dolmen(redirected from Dolmens)
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A Neolithic tomb consisting of two or more upright stones with a capstone, believed to have been buried in earth except for a central opening.
[French (introduced in 1792 as a technical term by Théophile Malo de La Tour d'Auvergne-Corret, French soldier and antiquarian ), either from Cornish dolmen, form (with grammatical mutation of the initial consonant) of tolmen, dolmen, literally "hole of stone" (Cornish tol, hole (since people or animals can pass under a dolmen); akin to Welsh twll and Old Irish toll + Cornish men, stone; akin to Breton maen; see menhir), or from misinterpretation of Breton *daolvaen, form (with grammatical mutation of the initial consonant) of *taolvaen, literally, "table of stone" (Breton taol, table from Middle Breton, from Latin tabula, board + Breton maen, stone; see menhir).]
1. (Archaeology) (in British archaeology) a Neolithic stone formation, consisting of a horizontal stone supported by several vertical stones, and thought to be a tomb
2. (Archaeology) (in French archaeology) any megalithic tomb
[C19: from French, probably from Old Breton tol table, from Latin tabula board + Breton mēn stone, of Celtic origin; see table]
dol•men(ˈdoʊl mɛn, -mən, ˈdɒl-)
a structure usu. regarded as a tomb, consisting of two or more large, upright stones set with a space between and capped by a horizontal stone.
[1855–60; < French < Cornish, variant (by lenition) of tolmen hole of stone (taken by French archaeologists to mean cromlech)]
a construction consisting of two or more upright stones with a third on top, regarded by archaeologists as an ancient tomb or monument.See also: Stones
A Neolithic structure consisting of a large flat stone supported horizontally on two or more upright stones, thought to have been used as a tomb.