Megaliths have mystified the world for thousands of years. The ancient megaliths such as Stonehenge in England and the Carnac Stones in France tell stories that few modern day people understand.
A study done by archaeologist Bettina Schulz Paulsson at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden suggests that an ancient culture in France may have been the first to build these monuments and the earliest known was built near Paris sometime between 5061 and 4858 B.C., according to discovermagazine.com.
Schulz Paulsson believes the idea of megaliths was spread by sea traders based in northwest France over a millennium which gives rise to the impression that early humans in the megalithic age had a familiarity of seagoing that was much more advanced than what history has shown.
There are thousands of megaliths in the world with some used for burial purposes and others possibly for religious purposes but Schulz Paulsson has determined that while most of the structures were built independently, they all share many of the same archeological features and symbols.
According to ancient-origins.net, some were used to mark territory and Japanese texts reveal some were used as a place of learning.
In the Golan Heights near the Sea of Galilee stands the Rujm el-Hiri, a site that from ground level looks like a large pile of stones but when viewed from above one can see five circles of almost ten foot tall stones with an outer diameter of nearly five hundred feet shaped in perfect circles descending in size toward the center where, according to haaretz.com., there is a stone reaching nearly sixteen feet tall.
There are low walls and with two openings; one facing southeast and the other facing northeast but so far there is no hard evidence of it being associated with an observatory.
It is believed to be between four thousand to six thousand years old and may have been a gathering site for rituals or celebrations. Sharon Levy, from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, believes the location should be made into a national park.
The area is almost two square miles and all that would be needed is a road built to the access the site easily and possibly an observation tower to allow visitors to see the site in its entirety.
The Beltany Stone Circle is found in northwest Ireland in County Donegal close to the town of Raphoe. It consists of sixty four stones in a circle with a diameter of about one hundred and forty five feet. The stones, some of which seem to be missing, stand about six feet tall.
A monument about six and a half feet tall stands outside the circle about seventy two feet away. According to ancient Ireland.org, it is believed to have been built about 1400 to 800 B.C. but unfortunately, the site was severely disturbed in the 1930s leaving it nearly impossible to determine its origins.
Near Cornwall, England stand the Pipers and the Merry Maidens, two separate monuments. The Merry Maidens is a circle of nineteen stones in which restoration in the 1700s did a haphazard replacement.
According to historic-cornwall.org.uk, William Borlase, an eighteenth century geologist, claimed another stone circle once existed near the Merry Maidens but the stones have not been visible since the nineteenth century. The Pipers are two large upright stones in a straight alignment with the circle to the northeast.
The area is filled with burial sites giving researchers the idea that the circle was constructed for burial ceremonies. Cornish folklore tells us two pipers were playing music for dancing maidens on a Sunday. Because this was against the Sabbath, the group was turned to stone.
In 2016, Muduma village in Telangana, India eighty standing stones of about thirteen feet tall were discovered and identified as the oldest astronomical observatory in India. Dating to about seven thousand years ago some of the stones are carved with an image of the Ursa Major constellation and the stars surrounding it, ancient-origins.net tells us.
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As technology improves, it is possible that more and more archeological sites will be discovered with their own stories to tell.