A passage grave (sometimes hyphenated) orpassage tomb consists of a narrow passage made of large stones and one ormultiple burial chambers covered in earth or stone. The building of passagetombs was normally carried out with megaliths and smaller stones; they usuallydate from the Neolithic Age. Those with more than one chamber may have multiplesub-chambers leading off from the main burial chamber. One common layout, thecruciform passage grave, is cross-shaped. Sometimes passage tombs are coveredwith acairn, especially those dating from later times. Not all passage graveshave been found to contain evidence of human remains. One such example isMaeshowe.
Passage tombs of the cairn type often haveelaborate corbelled roofs rather than simple slabs. Megalithic art has beenidentified carved into the stones at some sites. The passage itself, in anumber of notable instances, is aligned in such a way that the sun shines intothe passage at a significant point in the year, for example at sunrise on thewinter solstice or at sunset on the equinox.
Test Point – TPO14L4
When we think of large monumentalstructures built by early societies and Egyptian pyramid probably comes tomind. But there are some even earlier structures in the British Isles alsoworth discussing, and besides the well-known circle of massive stones ofStonehenge which don’t get me wrong is remarkable enough, well, otherimpressive Neolithic structures are found there too. Oh, yes, we are talkingabout the Neolithic period here, also called new Stone Age, which was the timebefore stone tools began to be replaced by tools made by bronze and othermetals.
It was about 5000 years ago, even beforethe first Egyptian pyramid that some of amazing Neolithic monuments---tombs,were racketed at the very size around ironed Great Britain and costal islandsnearby.
I am referring particular to structuresthat in some cases, look like ordinary natural hills. But we definitely buildby humans, well-organized communities of human’s to enclose a chamber or roomwithin stone walls and sometimes with a high, cleverly designed sealing ofoverlapping stones. These structures are called Passage Graves, because in thechamber, sometime several chambers in fact, could only be entered from theoutside through a narrow passage way.
Excuse me, professor, but you said PassageGraves. Was this just monument to honor the dead buried there or were theydesigned to be used somehow by the living?
Ah, yes! Good question, Michael. Besidesbeing built as tombs, some of these Passage Graves were definitely what wemight call Astronomical Calendars, with chambers they flooded with some lighton the certain special days of the year, which must see miraculous and inspiredgood dealer of they really just wonder. But research indicates that not justlight but also the physics of sound help to enhance this religious experience.
1.新石器时代,大约在 5000 年前,是指石制工具被铜质工具和其他金属工具替代之前的时期。