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European Megalithic Culture

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Author Topic: European Megalithic Culture  (Read 14932 times)
Robin Barquenast
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« on: July 23, 2007, 09:42:42 pm »

Distribution and development

The distribution of megalithic constructions strongly indicates that this culture was spread by seafarers. With the earliest sites found on the Atlantic seaboards of Brittany and Portugal dating to about 4800 BC, the techniques of building and other cultural traits gradually spread to other coastal areas, thence inland via the major river systems. Archaeologists usually distinguish five geographical regions within the megalithic culture that display certain local characteristics in addition to sharing in the general continent-wide trends. These are the North West Group (north Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Denmark), Far West Group (British Isles), Centre West Group (north-west France), South West Group (Iberia), and Mediterranean Group (Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearics, and surrounding coasts). Megalithic constructions

of a later time, are in Thrakia and Southers Russia too. As the people who created the megalithic culture have left no decipherable records, their linguistic affiliation remains completely obscure. It has recently been argued, however, that the spread of Indo-European languages in Europe coincided with the introduction of agriculture during the Neolithic period (see Anatolian hypothesis). If so, the megalith builders would have spoken an early dialect of Indo-European, some terms from which may survive in river names and other geographical features across Western Europe. The megalithic culture remained at the Neolithic stage until the so-called Bell-beaker explosion from around 2500 BC, which ushered in the Chalcolithic period an early phase of the Bronze Age. It was this era that witnessed the full flowering of megalithic design in such areas as the British Isles with their stone circles, and Brittany with its alignments.
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