MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
                OF IRELAND .COM
GLOSSARY (A-L )
C
A Cairn is an artifical pile of stones,often in a conical form. They are usually found in
uplands,on moorland,on mountaintops or near waterways.
A Capstone is a large,sometimes enormous,stone covering the top of an
archaeological tomb.
B
The Bronze Age 2,500 BC-700 BC,is the second principal period in the three-age
system for classifying prehistoric societies,preceded by the Stone Age. Its date
and context vary depending on the country or geographical region.
I
In history,the Iron Age 700 BC-500 AD,is the last principal period in the three-age
system for classifying prehistoric societies,preceded by the Bronze Age. Its date and
context vary depending on the country or geographical region.
A
An Alignment (or stone row) is a linear arrangement of upright,parallel megalithic
standing stones set at intervals along a common axis or series of axes,usually dating
from the late Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
D
E
G
H
A Dolmen (also known as cromlech,anta,Hunengrab,Hunebed,quoit and portal      
dolmen) is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb,usually consisting of 3 or       
more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone. Most date from     
the early Neolithic period.
An Equinox in astronomy is the moment in time when the centre of the Sun can be
observed to be directly above the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and
September 23 each year.
A Cist is a Bronze Age burial set in the ground consisting of a small slab lined box with
a single stone slab used as a cover.
A Gallery is what archaeologists refer to as the burial chamber in wedge tombs and
court tombs.
A Henge is a circular monument consisting of an outer earthen bank and an    
inner ditch.
J
Jambs are two stones either side of a burial chamber forming a door way or
sub-chamber.
K
Kists are Neolithic burial chambers usually above ground and covered by a cairn.
L
A Lintel is a stone placed flat across a passage to form a roof.
A Bullaun is a term used for the depression in a stone. The size of the bullaun is variable
and these hemispherical cups hollowed out of a rock may come as singles     or multiples
with the same rock.
A Cup Mark is a small,man made depression used as a decoration on stones and is
hemispherical in shape.
A Kerb is a ring of stones set around a cairn or mound,used to retain the cairn        
or earth in place.
The Chalcolithic period or Copper Age period,is a phase in the development of
human culture in which the use of early metal tools appeared alongside the use of
stone tools. This period is outside the traditional three-age system and occurs
between the Neolithic and Bronze Age around 2,500 BC-2,000 BC.
A Barrow is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves.A barrow
composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn.They are also
known as Tumulus,burial mounds,Hugelgrab or Kurgans.
A Court tomb is generally a long rectangular or trapezoidilal cairn, at the broader
end of which is usually a U-shaped un-roofed forecourt area.
Cruciform is the shape of the burial chamber which can be found in passage
tombs mirroring the shape of the cross.
A Caiseal is another name for a Cathair,Dun or Rath
A Cathair is another name for a Caiseal,Dun or Rath.
A Dun is another name for a Caiseal,Cathair or Rath.
A Hillfort is a large area,from 3 to 22 hectares,located on and often following
the natural contours of a hill,enclosed by an earth or stone bank. They have
been dated to the late Bronze Age around 1,000-500 BC.
                     CLASSIFICATION OF HILL-FORTS

CLASS I:
    Simple univallate sites of earth or stone,with or without
an                          accompanying ditch.
CLASS II:   Sites with widely-spaced multi-vallate defences.
a) hill-top
b) cliff-top
CLASS III : Inland promontory forts.
A Boulder Burial is a large boulder or capstone of megalithic proportions, resting on a
number of supporting stones,usually 3 or 4 in number,which,in most cases,do not form
a recognisable chamber structure. Excavations      suggest a Bronze Age date for this
burial monument,2,400-500 BC.
A Linkardstown tomb is a circular mound covering a central large cist or chamber
which contains an inhumed burial/burials,of usually one or two males,with
distinctive decorated pottery. Radiocarbon dates of these burials centre around
3,500 BC,early Neolithic.
A Cairn cemetery is a cairn containing multiple burials,which was either constructed
to cover several primary burials or constructed to cover just one or two primary
buirals with secondary burials inserted at a later date.These date from the late
Neolithic/Bronze Age (3200-500 BC).
F
A Four-poster stone circle is an arrangement of four upright stones standing at the
corners of an irregular quadrilateral. The stones are usually graded in height with
the tallest stone at either the south-west or north-east corner. These monuments
are closely related to stone circles in date and function though they are much less
numerous and only six have been recorded in Ireland. These are dated to the
Bronze Age ( 2400-500 BC).
A Boundary Stone indicates the limit of an area. They date from prehistory
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