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This photograph shows the stones of Stonehenge up close. Stonehenge is the most well known megalithic structure.
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Image courtesy of Corel Photography

What are Megaliths?

Have you ever seen a megalith? Maybe you have and you just didn't know it!

A megalith is made of huge stones. They were put together by ancient people. Sometimes the stones look like a stone fort and sometimes they are just rocks that have been stood on end. Other megaliths look like big mounds of rocks, but those mounds have secret chambers inside of them!

Megaliths can be found all over. They are in Europe, Russia, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Some megaliths were road markers like our present-day road signs. Some were probably ancient sites of worship. Still others were graveyards. And others might have been astronomy observatories.

We do know that these structures must have been really important to the people who built them! Some of the megaliths are almost 7,000 years old. That means that 7,000 years ago people were moving stones of up to 180 tons in weight around. They did that without cranes or trucks or even simple horse-drawn carts!

The most famous megalithic site is Stonehenge in England. But there are other cool ones too. Take a look at Newgrange of Ireland, Balnuaran of Clava in Scotland, Pentre Ifan in Wales, the stones of Fossa in Italy and the Carnac stones of France.

Last modified July 25, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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