The 5,000 year-old Poulnabrone dolmen, Burren, County Clare, Ireland
Source Wikipedia. Image credit Kglavin

Ashleigh Murszewski, writing in The Heritage Daily at the end of last year, asks –

What was the significance of Megalithic Monuments in Atlantic Europe?
 
The construction of megalithic monuments in Atlantic Europe is not restricted to a single purpose, nor do they reflect one aspect of the community that built them. Contrarily, they give well-rounded evidence for practical and symbolic components of the early agricultural lifestyle within the Neolithic. Depictions in the architecture of these structures explore complex symbolism and the socio-ritual interactions where monuments offer places for gatherings. Furthermore, megaliths demonstrate understandings of geometrical and astronomical knowledge in society that was not thought to be established for centuries.
 
Megalithic monuments of Atlantic Europe have long attracted attention from those who are interested in the early past of mankind. The word megalith originates from the Greek, meaning ‘great stone’ and is used when describing stone structures set upright in the Earth dated from 5000 to 500 BC in Atlantic Europe (Balter, 1993).
 
These massive stone structures consist of some of the most famous and visually spectacular archaeological discoveries in the world and signify extensive technical ingenuity and organisation that would be essential to their construction. Their significance is also connected with the development and establishment of the first farming communities in the Neolithic, where their craftsmanship reflects the establishment of territorialism and community identity.
 
Full article here.