What are Dolmems
Would you like a unique and fascinating experience in Ireland, then come and visit some of the ancient megalithic monuments called dolmens. They have a mysterious and mystical aura that attracts its visitor to explore their secrets and meanings, thankfully, some of these amazing structures are still standing today.
Dolmens are stone structures that look like tables made of huge stones, found dotted throughout Europe, but each is unique to its place of origins. They were built between 10,000 to 2500 BC by the Neolithic farmers who lived in this land. They used them as tombs, rituals, or markers of their territory.
Culture and History
Dolmens are not only impressive to look at, but also to learn about. They tell us a lot about the culture and history of the people who built them, as well as their skills and knowledge.
Read on and you will find out more about the different types of dolmens in Ireland, how they were constructed, what they signify and why these ancient wonders are worth visiting!
This single-chamber stone tomb. constructed of large stones, that form a chamber or a passage. Sometimes the whole thing was covered with earth or smaller stones to make a hill, called a tumulus.
These monuments usually consist of two or more upright large stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone which makes it look like a “table”. Most date from the early Neolithic period from 10,000 to 2500 BC. Two different types in Ireland are: Wedge Dolmens and Portal Dolmens.
The dolmen was built by Neolithic farmers, who chose the location either for ritual, as a territorial marker, or as a collective burial site. What remains today is only the “stone skeleton” of the original monument; originally it would have been covered with soil, and its flagstone capped by a mound called a Cairn. In most instances the Cairn has weathered away, leaving only the tripod stone structure of the burial mound intact.
The construction of dolmens required a great deal of effort and expertise. The stones used to build the dolmens were often quarried from nearby areas and then transported to the site using wooden rollers and sledges. Once at the site, the stones were carefully arranged to create the chamber or passage, often with a capstone placed on top to provide a roof.
The people who constructed the dolmens were likely part of a complex society with a well-developed system of beliefs and rituals. The construction of these structures would have required a great deal of planning, organization, and cooperation, indicating that these early communities were capable of sophisticated social and cultural practices