megalithic trails


gobekli tepe. large ceremonial complexes dating from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered at a number of sites in eastern turkey. they belong to the incipient phases of agriculture and animal husbandry. large circular structures involving carved megalithic orthostats are a typical feature, at nevali cori and gobekli tepe.

dolmens and standing stones have been found in large areas of the middle east starting at the turkish border in the north of syria close to aleppo, southwards down to yemen. they can be encountered in lebanon, syria, israel, jordan, and saudi arabia. megaliths have also been found on kharg island in iran and at barda balka in iraq.


flint dolmen johfiyeh, jordan. the most concentrated occurrence of dolmen in particular is in a large area on both sides of the jordan rift valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side. they occur first and foremost on the golan heights, the hauran, and in jordan, which probably has the largest concentration of dolmen in the middle east.


the kernanstown cromlech, is also known as brownshill portal dolmen and believed to be the largest in europe. it was built between 4000 and 3000 bc by some of the earliest farmers to inhabit the island. it is thought to have been covered by an earthen mound and a gate stone blocked the entrance. at brownshill both portal stones and the gate-stone are still in situ; the capstone, weighing about 150 tonnes lies on top of the portals and gate-stone and slopes away from the entrance to the ground. it has never been excavated. a fourth upright stands close by and could be the remains of a forecourt.