Results for capstone:
- CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A stone slab placed horizontally over a series of other stones, at the top of an arch, often as a roof. Some are large blocks used to span the walls of dolmens, cists, passage graves, and other megalithic chamber tombs.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Anticaria, Moorish Madinah Antakira
DEFINITION: The site of a town in Málaga province, in the autonomous community (region) of Andalusia, southern Spain, northwest of Málaga, at the foot of the Sierra del Torcal which is famous for its three Neolithic (Copper Age) chambered tombs (dolmens): the Cuevas de Menga, de Viera, and El Romeral. They are partially cut into the hillside, but each is constructed differently. The Cueva de Menga has a huge orthostat chamber c 5 m wide, 3 m high, and 1.45 m long, roofed by five large capstones supported by three central pillars and drystone walls. Human figures in scenes are carved on its walls. The Cueva de Romeral has a magnificent corbel vault nearly 5 m high, dry-stone tholos, and a passage over 30 m long. The Cuevas de Viera has a long orthostat-lined passage with porthole slabs and a small square chamber. A cemetery of rock-cut tombs of the Bronze Age imitating the tholos form is nearby.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bonompak
DEFINITION: A small, Late Classic Period (c 800 AD) Maya site and ceremonial center in Chiapas, a satellite of Yaxchilán located on a tributary of the Usumacinta. The discovery in 1946 of the magnificent murals in the rooms of an otherwise modest structure astounded the archaeological world. From the floors to vault capstones, its stuccoed walls were covered with highly realistic polychrome scenes of a jungle battle, the arraignment of prisoners, and victory ceremonies. These shed an entirely new light on the nature of Maya society, which up until then had been considered peaceful. These murals are the most complete graphic portrayal of Maya life known. Hieroglyphs also occur frequently and the whole collection is seen as a continuous narrative.
- corbel vault
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: corbelled vault
DEFINITION: In architecture, a simple form of vault in which the stones are overlapped on each other and topped with a capstone. As distinguished from the true arch, it has no keystone and is not self-supporting; the thrust must be take up by massive walls. The corbel vault is therefore suitable for spanning only limited spaces. In the Mayan style, corbel vaults can support a roof or upper story. Corbel vaults and arches were useful in cultures that had not yet developed curving arches and other ceiling structures.
- cup-and-ring mark
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cup mark, cup and ring mark
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: The commonest form of rock carving in the British Isles, consisting of a cup-like depression surrounded by one or more concentric grooves. Cup-and-ring marks are found on standing stones, singular or in stone circles, and on the slabs of burial cists, as well as on natural rock surfaces. In its classic form most cup-and-ring art belongs in the Bronze Age, but the motif occurs on passage graves, for example in the Clava tombs and on the capstones at Newgrange, where it may show links with similar rock carvings in northwest Spain. They are also found in Ireland and Scotland and can be dated to the Neolithic period of the 4th-3rd millennium BC.
- CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In antiquity (especially in France), a word for a megalithic tomb consisting of orthostats and capstone or for megalithic chamber tombs in general. This was usually a stone structure consisting of upright columns supporting a slab roof and known from Neolithic times. In English archaeological literature 'dolmen' should be used only for tombs whose original plan cannot be determined or for tombs of simple unspecialized types which do not fit into the passage grave or gallery grave categories; it is also used for relatively small, closed megalithic chambers, such as the dysser of Scandinavia. The name was probably derived from Cornish 'tolmen' (stone table). The word has a second meaning for the enclosure for burial in a jar of the Yayoi period in Japan consisting of a single large stone slab supported on a ring of stones. A third meaning is for a megalithic stone burial feature in western China and coast Yellow Sea area, dating to the 1st millennium BC, of which there are three forms -- raised table, low table, and unsupported capstone.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. dysser
DEFINITION: The Danish name for the earliest type of megalithic chamber tomb found in Scandinavia in the Early Neolithic. The oldest dysser are rectangular slab cysts roofed with capstones and containing 1-6 skeletons. The burial chamber is covered with a mound which rises to the height of the capstone and has a retaining kerb of stones. Drysser are associated with an early phase (C) of the TRB culture. Similar but less massive cysts were built by other TRB groups elsewhere in northern Europe.
- CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Double rows of large stone pillars with capstones that formed the foundation of structures, especially in the Mariana Islands, Micronesia, about 1000 years ago. The latte stones of this area are now thought to have been piles for raised houses, perhaps for chiefs and wealthy men, since the latte sites are relatively few for the reported population. Burials were sometimes placed between the pillars.
- Marianas Islands
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island group in western Micronesia with a sequence starting with settlement around 1500 BC, by island people in Southeast Asia. They made a distinctive red-slipped ware (Marianas Redware Phase), sometimes incised with lime-filled decoration, closely related to Philippine wares. By 800 AD, a plain, unslipped ware was in use, and stone architecture had developed. Parallel rows of upright pillars topped with hemispheric capstones (halege) were erected. The pillars were supports for structures called latte (after which term the culture is named), which may have served as houses or canoe sheds. Each village had from one to several latte structures. Stone and shell tools were used and the betel nut was chewed, as shown by extended burials most often located between the rows of latte.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: New Grange
DEFINITION: The most famous and splendidly decorated of the Irish passage graves, part of the Boyne Valley cemetery, in Meath County. The kidney-shaped mound, dated to c 3100 BC, is over 100 meters in diameter and 13 meters high. The cairn itself was carefully made of alternate layers of stones and turf. A kerb of large stones carved with wavy lines, lozenges, triangles, etc. encloses the base of the mound. On either side of the entrance the green kerbstones were topped by a retaining wall of white quartz. Some distance from the original base of the mound is a surrounding circle of free-standing stones. The burial chamber, cruciform in plan, is roofed by corbelling and has three subsidiary cells; the tomb has a very long passage, 19 meters in length, and built of orthostats. Midwinter sunrise shines through an opening above the door to illuminate the central chamber, the clearest example of an astronomical orientation recorded from a European prehistoric monument. Many stones of both chamber and passage carry pecked designs including an unusual triple spiral. Excavation has shown that the upper surfaces of the capstones had drainage channels, as well as art which would have been invisible once the overlying cairn had been built. Traces of cremation burials were found in the cells of the chamber, and soil from a habitation site, possibly close to the tomb, had been used to pack the interstices of the passage roof. There are two radiocarbon dates around 3200 BC and the site was reoccupied after the tomb-builders had left it and the cairn had begun to slump by a group which used Late Neolithic and Beaker pottery.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. orthostatic
DEFINITION: A large vertical stone slab supporting the capstone or roof of a chamber or passage in a megalithic tomb.
- portal dolmen
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: portal tomb
DEFINITION: A form of megalithic chamber tomb found mainly in Ireland, but with outliers in Wales and Cornwall. It had an above-ground chamber consisting of a heavy capstone supported by three or more uprights in a way that made the capstone slope down from front to back -- becoming narrower and lower towards the rear. It was approached through two tall portal slabs which formed a miniature porch or forecourt. The entrance to the chamber is often blocked by a slab which may reach right up to the capstone. The scarce grave goods are similar to those from the court cairns, and both types of tomb are early within the Neolithic period, with dates close to 3800 BC.
- CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The capstone of a pyramid or top of an obelisk. The pyramidion was decorated and became a symbolic object in its own right, being used also on the small brick pyramids of private tombs of the New Kingdom.
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic allée couverte in Ille-et-Vilaine, France. There is a paved chamber roofed by seven capstones and artifacts including coarse ware pottery and blades of Grand Pressigny flint.
- wedge-shaped gallery grave
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wedge tomb
DEFINITION: A megalithic chamber tomb particular to Ireland in the Late Neolithic and some from the Middle-Late Bronze Age. There is a long narrow chamber of orthostats supporting capstones, which decrease in height toward the back; it would not have a separate entrance passage. The division between antechamber and burial area is marked by a sill slab or by stone jambs. The cairn may be round, oval, or D-shaped, and often has a retaining wall. The earliest grave goods are bucket-shaped pots of the Late Neolithic period, but Beaker pottery is predominant.
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