Some 'passage tombs' possibly served as meditation room or as initiation place. Many people are convinced that a strong 'energy field' surrounds megalithic monuments.  It can be a real energy used in rituals, but it also can be only an impression created by the characteristics of the monuments selves...

Loughcrew-cairns Ireland
Loughcrew Cairns (Ireland)

Loughcrew (4000 B.C. a 2800 B.C.) gives a good example of megalith's versatility. High situated, laying on four hills, this place reaches to heaven. Around the tombs (+- 30 remain) much space exists, so lots of people could participate during big festivities. Some of the tombs are directed at special sun positions, possibly to determine the exact time for holy days.

Two chambered tombs in Loughcrew are well enough preserved to show us the richness of symbolic gravures. We can only fantasize about the meaning of the symbols and the rituals that once took place over here...

Even today pregnant women made the fatiguing climb to the top, for a walk around one of the cairn. This in health profit of their future child...

Newgrange - Ireland
Newgrange - Ireland

Brú na Bóinne (+- 3200 B.C.) is the name given to the land dominated by the spectacular chambered tombs Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, near the Boyne River (County Meath - Ireland). This is a multi-faceted site.

Kerbstone 1 in front of the entrance at Newgrange
Kerbstone 1 in front of the entrance at Newgrange

The spiral motives carved in some kerbstones in Newgrange often are seen as symbols that express faith in reincarnation. Researchers presume that the ashes of deceased people only temporally where kept in the tomb, to catch the sunbeams on midwinter solstice (symbol of reincarnation)

Still today many standing stones are still seen as curative and good for fertility. Other standing stones where possibly used for astronomical observations, and some just may be landmarks...


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Page published November 21, 2015

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