The word megalith is from the Greek, mega (’large’) and lithos (’stone’), thus ‘large stone’. Usually, this word indicates large, undressed stones in prehistoric structures. On this page, however, I take a somewhat broader perspective, including ancient monuments of dressed stones, such as pyramids and obelisks.
Djoser’s Step Pyramid, Saqqara, Egypt, built during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser (also called Zoser, or Netjerykhet), who ruled 2630-2611 B.C. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Without a doubt, the world’s most famous megaliths are Stonehenge, situated in Wiltshire, southern England. Many of us are familiar with the annual news clips, showing thousands of modern druids in white robes, communing at Stonehenge each summer solstice. They claim a common law right to celebrate here the rites that their priesthood practiced for many centuries.
This claim may well be true, but it is less well known that by the time the first Celtic druids arrived in England, Stonehenge had been in use for thousands of years and then had already been abandoned for centuries. The druids may have adopted it, but they had no more idea than we do today, who built it or why.
Stonehenge really consists of two structures: a stone circle and a henge, the latter simply being a ring-shaped ditch. At Stonehenge, 80 magnetic bluestones, dragged all the way from the Preseli Mountains in Wales, c. 300 kilometres away, were placed in two concentric circles inside the ditch.
An even larger henge is Avebury Henge, likewise in Wiltshire. In this structure, an enormous number of stones were erected inside a huge henge, c. 2500 B.C. Two parallel stone rows, today called West Kennet Avenue, connects Avebury Henge with nearby Overton Hill. The stones in these rows act like bar magnets, with all their north poles lined up in the same direction. Perhaps this was done to direct ions to the great stone circle at Avebury.
Structures like Stonehenge, Avebury Henge, and West Kennet Avenue show links with electro-magnetic energies and increased crop production. This fascinating theory, proposed by my late friend John Burke, is discussed in detail elsewhere on this website, see Books: Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-Builders.
You may also read about the comprehensive work of John Burke at People: John Andrew Burke (1951-2010).
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, southern England. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Stone row in the inner circle, Avebury Henge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
These parallel stone rows, called West Kennet Avenue, connects Avebury Henge with nearby Overton Hill. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
At various locations in Scandinavia, megaliths dating from the Bronze Age or the Iron Age, are erected to form the outline of huge ships.
Ales Stenar near the village of Kåseberga, Skåne, Sweden, is a megalithic structure from the Bronze Age, consisting of c. 60 stones, erected to form the outline of a ship, c. 80 metres long and 20 metres wide. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In Gettlinge Gravfält, Öland, Sweden, stones have been placed to form the outline of a ship. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
This 30-metre-long stone setting from the Iron Age, shaped like a ship, at Karums Alvar, Öland, Sweden, is called ‘Noahs Ark’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Ancient standing stones in The Burren, a rocky area near Glencolumcille, Ireland. Stone fences and grazing cattle are seen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Another structure at The Burren is Poll na mBrón (Poulnabrone Dolmen), a portal tomb from between 4200 and 2900 B.C. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
At some point during the Iron Age, it became a custom in Scandinavia to erect large stones of granite or slate, so-called runic stones, on graves, engraved with runes, most often in long bands, in many cases ending in a serpent’s or dragon’s head – most probably an image of the Midgard Serpent, a monster which was feared among seagoing peoples, as it supposedly ate drowned seamen.
In many places, erecting runic stones only became a practice, after people had converted to Christianity, around 900-1000. For this reason, inscriptions on these stones all have a Christian stamp. In most cases, they shortly inform you, for whom the stone was erected, and by whom.
Runic stones in front of ruins of the former Østermarie Church, Bornholm, Denmark. A cross is engraved into the left stone, while the other is adorned with runes, which translate as follows: ‘Bjarne and Tue and Asgot erected this stone to commemorate their brother Sibbe. Christ help his soul.’ (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
On the rear side of the low runic stone above, a large flower-like figure, a so-called propeller cross, is engraved. The stones in the background are menhirs, large stones without engravings. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The text on this runic stone at Bjärby, Öland, Sweden, translates as follows: ‘Härfrid and Vidbjörn erected this stone to commemorate Fastulv, their father. Siglaug erected (it) to commemorate her husband. He is buried inside the church.’ – To be buried inside the church was probably a great honour in the early days of Christianity. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Marevadstenen is a runic stone from c. 1100, standing outside Hasle Church, Bornholm, Denmark. The runes on this stone, carved in the form of a serpent, translate as follows: ‘Aulakr erected this stone to commemorate his father Sasur, a good farmer. God and Saint Michael help his soul.’ (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
On Karlevistenen, a runic stone on Öland, Sweden, Sibbe the Wise One wrote: ‘In this barrow lies hidden the one, who did the greatest deeds. Never again, shall a more righteous and strong shipmaster rule over Danish lands.’ – In those days, Danish kings ruled in this part of Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Cross, carved into a runic stone in front of Vestermarie Church, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Runes, engraved as a serpent-like figure on a stone slab, situated near Segerstad, Öland, Sweden. The text translates as follows: ‘Ingjald and Näv and Sven erected this stone to commemorate their father, Rodmar.’ – Näv is a nickname, meaning ‘the one with the nose’ – the person in question probably had a big nose! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
On this runic stone at Svaneke Church, Bornholm, Denmark, the text translates as follows: ‘Bove let this (stone) erect to commemorate his good father Økil. Christ help his soul.’ (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Construction of Great Zimbabwe, capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, took place between the 11th and 15th Centuries A.D. It is believed that this stone city, which covers an area of 7.2 square kilometres, was the residence of a local king. At its peak, it would have housed about 18,000 inhabitants.
Watchtower in the wall, surrounding the ‘Great Enclosure’, Great Zimbabwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
One of the ‘Hill Ruins’, Great Zimbabwe. The bird circling above the ruins is a white-necked raven (Corvus albicollis). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Engravings on the toppled obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut, at the Great Temple of Amun, Karnak, Luxor, Egypt, include a picture of the god Horus, depicted as a falcon wearing a double crown, which was a symbol of the united Egyptian kingdoms. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In Scandinavia, menhirs are large standing stones without inscriptions, erected on graves during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. They are a very common sight in Sweden, whereas in Denmark they are mainly restricted to the island of Bornholm.
A group of Iron Age menhirs near Listed, Bornholm, are called Sacred Woman and her ten Children. According to a local legend, the Sacred Woman turned her children into stones, to avoid them being killed – indeed a strange act, as stones are also dead!
In former days, towards evening, it was a custom to respectfully greet the Sacred Woman and her ten Children, otherwise you might have bad luck.
‘Sacred Woman and her ten Children’, Bornholm. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Bronze Age menhir, Stammershalle, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Hestestenene (‘Horse Stones’) are Iron Age menhirs, situated at the coast north of Gudhjem, Bornholm. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Kungsstenarne (‘King’s Stones’) are menhirs, erected in a burial site from the Iron Age (c. 500 A.D.), Ottenby, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Limestone menhirs, erected during the Iron Age, Karums Alvar, Öland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In Buddhist areas of the Himalaya, Tibetan mantras are chiseled on numerous stone slabs or rocks. It is believed that this act will benefit the carver in his next life. Such decorated rocks or stone slabs are called mani stones. The most commonly chiseled mantra is Om Mani Padme Hum, which loosely translates as Hail Jewel in the Lotus Flower – a symbol of the Buddha.
Read more about mani stones and Buddhism elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Buddhism.
This rock near Namche Bazaar, Khumbu, eastern Nepal, is covered in chiseled Buddhist mantras. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Dolmens and longbarrows are megalithic structures, erected during the Stone Age, c. 3500-3000 B.C. Dolmens are the oldest type, typically consisting of 5 or 6 large stones, erected closely together and covered by a larger stone. Longbarrows are rectangular, consisting of many large standing stones, covered by several even larger stones. On one side, an entrance tunnel, made of stones, was constructed.
Sømarkedyssen, a dolmen on the island of Møn, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Poskær Stenhus (‘Poskær Stone House’), a dolmen on Mols, Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The small depressions on this dolmen on the island of Lyø, Denmark, called Klokkestenen (‘The Bell Stone’), appeared over time, when thousands of people hit the stone with a small rock, hereby producing a bell-like sound. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Dolmens near Kirke Stillinge, western Zealand, Denmark. (Foto copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Kellerød Langdysse, a longbarrow in southern Zealand, Denmark, is among the largest in the country, c. 125 metres long, comprising 150 stones along the edge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Hesselbjerg Langdysse, a longbarrow on the island of Langeland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Grønhøj (‘Green Hill’), a longbarrow near Horsens, Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Foggy day at a longbarrow, Jægerspris, Zealand, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Tikal is an area in northern Guatemala with numerous Mayan ruins. You may read more about these fascinating structures elsewhere on this website, see Books: Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-Builders. About Guatemala in general, see Travel episodes – Guatemala 1998: Land of the Mayans.
These Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala, are the so-called Great Jaguar’s Temple, popularly called ‘Queen’s Temple’ (left), and Temple II, or ‘King’s Temple’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Another Mayan ruin at Tikal is known as El Mundo Perdido (‘The Lost World’). This highly energetic, flat-topped pyramid was in continuous use for 1,300 years, from 600 B.C. to 700 A.D. It is situated on ground that contains extremely powerful electromagnetic energies, and the structure itself further concentrates these energies. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
America’s Stonehenge is a complex of Native American rock chambers and standing stones, situated at the aptly named Mystery Hill, New Hampshire, United States.
The so-called Sacificial Stone outside the Oracle Chamber, Mystery Hill, New Hampshire. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
The Giza Pyramids in Egypt were built during the reigns of pharaohs Khufu, called Cheops by the Greeks (ruled 2551-2528 B.C.), Khefren, also called Rakaef (ruled 2520-2494 B.C.), and Menkaure, called Mycerinus by the Greeks (ruled 2490-2472 B.C.).
For more than 3,000 years, the Khufu Pyramid was the largest man-made structure in the world, until the Great Wall of China was constructed. Its height is 137 metres, and its perimeter more than one kilometre.
These huge structures are usually labeled as tombs, but a far more interesting theory can be read elsewhere on this website, see Books: Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-Builders.
The Giza pyramids, from left Menkaure, Khefren, and Khufu. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Close-up of the Khufu Pyramid. The person indicates the grand scale of this structure. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Entrance to a reconstructed passage tomb, Dún Fhearghusa (Newgrange), erected between c. 3300 and 2900 B.C., eastern Ireland. On the large stone are engravings, e.g. spirals. Through the opening above the large stone, at Summer Solstice, sunlight penetrates into the inner chamber. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Christian stone cross from the 1200s, Kapelludden, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Kivik Royal Tomb, Skåne, Sweden, is a huge Bronze Age burial mound, a so-called ‘røse’, constructed of stones, forming a flattened cone with a depression in the centre. In this depression, a burial chamber was found, containing stone slabs with numerous pictographs (bottom picture). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Balanced Rock is a pre-Columbian dolmen at North Salem, New York State, consisting of a 90-ton granite boulder, balancing atop several slabs of granular quartz. Geologists have labeled it an accidental glacial erratic, but it sits precisely over a major magnetic anomaly, and brilliant golf-ball sized lights have repeatedly been photographed circling it.
Another pre-Columbian megalithic structure in New York State is a rock chamber at Kent Cliff, built atop a strong magnetic anomaly in the ground. The air inside the chamber has an unusual electric stratification, consisting of positively charged ions near the floor, while lighter, negatively charged ions rise to near the ceiling.
Such structures show links with electro-magnetic energies and increased crop production. Read about this theory elsewhere on this website, see: Books – Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-Builders.
Balanced Rock, North Salem, New York State. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Pre-Columbian rock chamber, Kent Cliff, New York State. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
Grave from the Iron Age, the stones placed to form a star, Stammershalle, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
In the evening, the obelisks of the Luxor Temple, Egypt, are illuminated. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)
(Uploaded September 2016)
(Latest update January 2019)