• WordNet 3.6
    • n dolmen a prehistoric megalithic tomb typically having two large upright stones and a capstone
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n dolmen dŏl"mĕn A cromlech. See Cromlech.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dolmen A structure consisting of one large unhewn stone restingontwo or more unhewn stones placed erect in the earth: a term also frequently used as synonymous with cromlech. The name is sometimes given also to structures where several blocks are raised upon pillars so as to form a sort of gallery. The most remarkable monument of this kind is probably that known as the Pierre Couverte, near Saumur, in France. It is 64 feet long, 14 feet wide, and about 6 feet high, and consists of four upright stones on each side, one at each end, and four on the top. The great stone of the dolmen represented in the accompanying cut is 33 feet long, 14½ feet deep, and 18½ feet across; it is calculated to weigh 750 tons, and is poised on the points of two natural rocks. It is now generally believed that dolmens were sepulchers, although afterward they may have been used as altars. They are often present within stone circles. The dolmen was probably a copy of a primitive rude dwelling, and may sometimes have been the actual structure in which the savage sheltered himself, converted afterward into his tomb. In several cases one of the stones is pierced with a hole. This is supposed to have been for the purpose of introducing food to the dead. Conclusions in regard to the original identity of various races have been based on the similarity of such structures in various parts of the world, as in Hindustan, Circassia, Algeria, and Europe; but too much importance may be attached to this, as the inclosed dolmen is simply the structure which savages of a very low type, of whatever race, would naturally erect for shelter. See cromlech and menhir.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Dolmen dol′men a stone table: the French name for a cromlech, a prehistoric structure of two or more erect unhewn stones, supporting a large flattish stone.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Armor. taol, tol, table + mean, maen, men, stone: cf. F. dolmen,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. dolmen; usually explained as Bret. dolmendol, taol, table, men, a stone. But tolmen in Cornish meant 'hole of stone.'


In literature:

Thousands of these dolmens and stone pyramids stretch in endless rows to the north.
"Beasts, Men and Gods" by Ferdinand Ossendowski
Dolmens in Palestine, 77.
"How to Observe in Archaeology" by Various
The custom of burning the body commenced in the Stone Age, before the long barrow or the dolmen had passed out of use.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
The tombs among the trees: broken columns, pyramids, temples, dolmens, obelisks, and Etruscan vaults with doors of bronze.
"Sentimental Education, Volume II" by Gustave Flaubert
His motor took me to Dolmen Valley, and at eight o'clock I began the ascent of the hill.
"Byways of Ghost-Land" by Elliott O'Donnell
Occasionally legend assists us to prove the mortuary character of menhir and dolmen.
"Legends & Romances of Brittany" by Lewis Spence
They are exactly like the long stones and dolmens which are found in Brittany, in Ireland, in Galicia in Spain, and other parts of Europe.
"The Position of Woman in Primitive Society" by C. Gasquoine Hartley
The dolmen which is known as Pierre-Levee, to the east of the town, is the most remarkable in Perigord.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 4" by Various
The Cueva del Menjal, in the neighbourhood, is a fine dolmen.
"Spain" by Wentworth Webster
And suddenly, on reaching the Dolmen, she beheld a sight the meaning of which was immediately clear to her.
"The Secret of Sarek" by Maurice Leblanc
He would give you a learned and lengthy dissertation on Runic stones, dolmens, tumuli, and the like.
"Under a Charm, Vol. I (of III)" by E. Werner
In Denmark, and many other places, the dead were buried in dolmens or tumuli.
"A Manual of the Antiquity of Man" by J. P. MacLean
Those who erected the more dolmen-like structures, probably had aquatic totems, and interred their dead in the extended position.
"Man, Past and Present" by Agustus Henry Keane
Here stood two great stones, with another over them, probably (if we may guess) a prehistoric dolmen.
"Myth, Ritual And Religion, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Andrew Lang
The moon-worshipper did no worse when he led the chosen victim to the dolmen.
"The Divine Adventure Volume IV" by Fiona Macleod
The dolmen is composed of three or more upright stones sustaining one or more coverers, and was often buried under a cairn.
"Cornwall" by Sabine Baring-Gould
This dolmen is made of four stones.
"Pine Needles" by Susan Bogert Warner
There the old dolmen, beneath which the grey wolf that ate the two children of Tornic had its lair.
"Historical Romances: Under the Red Robe, Count Hannibal, A Gentleman of France" by Stanley J. Weyman
At La Grosse Hougue is a small demi-dolmen which stands on the brow of a hill, so that it may be seen on either side.
"Guernsey Pictorial Directory and Stranger's Guide" by Thomas Bellamy
The actual antiquities of Korea are dolmens, sepulchral pottery, and Korean and Japanese fortifications.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 8" by Various

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