Megalith as defined at Dictionary.com: a stone of great size, especially in ancient construction work, as the Cyclopean masonry, or in prehistoric Neolithic remains, as dolmens or menhirs.
What we see here is a culture(s) that used gigantic stones (to various degrees depending on their cultural ability) the way we use cement today. Some countries build large buildings, some countries build the biggest buildings in the world. Some build star observatories and some build graves but they all use big stones to be best of their culture’s ability & resources just like we do today. Any objects made of wood of that culture has long since disintegrated. Only objects made of stone or bone etc can last the thousands of years necessary for us to find any remains.
9500 BC - Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe is a site in Turkey that has been dated to 9500-7500 BC. At around 7500 BC (9000 years ago) the site was abandoned. It contains large stone megaliths with carvings of various animals that must have been common at the time they were made.
Göbekli Tepe as reported in The Guardian: Compared with Stonehenge, they are humble affairs. None of the circles excavated (four out of an estimated 20) are more than 30 metres across. T-shaped pillars like the rest, two five-metre stones tower at least a metre above their peers. What makes them remarkable are their carved reliefs of boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions, and their age. Dated at around 9,500BC, these stones are 5,500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotamia, and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.
Never mind wheels or writing, the people who erected them did not even have pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages. But they were hunters, not farmers.
"Everybody used to think only complex, hierarchical civilisations could build such monumental sites, and that they only came about with the invention of agriculture", said Ian Hodder, a Stanford University professor of anthropology who has directed digs at Catalhoyuk, Turkey's best known neolithic site, since 1993. "Gobekli changes everything. It's elaborate, it's complex and it is pre-agricultural. That alone makes the site one of the most important archaeological finds in a very long time."
Göbekli Tepe is indicated by the black dot on this geographical map of Turkey
In the first series of stone monuments, said to be the earliest evidence of a megalith culture that we have, we have 200 pillars up to 20 feet high and weighing 20 tons that have been fitted right into the bedrock.
A carved image of a fox or wolverine.
A bull, fox and crane.
A pillar with another carving of a fox.
An overview of the 20 foot pillars.
The dust bowl type conditions surrounding Göbekli Tepe that may have led to it being abandoned.
A megalithic monolith has even been found on the floor of the Mediterranean dating back when the ocean was further back and/or lower. (Monolith on ocean floor dated to approximately 8000 BC):
During a high-resolution mapping of the seafloor surrounding Sicily, researchers discovered an ancient treasure: a stone monolith spanning 39 feet (12 meters), resting on the bottom of the Mediterranean.
Stunned, the researchers sent down divers with cameras and video recorders to get a closer look at the monolith, which had broken into two parts. They dove 131 feet (40 m) underwater in an area called the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, located about 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of Sicily.
Several features suggest the monolith was man-made, possibly by people living during the Mesolithic period about 10,000 years ago, Lodolo said. It has a fairly regular shape and contains three holes with similar diameters. One hole, with a diameter of 24 inches (60 centimeters), punched all the way through the stone.
"There are no reasonable known natural processes that may produce these elements," the researchers wrote in the study, referring to the regular shape and similar size of the holes.
7500 BC - Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük seems to have been founded roughly when Göbekli Tepe was abandoned, around 7500 BC. It’s possible Çatalhöyük was founded by the same race of people who built Göbekli Tepe but got pushed out of thier previous location due to safety issues, environmental issues (such as lack of food) or simply because the culture changed so much that Göbekli Tepe no longer represented their past (such as what would happen if the culture got taken over by some foreign culture). Whatever the case may be, both the oldest above water city and megaliths have been found in Southern Turkey.
Çatalhöyük is marked by the black dot.
Remains of off the coast of Atlit, Israel. Atlit Yam dates between 6900 and 6300 BC.
Location of Atlit Yam
Almendres Cromlech, located in Portugal,with construction going back to 6000 BC
Eroded stones with art or whatever
Menhirs at the Almendres Cromlech, Évora, Portugal
Skorba temples on the Island of Malta In the Mediterranean dated to 4850 BC
Artifact found at Skorba
The Great Menhir of Er Grah in Britanny, France, around 67.6 feet in height and weighing over 330 tonnes set up around 4700 BC, and toppled by 4000 BC
Neolithic burial mounds in Britanny, France dated to 4800 BC
Jewelly found on site
Type of construction techniques the Neolithic megalithic tomb cultures seem to have used
A star calendar aligned to Orion’s belt to the year 4800 BC (which fits the radiocarbon dating of the campfires)
Around 4000 - 3300 BC is the safe date for the Carnac standing stones in France
Browneshill Dolmen in Ireland, estimated to have been built between 4000 and 3000 BC.
A megalith in Ireland is estimated to have been built between 3780 & 3550 BC
Carrowmore Megalithic Complex in Ireland dated to 3700 BC
Dolmen de Menga in Antequera, Spain dated around 3000 BC
Megalithic grave "Harhoog" in Keitum, Sylt, Germany (3000 BC)
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, is one of the world's best known megalithic structures from 3000 - 2500 BC
Dolmen of Sa Coveccada, Sardinia dated around 2500 BC
Giant's grave near Arzachena in Sardinia
Menhir of Goni in Sardinia
It is generally considered that the “Sea Peoples” invasion ended the bronze age constructions. An Egyptian inscription from around 1200 BC hints at the invasions the people of the time and in those areas were facing. Those who could fight back and survive, did. The others fell or moved away.
Evidence of bronze age people travelling to far off lands to get away from the “Sea Peoples”?...
The dolmen of South Korea at the world heritage. This is northern style dolmen. In Chukrimri, Gochang, Jeolla-bukdo, South Korea (estimated to be from 1500 - 850 BC)
Capstones of southern-style megalithic burials in Guam-ri, Jeollabuk-do, Korea estimated to be from 750 to 500 BC)
It seems likely that the technological skill for raising large cap stones on pedestals to create Dolmens declined over the years and thus this new type. Same thing happened with Mohenjodaro and Harappa in India (at least with the cities that we have evidence of). The culture arrived fully formed, like a colony, and then declined).
The Amazon Stonehenge, in Amapá state, Brazil (date range unknown but estimated to be between 2000 - 500 BC)
86 Ton Easter Island's Moai at Rano Raraku built between 1250 and 1500 A.D
Megalithic dolmen with rock art in Mallachandram Krishnagiri-Tamilnadu India, estimated at 500 BC
Another dolman in Kerala, India
Ale's Stones at Kåseberga, around ten kilometres south east of Ystad, Sweden on undetermined age (between 3500-500 BC)
Deer stone near Mörön in Mongolia of undetermined age (with images of flying deer!)
A notable mention
The Unusual & Mysterious Kailasha temple
The Kailasha temple is cut out of ONE solid rock making it a unique sort of Megalith & Monolith all in one. While it has inscriptions that can be dated to the 8th century the rock itself can’t be dated and so we don’t know it’s actual construction date though it can be said to be a post 1500 BC site as it has panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata (Indian religious epics that are conventionally dated to about 1500 BC but could be much much older). Other anomalies about where this temple is located includes the fact that it is twice as large as the Pantheon in Greece and about 50% taller. Worse. To carve out the entire temple complex 400,000 tons of rock had to be moved which is at least a century of work (or so it would seem) and where was the rock moved to? No one knows. It simply disappeared. At least with the Sphinx the temple in front of it can be said to be made out of the rocks that were hewn out to make the Sphinx complex but here the 400,000 tons of rock is simply gone. In a the Vedic literature a device is mentioned called Buamasara (if I’m getting it correctly) which could ‘cut stone and turn it into air’. Was there a device that could dissolve stone to dust or dissolve it at a molecular level so that it would appear like the stone had been turned into air?
View of the Arcade
Pillar & front view
Scene From The Ramayana
Scene from the Mahabharata
While Kailiahsa cave is the largest structure in the Ellora cave complex, it is by no means the only one and people carved building into this rock formation over the centuries. Here is an overview of the area;
View from Hindu cave 29
Goddess Ganga at cave 21’s entrance;