A megalith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument either alone or with other stones. Megalithic means a building or structure made of such stones, but without the use of mortar or cement. The term can be used to describe buildings erected bypeople from many parts of the world living in many different periods. In Western Europe and the Mediterranean it genreally refers to constructions erected during the Neolithic or late stone age and Chalcolithic or Copper Age (4500 - 1500 B.C.E).
Different megalithic structures include:
- Orthostat: This is an upright slab forming part of a larger structure.
- Menhir: This is single standing stone.
- Dolmen: This is a free standing chamber covered by a capstone as a lid. Sometimes these had previously been burial mounds.
Other megaliths include:
- Carnac, Brittany, France
- Filitosa, Corsica, France
- New Grange, Ireland
- Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland
- Tarxien, Malta
- Easter Island