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MEGALITHS & ARTIFACTS (DOLMENS, CHAMBERS,

 

MENHIRS, ETC.) OF SIMILAR CONSTRUCTION FOUND IN

 

EUROPE & AMERICA

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Introduction

 

Fell (1982) noted that the term dolmen is a Breton word meaning a stone table. it aptly describes many of the smaller examples of the megalithic monuments that go under this name. Such smaller examples, a meter or less in height are shown in Figs. 25, 26, 27, 28., 29. & 30. As can be seen, they comprise an upper, horizontal slab of stone, the capstone, which is supported on several vertical slabs, like a table, with an internal cavity. European archaeologists believe that the central cavity originally contained a burial and that the entire structure was originally buried in earth that has subsequently disappeared through erosion. it is known that some examples had partial earth cover still intact a century or so ago. Such bared burial chambers are often distinguished from other dolmens under the name cromlech."

 

"Of the examples shown, Figs. 25 & 26 are European, Fig. 25 from Carrazeda, Portugal, and Fig. 26 from the Orkney Islands. The remaining four examples are all American. Fig. 27 shows an example at Gay Head, on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; a faintly visible ogam inscription occurs on one of the stones at the entrance to the small chamber within.... The others, Fig 28., Fig 29. & Fig. 30, are all located at Westport, Massachusetts. Similar ones occur in the Boston area. Nothing is known of any former burial relics in these small cromlechs."

 

It it difficult to distinguish the North American examples from the European ones and believe that both sets were produced by ancient builders who shared a common culture. When the evidence of inscriptions is taken into account, ..... the relationship of the American examples to those of northern Europe becomes undeniable.

 

"The mode of construction follows patterns appropriate to the type of stone naturally available. Where large slabs can be obtained, these are used as capstones to form the roofing, as in the Danish chambers called Jaettestuer ("giants, salons") Fig. 39 shows an example at Aarhus, Denmark. North American examples include a large chamber at South Woodstock, Vermont (Fig. 40). The entrances commonly have a massive lintel stone supported on either two vertical slabs (called orthostats), as [one found at Mystery Hill, North Salem, New Hampshire] or on a drystone vertical column of slabs on either side (Fig. 41, Mystery Hill). Alternatively, the construction may utilize natural features of the environment, as at Concord, Massachusetts (Fig. 42), and at Gungywamp, near Groton, Connecticut (Fig. 43). The chamber may be wholly subterranean, as in one of the White River examples in Vermont (Fig. 44), or may stand free, as at Mystery Hill..... [See Fell 1982]. In the latter case the details of the wall construction are visible externally (Fig. 45, Vermont) as drystone and internally (Fig. 46, Mystery Hill), the latter example showing some degree of trimming of the blocks. The internal chamber is usually rectangular (Fig. 47, South Woodstock, Vermont), but exceptionally, as in Fig. 46, the chamber may have lateral passages. Some chambers are covered by mounds, as in the example shown in Fig. 48,, South Woodstock. Where large capstones are not available locally, corbelling is utilized to produce a roofing, as in the chamber at Upton, Massachusetts (Fig. 49). Chambers of the latter type seem to be related to the similar constructions called fougou in Cornwall, England, believed to date from the Iron Age and to have been used in and after Roman times. The function of a fougou is unknown, but food storage or places of refuge are considered possibilities. The New England tradition is that these chambers were built by the colonists as "root cellars," for storing vegetables. But inquiries disclose that they were already present on some sites at the time of the arrival of the colonists, who, in any case, found that root vegetables survive the winter frost well when buried in straw in the soil, but tend to decay from mold if placed in the so called root cellars. The enormous labor of construction, as opposed to the simplicity of building a log cabin, denies another legend, that the colonists built the chambers to live in while they were constructing their first farmhouses. Chambers are also found on mountainsides where no farm has ever existed but where a good astronomical viewpoint is obtained."

 

"Like the dolmens, megalithic buildings continued to be utilized, and also to be constructed, until Roman times. Fig. 50 and 2-30 depict Pictish broch construction at Baile Chladaich, northwestern Scotland. The brochs are believed to be defensive structures made around 100 BC."

 

Some other distinctive megaliths occur in both Europe and North America. These include phallic monuments of standing stones, called also dall or menhir. ...... [They ] are associated with male fertility. So also the megaliths called men-a-tol (Cornish "Hole in the stone") or just "holey-stones," are [associated] with the fertility goddesses. The well-known stone rings and monuments such as Stonehenge are also a feature of the megalithic industry. .... [These are noted] in connection with astronomical observatories and calendar regulation. For, although the English archaeologist Glyn Daniel denies any connection of these structures with astronomy, competent astronomers, notably the Thoms, father and son, of the Department of Astronomy, Edinburgh University, and Gerald Hawkins, Fred Hoyle, and John Carlson in America have all concluded that an intimate connection exists between these ring structures and the development of astronomical science." (Please also see Figs. 37 & 51 ),

 

Much attention is given to the worship of the power of the phallus as a fertilizer not only of women but of Mother Earth herself, in the shape of the great stone phallic monuments that the Celtic and Nordic peoples erected in Europe and that their American cousins placed at corresponding suitable sites in the New World. That these are, in some cases at least, bronze Age monuments is evidenced by the presence of ogam and consain script, making reference to ancient pagan divinities and rituals. Figs. 129 , 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, & 137 illustrate typical examples in both Europe and America...."

 

There are numerous stone phalluses and menhirs, erect or fallen, in both Europe and North America, bear silent witness. Figs. 129, 130 & 131, show three European examples in France and Spain, and North American examples appear in Figs. 132, 133, 134 & 135. Most of the American phalluses have fallen into a recumbent posture. Those on Phallus Hill, South Woodstock, Vermont, have since been transferred to the museum of Castleton State College in Vermont."

 

"In New England, groups of phallic stones were erected on the summits of hills (Fig. 137). Whether these were used as calendar determination sites is not yet established."

 

Example Illustrations

 

Europe

 

Belgium

<arc557> -- Cromlech, Ronse area, Belgium

<arc558> -- Cromlech, Ronse area, Belgium

 

Denmark

<arc551> -- Neolithic cromlech, Sjaelland, Zealand, Denmark

<arc552> -- Neolithic cromlech, Jylland, Jutland, Denmark

<arc570> -- Cromlech, Langeland, Denmark

<bron 39>-- Megalithic chamber, or Jaettestue, near Aarhus, Denmark. Photo Joseph D. Germano

 

England

<arc556> -- Cromlech (Spinsters Rock), Avebury, Wilshire, England (2500 BC)

<arc563> -- Cromlech, Trethevy Quoit, Cornwall, England

<arc564> -- Cromlech, Lanyon Quoit, Cornwall, England

<arc565> -- Cromlech, Chn Quoit, Cornwall, England

 

France

<arc553> -- Cromlech, Toucou, France

<bron130>-- Phallic menhir at Kerouezel, Brittany. Photo Joseph Dechelette

<bron131>-- Giant phallus-shaped megalith, Kerdef, Brittany. Photo Joseph Dechelette

<arc597> -- Stone pillars at Carnac, Brittany, France

 

Germany

<arc588> -- Cromlech in Mecklenberg, northeastern Germany

<arc589> -- Cromlech in Drosa, northeastern Germany

<arc590> -- Menhir in Saarland, Germany

 

Ireland

<arc559> -- Cromlech, Glenisheen, Ireland (County Clare)

<arc560> -- Cromlech, Kilclooney, Ireland (County Donegal)

<arc561> -- Cromlech, Poulnabrone, Ireland (County Clare)

<arc562> -- Cromlech, Four Moals, Ireland (County Mayo)

<arc591> -- Stone circles, Lauragh, Kerry, Ireland

 

Italy

<arc571> -- Cromlech, Corato, Italy

<arc572> -- Cromlech, Fasano, Italy

<arc573> -- Cromlech, Sardinia, Italy

 

Netherlands

<arc584> -- Cromlech, Groningen, Netherlands

<arc585> -- Cromlech found in The Netherlands

 

Portugal

<bron 2 >-- Cromlech or funerary dolmen at Carrazeda, Portugal

<arc596>-- Menhir at Pontevedra, Portugal

<arc599>-- Cromlech at Viseu (Portugal Middle-North)

 

Russia

<arc568> -- Enclosed cromlech, Vozrozdenie, Russia (Black Sea area)

<arc569> -- Enclosed cromlech, Vozrozdenie, Russia (Black Sea area)

 

Scotland

<arc566> -- Cromlech, Pentre Ifan, Scotland

<arc567> -- Cromlech, St. Lythans, Scotland

<bron 26>-- Exposed cromlech dolmen, Orkney Islands (Photo Alban Wall)

<bron 50>-- Double wall construction with internal chambers and passages in a Pictish broch, Baile-Chladaich,

Sutherland, Scotland. Photo Barry Fell.

<bron 51>-- Megalithic construction of Pictish broch, ca. 100 BC, in Baile Chladaich, Scotland. Photo Barry Fell.

 

Spain

<bron129>-- Phallic megalith or menhir, Spain. Photo Prof. Leonel Ribeira

<arc598>-- Dolmen de Ageltus, near Ribeira, Galicia, Spain (a cromlech)
<arc600>-- Cromlech in Tordoia, northern Spain

 

Sweden

<arc587> -- Cromlech in Sweden (bronze Age)

<arc592> -- Cromlech in Massleberg, Sweden

<arc593> -- Cromlech in Klastorp, Sweden

 

Wales

<arc554> -- Cromlech in Llanfaelog, Wales (bronze Age)

<arc555> -- Bedowyr Cromlech, North Wales

 

Africa

Ethiopia

<arc595>-- Menhir in Axum, Ethiopia

 

Morocco

<arc594> -- Menhir in Morocco

 

North America

 

Connecticut

<bron 43>-- Chamber entrance, utilizing natural features. Gungywamp, near Groton, Connecticut. Photo Sentiel

Rommel.

Illinois

<arc577> -- Burrows's Cave ship carving, southern Illinois

<arc578> -- Burrows's Cave human figures carving, southern Illinois

<arc579> -- Burrows's Cave human figure carving, southern Illinois

<arc580> -- Burrows's Cave carving, southern Illinois

<arc581> -- Burrows's Cave carving, southern Illinois

<arc582> -- Burrows's Cave ship carving, southern Illinois

<arc583> -- Burrows's Cave ship carving, southern Illinois

 

Massachusetts

<bron 27>-- Cromlech dolmen, Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, MA (Photo William J. Hall)

<bron 28>-- Small dolmen, Westport, MA (Photo James P. Whittall)

<bron 29>-- Small dolmen, Westport, MA (Photo James P. Whittall)

<bron 30>-- Small dolmen, Hampton, MA (Photo James P. Whittall)

<bron 42>-- Entrance to subterranean chamber at Concord, Massachusetts. Photo Renee Fell

<bron 49>-- Corbeling construction of the Upton chamber, Massachusetts. Photo Malcolm Pearson

 

New Hampshire

<bron 37>-- Massive orthostats of chamber at Mystery Hill, North Salem, New Hampshire. Photo Peter J. Garfall.

<bron 41>-- Slab lintel supported by drystone columns. Mystery Hill, North Salem, New Hampshire. Photo Peter J.

Garfall.

<bron 46>-- Megalithic construction of internal walls, Mystery Hill, North Salem, NH. Photo Peter J. Garfall.

<bron137>-- Groups of phallic menhirs occur on hilltops in New England. This assemblage, in New Hampshire, provides

a match for those found near South Woodstock, Vermont. Photo Byron Dix.

 

New York

<arc574> -- Cromlech, North Salen, NY

 

Vermont

<bron 40>-- Massive roof lintels of megalithic chamber near South Woodstock, Vermont. Photo Peter J. Garfall.

<bron 44>-- An entrance to a chamber near White River, central Vermont (blocked by earth slide). Photo Peter J. Garfall.

<bron 45>-- Free-standing drystone walls, central Vermont. Photo Joseph D. Germano.

<bron 47>-- Rectangular form of internal plan of megalithic chamber, South Woodstock, Vermont. Photo Peter

J.Garfall.

<bron132>-- Phallic menjhir photographed at the time of its discovery on thet op of what was then named Phallus Hill,

South Woodstock, Vermont. This, like others, has since been transported to the Castleton College Museuj,

Castleton, Vermont.Photo Peter J. Garfall

<bron133>-- Another of the phallic stones found on Phallus Hill by John Williams and the author in the years 1974 and

1975. Photo Peter J. Garfall.

<bron134>-- Large fallen phallic stone found in central Vermont. Photo Joseph D. Germano

<bron135>--Fallen inscribed phallic stone, one of a series found by John Williams and Barry Fell during the 1975

season, near South Woodstock, Vermont. The ogam text apparently refers to fecundity of the mother

goddess Byanu. The language on all these New England phallic ogam inscriptions is Celtic. Photo Peter

J. Garfall

 

Wisconsin

<arc550> -- Sandstone head (AD 1100-1200), Gotschall, southwesstern Wisconsin

 

Wyoming

<arc586> -- Bighorn stone wheel, Sheridan, WY