Megalitter i Italien

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The Hypogeum of the Volumni Rock Cut Tomb in Umbria The Hypogeum of the Volumni (Ipogeo dei Volumni) is a well-preserved Etruscan family grave from the second century BCE in the city of Perugia, the centre of Etruscan civilization. The grave is the one of 38 in the necropolis of Palazzone (Necropoli del Palazzone). It is located just outside the city centre, in the direction of Assissi. The address is: Via Assisana, 53 - Ponte San Giovanni.

Cefalu Temple of Artemis Ancient Sicananian temple of Artemis, possibly dating back as far 800 BCE, in Sicily (Sicilia) The lower part of the temple is made of irregular cyclopian blocks, while the doorway and other part are Hellenistic in appearance as Greeks and Romans colonized the island. Apparantly this is one of the oldest buildings in Sicilly.

Temple of Concordia Ancient Temple in Sicily (Sicilia) The 5th century BCE Temple of Concord is the best preserved structure in the Valley of the Temples in southern Sicily - reputed to contain the best range of Greek Temples outside Greece itself. We were lucky enough to be doing an evening tour of the magnificent Valley of the Temples when the 2004 Total Lunar Eclipse started - all the more special as we hadn’t even realized there was going to be one! Most of the structures were damaged when Sicily was attacked in 406 BCE, and Christians destroyed many remaining temples in the 6th century CE. The Temple of Concord was saved from the 6th Century destruction by being converted into a church.

Temple of Juno Ancient Temple in Sicily (Sicilia) Remains of ancient greek Temple in the Agrigento Valey of the Temples

Ortigia Temple of Athena Ancient Temple in Sicily (Sicilia) In Ortigia, the ancient part of Siracusa in south west Sicily, the Temple of Athena (c. 530 BCE) was absorbed into a Cathedral (c. 640 CE) - and later encased in a Baroque facade. It has a wonderful feeling of ancient and continuous use as a special place - the outer wall is formed between the original Doric columns, as can be seen in this picture. I can't remember who used the phrase, but it is one of those places where the curtain between our world and another one is very thin!

South Beigua Menhir Large fallen menhir on the south slopes of Monte Beigua. Not so far to the top of the ancient megalitc trackway (due west from this site)

South Beigua Menhir Large fallen menhir on the south slopes of Monte Beigua. Not so far to the top of the ancient megalitc trackway (due west from this site)

Menhirs di Cavaglià Standing Stones in Piemonte Group of Menhirs. It was part of a bigger megalithic site, destroyed and covered by new buildings until 10 years ago. Now what remains of the site is protected and some stone re-erected.

A Megalith Site for Prehistoric Grape Growing Varchignoli, a high Piedmont Northern Italy village, is a fascinating evidence confirming ancient peoples’ technical skill in a passage period between the Bronze and the Iron Age by Daniele Bordoni, Silvia Ruggieri

Megalith definition Greek Megalith = big stone however the term is relative since we have megaliths from a few ton to 350 ton and length 23 meters such as Le Grand Menhir in Carnac France. The initial bias in archaeology is that it is a cultural stone set up for memory, ritual, astronomy, landmark and so on. We have textual evidence of the use from ca 2500 BC. The cuneiform tablet tells about the struggle between Sumerian city-states Umma and Lagash By the immutable word of Enlil, king of the lands, father of the gods, Ningirsu and Shara set a boundary to their lands. Mesilim, King of Kish, at the command of his deity Kadi, set up a stele in the plantation of that field. [a boundary marker and usual with zodiac figures like a dating]. Ush, ruler of Umma, formed a plan to seize it. That stele he broke in pieces, into the plain of Lagash he advanced. Ningirsu, the hero of Enlil, by his just command, made war upon Umma. At the command of Enlil, his great net ensnared them. He erected their burial mound on the plain in that place. [It was a "blind mound" with no one inside, but who would dig it up for proof?] ..… He ordered the royal field not to be seized. At the canal he inscribed a stele. He returned the stele of Mesilim to its place. He did not encroach on the plain of Mesilim. At the boundary-line of Ningirsu, as a protecting structure, he built the sanctuary of Enlil, the sanctuary of Ninkhursag ..... The Sumerian uses and rituals concern also West Europe since we find the ideas in stones and rock-carvings. Archaeologists are seldom used to see rock-carvings as evidence and generally they date them too young. My essays on stones deal with the underlying rational ideas when the set up stones as monuments. The time span is from 7th millennium BC to the time of rune stones and it builds mainly on Scandinavian material. All monuments are evidence showing that there was some order in society. Unfortunately we have lost many of them to agriculture and church buildings Another source is the Bible where especially Exodus, Kings and Judge books have samples of the use of stones as manifestation of culture. And they are also telling about the rest of the Levant that used same style and in addition used baetyl and used Ashera statues

Standing stones The bigger stone give associations to a certain kind of imagination. This stands at Filitosa southern Corsica and could be a reference for those with none-earthy moral. Further associations lead us to Egyptian myth and world order. Geb was earth and there are pictures of a lying Geb with erection and her mate Nut is the heaven in a bow over him. Still we cannot deduce that all standing stones are of that kind. We have to leave for many more uses such as sight stone, heel stone, memory stone, symbol stone and more. For instance at Corsica we find long stones with a face engraved on the top. Maybe it symbolises the local hero in other cases it may be a tomb stone. Normally they are speaking Greek and call these boulders and long stones megalith, but that is Greek to me It is symptomatic of public Egyptian archaeology that most of it is about the Middle Kingdom and the pharaohs. If we want to know about normal life and how they got food on table we have very few books. When they tell about the Egyptians it is all mystery. Part of the mystery is the Greeks that gave much of the names in Greek and there is no standard for the names. To that comes that times and cultures mixes. Too seldom we know the real meaning of words, idols and abstractions. They would tell us that hidden in the myths are instructions for agriculture and other things. The Sumerians wrote songs about the pickaxe, which build cities since it was an invention. Citizens were only "bones" for the gods and that word is synonym for tool. They also wrote about "old days" when they used the stick for digging ... in South Africa there are 20000 years old carvings showing the Mother Invention uses a stick with weight. Still, the Sumerians also sang to sheep, cows, goats and the Bull. It is that practical level we should search for. Surely they did not use magic in agriculture and gods never do practical work. Greek and Roman history is also about the upper class and their problems. Compare the pantheon with Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Dallas and so on. The peasants probably sang about stealing cows, while the half gods in upper class teach us to think in families and clans. In the upper class the main problem is always power and relations. We cannot use that attitude to early Stone Age Europeans living in small villages. They were interested in myths for agriculture since it gave food with less work if they were skilled. However all labour could use a clear World Order and explanation how the natural cycle goes on. At the scientific level we can search for categories, but also analyse the pure idea from shape, formation, position, location, aspects and more. In many places special stones have got a name that folk memory have carried for thousands of year in some cases. As long as there are continuously living people in a place it is possible to tell an original folk memory. However if the story is too much different from culture it will fade out and be just a name or folk humour make some explanation easy to remember. In our rock-carvings we clearly see the great variety of cultural elements. Partly it is because of the long time span and we never know how much of it they really used. Even the stone formations show variety. In the stony part of Scandinavia we have very many stones remaining in the position the inland ice left them. Others are placed in some formation or have got a name. These are cultural stones carrying known and unknown ideas. But in Denmark it is hard find any stone that are not placed by people in the past and few free stones are left in the lowland where the biggest "mountain" is 172 metres above sea level. We still raise stones as memory on our graveyards. Memory is the first and main meaning of every special and cultural stone. Then it is up to us to find the meaning and there are a great variety of possibilities and we are discussing a time span of maybe 8000 years. We cannot prove that the lonely standing stone is set up as memory for an individual, since we do not see the individual before Bronze Age we can leave that case for now. In Scandinavia we have the special word "bautastone" for tombstone. The word means, "knock in" and understood that the dead was knocked into eternity symbolised by the stone in quite the same way as we use tombstones with the name of the past person. Maybe the word origins from forth millennium BC when we see cupmarks on/ and in passage graves. The use continued on wedge tombs and stony mounds as sign of "knocking in". The symbol act also meant that the dead is finally gone. We know that they thought of resurrection and the funeral ritual was much the same as the spring ritual when sowing and putting away the corn for a journey that lead to resurrection. Funeral and sowing are symbolised in the same way with cupmarks. In the Alps they have found that metallurgist practised the agricultural sowing ritual at funeral and still they were not cultivating. During Bronze Age was a period with much of cremations but some still made a small slab-cist and or a mound. We know too little about the bautastone. Most of them have later been used when they build churches, houses, railroads and the reuse began already in Bronze Age. Another thing is that probably the individuals got value as late as during Bronze Age. In Ritual Age mankind was just "legs". If monuments were made it was for deities and that mean in our words that the foundation kept the memory of the idols that represented the World Order and the rituals in the local society.. When we make tombstones, busts, statues it is just the same old custom. Those with much money make of course most of it. Many patricier in Rome had their father as statue in normal size and grandfather as a bust at home. Naturally such things made it easier to remember at least the nearest forefathers and it may sometimes lead to forefather cult. In our world we have lots of forefathers we remember when we need it Newton, Boyle, Einstein, La Grange. That is our forefather cult. The idea of these is quite the same as the bautastone. From the beginning the value of a cultural stone was defined by local people whom decided the place and the stones to be sacred. The value today depends on how much local people and government out value in remains from our ancestors. Usually the value is less than new roads and buildings … se more under Cultural stones where the normal border stone at a field is called kudurru. Here is a sample about the stele between city states of Sumer: Lagash and Umma were two Sumerian cities located 18 miles apart. Three documents were found on clay cylinders and date from about 2500 BC. Here the first of them that tells about use of a stele as boundary marker and also that making a mound was like a claim. By the immutable word of Enlil, king of the lands, father of the gods, Ningirsu and Shara set a boundary to their lands. Mesilim, King of Kish, at the command of his deity Kadi, set up a stele [a boundary marker] in the plantation of that field between the states. Ush, ruler of Umma, formed a plan to seize it. That stele he broke in pieces, into the plain of Lagash he advanced. Ningirsu, the hero of Enlil, by his just command, made war upon Umma. At the command of Enlil, his great net ensnared them. He erected their burial mound on the plain in that place. The struggle went on for a couple of generation and destroying the canal and irrigation was one of the methods. In the end Entemena of Lagash killed the Big Man of Umma. Notice that Enlil, Ningirsu, Shara and Kadi are all deities. It was convenient to blame or make abstract role models to be responsible or be the higher powers in the name of which the worldly Lugal = Big Man ruled. Sumerian creation myth starts with "Tree of Life" or the "World Tree" Grandiloquent lord of heaven and earth, self-reliant, father Enki, engendered by a bull, begotten by a wild bull, cherished by Enlil the Great Mountain, beloved by holy An, lugal. Enki planted the meš tree in the Abzu, rising over all lands; great dragon who stands in Eridug, whose shadow covers heaven and earth, a grove of vines extending over the Land, Enki, lord of plenty of the Anuna gods, Nudimmud, mighty one of the E-kur, strong one of heaven and earth! This is important since the Sumerian creation myth begins with these words. The Sumerians were very practical. So when they let the creator Enki plant a tree it means also the family tree near the farmhouse as symbolic Tree of Life. We find it also in Finish Kalevala with motivation "for the birds' nests". The birds are helpers since they eat the insects in the field. We have also the Nordic Yggdrasil as World Tree in the Edda myth. Another myth tells about Inanna planting shadowing trees. Tree keep moisture and make a better climate for man, animal and plant … we see it here in my town where they hate trees. The air is so dry that those with heat - lung diseases have trouble in getting oxygen hot days. We can not know to which extend they deliberately planted trees. But we see the symbol/ image of "Tree of Life" on steles/ remains and in many places so it has

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The megalithic tombs of Italy

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Megalit kulturens
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