Monuments in the Making: Raising the Great Dolmens in Early Neolithic Northern Europe [Paperback]

Vicki Cummings (Author); Colin Richards (Author)

Regular Price: £39.95

Special Price: £31.95

ISBN: 9781911188438 | Published by: Windgather Press | Publication: September 2021 | Language: English 320p, H246 x W189 (mm) 100 photos, mostly in colour & black and white illustrations
Status: Not yet published - advance orders taken

Monuments in the Making


Dolmens are iconic international monumental constructions which represent the first megalithic architecture (after menhirs) in north-west Europe. These monuments are characterised by an enormous capstone balanced on top of smaller uprights. However, previous investigations of these extraordinary monuments have focussed on three main areas of debate. First, typology has been a dominant feature of discussion, particularly the position of dolmens in the ordering of chambered tombs. Second, attention has been placed not on how they were built but how they were used. Finally much debate has centred on their visual appearance (whether they were covered by mounds or cairns).

This book provides a reappraisal of the ‘dolmen’ as an architectural entity and provides an alternative perspective on function. This is achieved through a re-theorising of the nature of megalithic architecture grounded in the results of a new research/fieldwork project covering Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. It is argued that instead of understanding dolmen simply as chambered tombs these were multi-faceted monuments whose construction was as much to do with enchantment and captivation as it was with containing the dead. Consequently, the presence of human remains within dolmens is also critically evaluated and a new interpretation offered.

Table of Contents

List of figures
1. The enchantment of megalithic architecture: revisiting the dolmens of northern Europe
2. An aesthetic of megalithic construction: dolmens as installations of display
3. Becoming a capstone: differentiating stones and cup-marking in anticipation of dolmen construction
4. Raising dolmens in-situ: the deployment of enchanting technologies
5. Megalithic affect and effect: encountering dolmens in northern European landscapes
6. The living dolmen: flesh, stone and the flow and exchange of vital substances
7. A monumental catastrophe: investigating the collapsed dolmens at Garn Turne, south-west Wales
8. Wondrous places: dolmens and discourses of wonder in the early Neolithic of Britain and Ireland

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