Portal tombs or dolmens are one of the mysteries of our planet. They consist of a large top stone, resting on several vertical “pillars”. This formation is in fact a gateway or portal to a crypt. Crypts themselves in most cases have not survived, but the portals remained. And the mystery lies in the fact that dolmens of similar shape are scattered all around the world. They are found in Korea, China, Japan, India, Vietnam, and Russia – in the Caucasus and the Barents Sea regions, in Israel, Jordan, North Africa, Brazil and the United States. There are many dolmens in Europe - the Baltic States, Denmark, Portugal, France, Germany, Scotland and Ireland. Why, how and what has inspired our ancestors 4-6 thousand years ago to build these structures of similar form and function all over the planet?
Ireland holds more than 170 dolmens, including the largest in Europe - Brownshill Dolmen. Most of the Irish dolmens have unrestricted access. You can come at any time, take a photo or just stand and listen. Have you ever touched a wall that is over 4000 years old? These stones tell us about the times so distant that it is hard to comprehend. We only need to hear them.
Photo: Poulnabrone dolmen, County Clare, sourced from irisharchaeology.ie, author Rob Shaw