"Megalithic Monuments in Spain and Portugal
" by Jean-François-Albert du Pouget
Jean-François-Albert du Pouget, born July 1818, was a French anthropologist and palæontologist. His special interest in cave drawings involved him in the exploration of the caves of southern France, and exploration of the earliest peoples to dwell in Europe. His article describing the megalithic monuments of the Iberian peninsula was published in Popular Science Monthly, volume 31.
NOTHING in the ancient history of man is of more considerable interest than are those monuments, at once rudely grand and mysteriously simple, which have been designated megalithic. They may be simply raised stones, isolated menhirs, cromlechs arranged in a circle, or artificial caves formed by placing flat flags horizontally on standing supports. Dolmens or covered passages were usually buried under masses of earth or stones, so as to form veritable tumuli; but they always present the common character of being constructed in rough blocks, virgin of all human labor.
Megaliths are important on account of their number and their dispersion. They are to be found, with a likeness running through them all, in places most remote from one another, on different continents. At Carnac and at Kermarin are immense rows of stones, of which the menhirs of the Khasias of India appear like exact copies. Similar dolmens are standing in Palestine, Ireland, and Hindostan. Megaliths can be found in Peru and among the aboriginal monuments of North America, in Spain and Denmark, in the Orcades and the islands of the Mediterranean, on the shores of the Black Sea and of the Baltic, at the foot of Mount Sinai, and in Iceland at the edge of the eternal glaciers.
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