(from the Mega. and Greek líthos stone) – buildings made of large blocks of wild or roughly processed stone. These include Dolmens, Menhirs, Cromlechs, Stone boxes, covered galleries. M. widespread throughout the world except Australia, mainly in coastal areas. M. in Europe mostly date from the Eneolithic and bronze age (3-2 Millennium BC), with the exception of England, where M belong to the Neolithic period. The appointment of M. it is not always possible to install. Mostly they were used for burials or were connected with funerary cult. Apparently, M. community structure. Their construction was primitive technology huge challenge and required combining large masses of people.
Menhir (Bretons. menhir, men — stone and hir — long) simplest type of megalithic structures (consisting of a single block of stone, dug into the ground. M reach the height of 4-5 m or more (the largest M height 20 m weighs about 300 tons, is in France). Sometimes M. are long alleys or arranged in a ring. Apparently, M. had a religious significance. Most Meters in North-Western Europe, are also found in Asia and Africa. On the territory of the USSR, disseminated in some regions of Siberia and the Caucasus.
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