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Megaliths.





SlugDragon
So today we went over the Neolothic period in history, and learned that Megaliths were developed as religious connections or, rather, gateways to the heavens (hence, Stonehenge). I was just wondering if others had a different connotation, as I used to believe that 'Megalith' inferred one large structure, rather than many that map out the heavens (though I understand both the religious and mythological/religious connections to the definition we were given). I'm just trying to see if I'm wrong or confused about similar terms like 'megalith', 'monolith', and 'regalith'.
Jinx
I'm just guessing from context and my spotty knowledge of Latin, but as for the words themselves I would imagine that a megalith is a big rock (or a group of big rocks): mega=big lith=stone, a monolith is a solitary stone: mono=one lith=stone, and a regalith is a royal stone: regal=royal lith=stone.

No one really knows what they were for, but Stonehenge seems to be some kind of calendar - or, at least, its aligned so that the sun shines a certain way on the solstices. Others may be monuments, or mark out sacred places, or burial sites.

There are many circles of stones in Europe, and in Celtic myths and legends circles are very significant (fairy rings, etc...). From what I've read it would seem like they have magical or spiritual significance.

I've never heard the term regalith before, but it brings to mind something I read a long time ago about a stone in Ireland where the king was supposed to have been crowned at Tara. Let me look that up real quick like...

.... ah, here it is: (from Wikipedia)
Quote:
In the middle of the Forradh is a standing stone, which is believed to be the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) at which the High Kings were crowned. According to legend, the stone would scream if a series of challenges were met by the would-be king. At his touch the stone would let out a screech that could be heard all over Ireland.
Coclus
On the island of sulawesi, the tana toraja use megaliths to flag the burying places..
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