Dolmens 4000 BCE (900 BCE Far East)
(July 5, 2022) Dolmens are associated with dryland agriculture which depended on rain rather than irrigation for their crops. They appear from Ireland to Korea, from the Caucasus Mountains to Jordan. India also has many and China has a cluster of about 80 surviving along the Huifa River just north of Korea which have a late date of 900 BCE indicating a late start of dryland agriculture there.
The widespread existence of these dolmens indicates a common nature spiritual culture once existed throughout Eurasia.
Given their whiteness and shape dolmens seem to represent the bones of a giant ribcage. Inside each ribcage was the heart which represented life power due to it blood connection and the liver which represented motion power because it was attached to the breathing diaphragm. Dolmen’s were centers of spiritual power for a community.
Most of the dolmens in Europe are orientated east-west along the path of the sun. The only exception is southern France where its dolmens are orientated north-south (Hoskin 2011). Their orientation in other parts of the world has not yet been reported. The north-south orientation of southern France is similar to that at Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk. At Gobekli Tepe the ritual areas opened towards the north and spiritual side of the Catalhoyuk buildings was also on the north side. The east-west orientation is that of the life-growth powers while the north-south orientation is that of the motion powers because it is the direction of the pole star of the night sky.
Some Dolmens had their circular sacred space marked by a ring of stones. This ring would have been the natural place to mark the furthest reach of the rising and setting of the sun and certain stars which could be used to define the ideal time for various farming activities such as planting. This practice led directly to the henges in Britain. In the Golan heights such circular stones seem to have just been placed around the base of the original dirt mound (Fraser 2018).
Poulnabrone Dolmen, Burren, County Clare, Ireland
Both the human remains and the burial objects date to between 3800 BC and 3200 BC. All but one of the adults were under the age of 30.
(photo by Jon Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paulnabrone.jpg)
Trethevy Quoit in Cornwall, England
Lancken-Granitz Dolmen, Germany
Part of about 400 dolmens located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dating to 3,500 and 3,200 BCE. Common Neolithic funerary goods found in the dolmens of the region are tools, pottery, and amber pearls.
(Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LG_Dolmen1.JPG)
Dolmen Sa Coveccada, Mores, Sardinia
Fraser, James (2018) The Visible Dead: Dolmens and the Landscape in Bronze Age Levant. The Ancient Near East Today vol 6.6 June. Online at http://www.asor.org/anetoday/2018/06/Visible-Dead-Dolmens-Bronze-Age-Levant