During the Neolithic era, funerary structures began to emerge as man settled down
his life. Sometimes, they were stone chambers in the Far East, or giant earth
mounds (barrows) found in England. Many times they were designed around
astronomical considerations like the winter and summer solstices

Dolmen
Archaeologists believe that dolmens are burial chambers. A type of prehistoric
chamber consisting of two or more huge stone slabs, also known as megaliths, set
edgewise in the earth and supporting a flat capstone that acts as a roof. Also known
as portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit, dolmens were sometimes covered with
immense artificial hillocks or tumuli, but at times the covering earth reached only
the capstone. Many dolmens are surrounded by a circle of megaliths collectively
called a
cromlech. They are known also to have served as alters, as on the island
of Guernsey, where they were used by the Druids in their religious rights.

Sometimes the mound enclosing the dolmen were very large, like the one at
Sidbury Hill, Wiltshire, England which was 52m (170') high and 96m (316') along
the slope.

The oldest known dolmen is about 7,000 years old. Though no one knows the
exact use of them, many times they've been discovered with human remains in or
around them.

There are several types that are known as, Great dolmen, Passage grave
Polygonal dolmen, Rectangular, enlarged or extended dolmen
Simple dolmen.

Dolmens are numerous in Wales,
Ireland, and in English countries
Devon and Cornwall. Many more can
be found in northwest France,
especially in Brittany and Spain.
There are also found in northern
Africa, Syria, and in other countries as
far east as Japan. However, the largest
group of dolmen in the world is found
in Korea. Korean dolmen account for nearly 40% of the world’s total, with an
estimated 35,000 located there.
Neolithic Funerals
Many dolmen are well known such as the Lanyon dolmen which is the remains of
the Stone Age burial chamber in Cornwall England.
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