In the stone circle of an ancient cemetery, in a pulsating ancient magic and power of the place of worship of old, forgotten gods and eternal Wallcreeper raised his hands and a bloody knife. And screamed. Glee. Wildly. Inhuman.
Everything around them froze in terror.
Megaliths (“large stones”) are usually referred to as the prehistoric constructions of great stone blocks, connected without the use of mortar. But this definition is very inaccurate. The considerable part of archaeological monuments attributable to the megaliths in the strict sense are not structures at all, since consists of a single monolith or several not connected with each other plates.
Ancient, preceding even the menhirs, megaliths Cairns are left by the glacier boulders, raised on a natural “pedestal”. Sometimes they were covered with petroglyphs.
In addition, the stones of megalithic structures is not always high. Finally, the megaliths often, and includes some buildings that were built in historic times, but either with the use of cyclopean blocks (the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek), with or without the use of mortar (Machu Picchu in Peru, XVI century).
What, then, unites the megaliths? Perhaps the monumentality and mystery. Megalith — creation of the past, often nameless people. This message from unimaginably distant “damagedamage” of the past. The monument of the unknown Builder.
Alien, surreal, contrary to all known principles of architecture the appearance of megaliths feeds most extensive “contemporary mythology”, full Atlanteans, Hyperboreans, and other representatives of the sunk into Oblivion advanced civilizations. But there are at least two reasons not to take such speculation seriously. First, an intelligible explanation to the emergence of megaliths they’re not. Secondly, the actual mystery stories more interesting imaginary.
The simplest megaliths, thus that can’t even be considered buildings, are sacred stones, Cairns and menhirs — the vertically stuck in the ground an oblong, roughly-worked blocks, carved from a mountain. A little later they are replaced by orthostate, characterized by a flat shape and the presence of at least one carefully smoothed the face on which were drawn or carved with magical signs.
Menhir Killenstein to the XVIII century served as a “boundary mark” on the border of one of the German principalities. It is possible that such was its primary purpose. Multi-ton stone upright stuck in the ground, immediately showed the invaders that the territory is occupied, and the owners are well organized.
In some cases onigiri were offered by the group, forming the border designating places of worship is a circle, the cromlech. Often in the center of the decorative fence was found a stone platform on which was burnt the bodies of the dead or sacrificed animals and the prisoners. There could be ceremonies, meetings, festivals and other public events. Cults changed. Cromlechs durable religions.
A variety of functions, from religious buildings or tombs to the signpost, could have done a pyramidal pile of stones — a Cairn or a Cairn.
Not excluded the use of megalithic structures as observatories. To determine the exact position of the moon and the Sun (in the shade) required firm guidance. Placed on a circle of menhirs fulfilled this role. It should be noted that in the Middle ages, the Observatory was a similar device.
Already in ancient times people strived for diversity and not being afraid of experimenting. Epochal step forward, a breakthrough in the stone architecture were Tauli — the construction of a large stone erected on a small. Then there were the trilithon archways of three stones — beauty and pride of Stonehenge. The stability and durability of these structures has made primitive builders on the idea of building dolmens — the first stone buildings in the history of mankind.
With the dolmens, as indeed with the rest of the simplest megaliths associated with lot of mysteries. For example, they never manage to tie in with a specific archaeological culture — i.e. an ancient people, whose migration is tracked by scientists on the characteristic ceramics, arrowheads and other finds. The stone does not issue age of the building, nothing about the creators. To determine the date of emergence of the dolmen, as a rule, it is only possible to within a few centuries. And for such period the population of the country changed more than once. The artifacts, discovered in the building and around it, nothing to say, since it is known that the megaliths, passing from hand to hand, remained “in service” for thousands of years.
Pretty puzzling and can the fact that similar, almost identical megaliths scattered over a huge area from the Caucasus to Portugal and from the Orkney Islands to Senegal. In this connection it was suggested a hypothesis about a certain “culture of the dolmens”, which once inhabited all those territories. But the hypothesis was not confirmed. Traces of such people had not been found. Moreover, it was found that the age of two similar, nearby dolmens can vary by a couple thousand years.
In fact, the similarity of the dolmens in the different countries is explained by the fact that on the surface, the idea naturally came to mind to many people. Any child could do “house”, putting on the edge of four flat stones and putting them fifth. Either cover the hole in the flat stone block (trough-shaped dolmen). Admiring his creation, a young architect has grown, became the leader and moved his tribesmen for the construction of buildings in natural size.
With certainty we can say one thing: the emergence of the first megaliths associated with the transition of the population to a settled way of life. Stray hunters had no desire to roll encountered during the migration of boulders. And the groups were too small to implement large-scale works. The first farmers the opportunity to engage in capital construction appeared. Lacked only experience. And nothing better than to dig into the ground two stones and to put them third, they long to occur.
Apparently, the dolmens were tombs. Some of them found the remains of hundreds of people. Decayed bones were formed layer by layer, and new graves were dug directly in the resulting mass. Other dolmens completely empty. Probably during the last Millennium someone had taken the trouble to clean them.