Neolithic Architecture Masterpiece: Dolmen of Menga, Antequera, Spain


Found mostly in Britain and France. Dolmens are megalithic tombs with a large flat stone laid on upright ones. Its word origin is mid 19th century. From French, or perhaps via Breton, from Cornish. Dolmen is a ‘hole of a stone’. Yet, this form of Neolithic Architecture is in modern Spain.
In the south, a long barrow form of dolmen, called a tumulus, and forms the Dolmen of Menga. It is 90 ft long, 20 ft wide and 11 ft high, and was built with thirty-two megaliths. The largest weighing about 180 tonnes. The chamber, probably served as a grave for ruling families. When it was opened in the 1800s, hundreds of skeletons were found inside. It is one of the largest known ancient megalithic structures in Europe. Dating from the 3750-3650 BCE Unesco has made it a world heritage site. It is near Antequera, Málaga, Spain. What a beautiful masterpiece.

What would leave you more mesmerized, its size; builders skill, strength, or?

Neolithic Site: El Fin del Mundo (‘End of the Earth), Sonora, Mexico

University of Arizona researchers preciously found El Fin del Mundo (‘End of the Earth’) not that long ago, in 2007. Yet it is recognized for a huge amount of reasons. It is the first discovery of humans and gomphotheres in North America. The radiocarbon dating also makes it, along with ‘Aubrey site’, in north Texas, the oldest Clovis site in North America.

Gomphotheres were previously undiscovered in North America

El fin del mundo (or ‘End of the earth’) allows us to consider various topics, such as:
-environmental change;
-paleoindian subsistence and regional interaction;
-the role that humans may have played in the extinction of Pleistocene fauna; and,
-how early ancestors adapted to the region, and went beyond with the use of lithic raw material to manufacture different types of points.

Hong Kongs Neolithic Architecture

Neolithic Architecture of Hong Kong 275

Sai Kung, at Wong Ten Tung, an area in Hong Kong.  Archeologists claim, there may have been a stone making tool site, from over 30,000 years ago.

In another area, the Sham Chung, beside tree fathoms cove, recently there were more than 6000 artifacts found, in a slope.

Begaining in the true “neolithic era”. Cheung Chau, Lantau Island and Lamma Island all had evidence of neolithic architecture.  Mostly on the western shores, greatest evidence is of Che settlers.  Approximately 7,000 years ago.   Because of strong SE winds this location was most likely chosen to avoid breezy days, and to collect food from the nearby shores.

A period of ‘warring states’ brought Yuet people from the north into the area. Eventually the Che and Yuets finished battle.  Bronze, fishing, combat, ritual tools and gear were all excavated on Lantau and Lamma Island.  Though the earliest direct settlement of neolithic architecture to Hong Kong was Ma Wan. Che, Yuet and other people probably amalgamated there and formed the Hong Kong people we know there today.

Hong Kong and South China Sea 277

Who would had thought Neolithic Architecture had such ‘global reach’?

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Lithic Technolgies, Neolithic Arch

Conchoidal fracture in flint

Lithic technology are skills and techniques used to produce tools from various types of stone.
Ideal stone characteristics include: non-crystalline or glassy, which allows for the right cryptocrystalline structure and conchoidal fracturing.
Being conchoidal, and cryptocrystalline, is a characteristic sometimes easier to picture in your mind. Think, flint, chert , or jadeite used in projectile points and scrapers. It is the way materials fracture when they do not follow natural planes of separation. Cryptocrystalline is minute rock texture, that its crystalline, and revealed microscopically.

Near Syracuse, NY

Strong lithic technologies have smooth, curved surfaces, slightly concave, with concentric undulations. Similarly to lines on a shell (like on a high end spear head or scraper).
Given the correct features, a hard surface like granite; hammer stones, bones and sticks, the mason, (or flintknapper), is able to control his ‘lithic technology’ skills and ability.

Types of Lithic Stone included:
▪ Agate
▪ Basalt
▪ Chalcedony
▪ Chert
▪ Diorite
▪ Flint
▪ Greenstone
▪ Jadeite
▪ Jasper
▪ Obsidian
▪ Onyx
▪ Quartz
▪ Quartzite
▪ Sandstone
▪ Schist
▪ Silcrete, and
▪ Unknown

North, South America, and European ‘lithic technologies’ have been dated to around 10-15000 years.
Online sources claim 2-3 million year old tools have been found around Ethiopia.

Lithic tech text

That’s a lot of years before the computers technology.
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What is Neolithic; and Neolithic Architecture

It is believed ‘neolithic’, (based on Greek νέος néos ‘new’ and λίθος líthos ‘stone’, literally ‘New Stone Age’), started around 10,200 BC in the Middle East, arising from the Natufian culture, when pioneering the use of wild cereals evolved into early farming.
Climatic changes, associated with the Younger Dryas (about 10,000 BC) are thought to have forced people to develop farming and the ‘neolithic lifestyle.”

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Neolithic site: Watson Brake

Near present-day Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, is the neolithic site Watson Brake. Making it older than stonehenge and some pyramids, it is estimated 3-4 thousand years old. It is the most ancient ‘earth mound complex’ in North America. It is recognized as a hunter-gatherer society, though believed to have also done maize cultivation with an organizational structure.
The livable mounds were believed to be constructed over 500 years of time. It is located in the Ouachita flood plain near Watson Bayou, and Monroe. It consists of 11 earthwork mounds, from 3 to 25 feet and was connected by ridges to form an oval nearly 900 feet across.
The site has been dated before the ‘poverty point’, in Northern Louisiana about 1,900 years. Though the earliest known North American mound neolithic site, there are quite a number of earlier sites in Mexico and Central America.

In 1980, local resident, Reca Bamburg Jones, identified the pattern of eleven mounds connected by ridges. She, and a few others published a survey of ‘pre history in the Ouachita River Valley In 1983.
Half the site is still owned by different families, and the site had been privately controlled since the 1950s. Northeast Louisiana University, and University of Texas (Austin) has radio carbon dated and published papers on the great antiquity of the site. The Gentry family grants permission to archeologists wishing to view this site but refuses to sell.

A concept what site may have looked like

Building coincided with periods of rainfall, and el Nino, and ‘southern oscillation events’. Hunting and gathering may represented the response to droughts, flooding and unpredictable food supply base. Food findings included: fish, shellfish; deer, turkey, raccoon, opossum, squirrel, and rabbits. Plants: goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri), knotweed (Polygonum spp.), and possibly marshelder (Iva annua). The people heated local gravel for cooking stones to steam some of their food. They created and fired earthenware items in a variety of shapes, but researchers have not fully yet determined their functions.

Black marking is location, in northern part of state

Without steel or metal working tools, Watson Brake demonstrates that pre-agricultural, ceramic, indigenous cultures were complex. They organized large enough forces to build nearly 10 meter mounds, and monumental construction, that marked the rise of neolithic times, and social complexity worldwide. Here’s to monuments.

Neolithic tar sands, in Los Angeles: La Brea

La Brea Tar Pits is an active paleontological research site in urban Los Angeles. Natural asphalt (asphaltum, bitumen, pitch, or tar) was found near Hancock Park. Dating from at least 3500 BC, the tar preserved the bones of trapped Neolithic animals.

Bitumen lines, from the crude oil, seep up along the 6th Street Fault from the Salt Lake Oil Field, which underlies much of the Fairfax District north of Hancock Park. Oil reaches the ground and forms pools, near modern day downtown Los Angelas, becoming asphalt as the the petroleum biodegrade or evaporate. It usually hardens into stubby mounds. The pools and mounds can be seen at the Museum. Below is a picture.


Aboriginal ‘Chumash and Tongva’ lived in La Brea building boats and neolithicly through time. Pulling fallen large tree trunks and pieces of wood from the ocean, they learned to seal the checks between the boards and wood by using the stagnant liquid. An expedition, led by Gaspar de Portolá, led the first documented visit to the tar sands by Spanish in 1769.

By the 1880’s, land was purchased by a Countess of Dundonald. A formal excavation began by Messrs Turnbull, Stewart & Co in 1886.

In 1901 a oil geologist was finally credited with recognizing that fossilized prehistoric animal bones were preserved in pools. John C. Merriam, and the university of California begain a major portion of the early anthropological work. In search of large skeletons, between 1913 and 1915, explorers excavated more than 100 sites finding thousands of specimens. These excavations though, while being examined, have gradually been filled, by an accumulation of asphaltum, dust, leaves, and water.

Only one human has been found, a partial skeleton of the La Brea Woman dated to around 10,000 years. She is estimated to have been 17 to 25 years old, and found associated with remains of a domestic dog.

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Neolithic Architecture, Neolithic Arch, Narch, NA
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Meadowcroft rockshelter or sand stone re-entrant

MCRS(or SSRE) could be one of the longest occupational sequences in North America, dating to around 15,000 bc. It is in Washington county, Pennsylviania. It was discovered in 1955 by landman/farmer Albert Miller. He immediately contacted the university (university of Pittsburgh), and in 1970 236 sites were excavated.

It is located “High and Dry,” 15m above stream from Cross Creek, a tributary of the Ohio river. *Geological terms are “Sandstone Re-entrant,” or rock shelter (common English). These are overhangs of erosion resistant rock, with further underlays of less resistant presently eroded rock.

Over 20,000 artifacts were uncovered (predominantly flaked stone). Including 2 million animals or plants from 140 identifiable species.

MCRS or SSRe-nt
“Old Fashioned” rabbit roast
Excavation Map
Stratigraphic Profile
Basket Rim or Wall fabrics
Millar Complex Lithic Technologies *also Texas, Virginia and Maryland
Present day location

List of Neolithic Settlements

Comment &

Tell Qaramel
Syria, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
c. 10,890 – 8,780 BCE
Preceded by the Epipaleolithic Natufian settlement.

El Khiam
Jordan Valley, Levant
c. 10,200 – 8,800 BCE

Iraq ed-Dubb
Jordan Valley, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
c. 10,000 – 7,950 BCE

Spirit Cave
Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
c. 9,800 – 5,500 BCE

Khiamian Mureybetian
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 9,700 – 9,300 BCE
c. 9,300 – 8,600 BCE c. 8,600 – 8,000 BCE
Previously occupied by the Natufian culture.

North China Plain
c. 9,500 – 7,500 BCE

Tell Abu Hureyra
Natufian culture
c. 9,500 – 7,500 BCE

Tell Aswad
Syria, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 9500 – 8700 BCE c. 8700 – 7500 BCE

Jordan Valley, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Lodian culture
c. 9,500 – 7,370 BCE c. 6,800 – 5,850 BCE c. 5,850 – 4,500 BCE
Preceded by a Natufian settlement and continuously settled by a succession of cultures.

Lepenski Vir
Donji Milanovac, Serbia
c. 9,500 – 6,000 BCE

Göbekli Tepe
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
c. 9,130 – 7,370 BCE

Mount Lebanon, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Yarmukian culture Wadi Raba culture
c. 8,800 – 7,000 BCE c. 6,400 – 5,800 BCE c. 5,800 – 5,300 BCE c. 5,300 – 4,500 BCE
Continuously inhabited by a succession of cultures.

Anti-Lebanon Mountains, Levant
c. 8,500 – 7,700 BCE

Nevalı Çori
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 8,400 – 8,100 BCE

‘Ain Ghazal
Jordan Valley, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Yarmukian culture
c. 8,300 – 6,400 BCE c. 6,400 – 5,000 BCE

Anatolian Neolithic
c. 7,100 – 5,700 BCE

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 8,630 – 6,800 BCE

Jordan Valley, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Yarmukian culture
c. 8,300 – 6,400 BCE
c. 6,400 – 6,000 BCE

‘Ain Ghazal
Jordan Valley, Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 8,300 – 5,000 BCE

Aşıklı Höyük
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
c. 8,200 – 7,400 BCE

Ganj Dareh
Zagros Mountains
c. 8,000 – 5,500 BCE

Tell Halula
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 7,750 – 6,780 BCE

Tell Sabi Abyad
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Hassuna culture Halaf culture Halaf-Ubaid culture Ubaid culture
c. 7,750 – 6,850 BCE
c. 6,850 – 6,200 BCE c. 6,200 – 5,200 BCE c. 5,200 – 5,000 BCE c. 5,000 – 4,000 BCE
Continued settlement from the Uruk period into the Middle Assyrian Empire.

Pottery Neolithic
c. 7,500 – 5,000 BCE

Yangtze valley, China
Pengtoushan culture
c. 7,500 – 6100 BCE

Nabta Playa
Nubian Desert
c. 7,500 – 3,600 BCE

Chogha Bonut
Zagros Mountains
c. 7,200 – 4,000 BCE

Ganges Valley, South Asia
c. 7,106 – 7,080 BCE

Halaf culture
c. 7,040 – 5,000 BCE

Yellow River Valley, China
Peiligang culture
c. 7,000 – 5,700 BCE

Indus River Valley, South Asia
Neolithic South Asia
c. 7,000 – 5,500 BCE c. 5,500 – 4,800 BCE
Later developed into a Chalcolithic society (c. 4,800 – 2,600 BCE)

c. 7,000 – 6,000 BCE

Prehistoric Crete
c. 7,000 – 3,500 BCE
Developed into a major city-state of the Minoan civilization.

Neolithic Greece
c. 6,850 – 4,400 BCE

Nea Nikomedeia
Neolithic Greece
c. 6,650 – 5,530 BCE

North China Plain
Houli culture
Beixin culture Dawenkou culture Longshan culture Yueshi culture
c. 6,500 – 5,500 BCE
c. 5,300 – 4,100 BCE c. 4,100 – 2,600 BCE c. 3,000 – 1,900 BCE c. 1,900 – 1,500 BCE
Continuous settlement by successive cultures.

Taihang Mountains, China
Cishan culture
c. 6,500 – 5,000 BCE

Sha’ar HaGolan
Jordan Valley, Levant
Yarmukian culture
c. 6,400 – 6,000 BCE

Tel Kabri
Galilee, Israel
Yarmukian culture Wadi Raba culture
c. 6,400 – 5,800 BCE
c. 5,800 – 4,500 BCE
Continued settlement by successive cultures.

Danube Valley, Serbia
Starčevo culture
c. 6,200 – 4,500 BCE

Liao River
Xinglongwa culture Hongshan culture
c. 6,000 – 5,500 BCE
c. 3,500 – 3,000 BCE
Settlement continued into the Bronze Age by the Lower Xiajiadian culture.

Tell Hassuna
Nineveh, Mesopotamia
Hassuna culture
c. 6,000 – 5,350 BCE

Qiantang River, China
Kuahuqiao culture
c. 6,000 – 5,000 BCE

Tell Shemshara
Nineveh, Mesopotamia
Hassuna culture
c. 6,000 – 4,000 BCE
Continued settlement by successive cultures.

Tell Judaidah
Amik Valley, Anatolia
c. 6,000 — 3,500 BCE

Brú na Bóinne
River Boyne, Eire
Boyne culture
c. 6,000 — 2,900 BCE

Vukovar, Croatia
c. 6,000 – 2,300 BCE

Beit She’an Valley, Israel
Yarmukian culture
c. 5,800 – 5,400 BCE

Wei River Valley, China
Dadiwan culture
c. 5,800 – 5,400 BCE

Vinča-Belo Brdo
Vinča, Serbia
Vinča culture
c. 5,700 – 4,500 BCE

Liao River, China
Xinle culture
c. 5,500 – 4,800 BCE

El Badari
Upper Egypt, Nile Valley
Badarian culture
c. 5,500 – 4,000 BCE

Tell Zeidan
Syria, Levant
Ubaid culture
c. 5,500 – 4,000 BCE

Hangzhou Bay
Hemudu culture
c. 5,500 – 3,300 BCE

Luan River, China
Zhaobaogou culture
c. 5,400 – 4,500 BCE

c. 5,250 – 4,000 BCE

Danube Valley
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture
c. 5,000 — 4,600 BCE

Neolithic Greece
c. 5,000 — 4,400 BCE

Yangtze River Valley, China
Daxi culture
c. 5,000 — 3,300 BCE

Yangtze River Valley, China
Majiabang culture
c. 5,000 — 3,300 BCE

Mġarr, Malta
Għar Dalam culture Skorba culture Żebbuġ culture Mġarr culture
c. 4,850 — 4,500 BCE
c. 4,500 — 4,100 BCE c. 4,100 — 3,800 BCE c. 3,800 — 3,600 BCE
Continued settlement by Ġgantija and Tarxien cultures.

Yellow River Valley
Yangshao culture
c. 4,700 — 3,600 BCE

Vesioly Kut
Danube Valley
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture
c. 4,300 — 4,000 BCE

Danube Valley
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture
c. 4,300 — 4,000 BCE

Knap of Howar
Ta’ Ħaġrat
Qujialing Liangzhu
Ness of Brodgar
Lake Tai, China
Danube Valley
Papa Westray,
Malta Gozo,
Malta Qrendi,
Mġarr, Malta
Yangtze River Valley Yangtze Delta, China
Yellow River Valley, China
Ġgantija culture
Saflieni culture
Qujialing culture Liangzhu culture Majiayao culture
Banshan culture Machang culture
Neolithic Orkney Tarxien culture
c. 4,300 – 2,800 BCE

Danube Valley
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture
c. 3,200 — 2,700 BCE

Danube Valley
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture
c. 3,200 — 2,700 BCE

Skara Brae
Bay of Skaill, Orkney
Neolithic Orkney
c. 3,180 — 2,500 BCE

Chengdu Plain, Sichuan Basin, China
Baodun culture
c. 2,700 — 1,700 BCE

Yangtze River Valley, China
Shijiahe culture
c. 2,500 — 2,000 BCE