portal grave

A portal grave, also known as a portal tomb or dolmen, is a type of megalithic tomb characterized by two large vertical stones (orthostats) supporting a massive horizontal capstone, often with a distinct entrance area formed by the spaces between the stones. Portal graves were constructed by prehistoric cultures during the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages and are found in various regions worldwide. They were used for collective burials and are thought to have had significant ritual and symbolic significance for these ancient societies. The term “portal grave” derives from the appearance of a portal or entrance created by the arrangement of the stones. The construction of portal graves required considerable effort and communal cooperation, highlighting the importance of burial customs and beliefs in prehistoric cultures. The portal graves’ orientation is often aligned with celestial events, suggesting an understanding of astronomical phenomena and possibly serving as markers for specific times of the year. The significance of portal graves extends beyond their architectural marvel, as they provide essential archaeological information about the social and religious practices of ancient communities and contribute to our understanding of their cultural heritage.