The word megalith comes from the ancient Greek word megas meaning great, and lithos meaning stone. Originally it described merely a huge unrefined rock in a landscape, while nowdays it also includes all large hewn stones, which has been used to construct ancient monuments or structures without use of cement or mortar.
There are many types of megaliths: dolmens, passage graves, menhirs, gallery graves, long barrows, stone circles and burial mounds among others. Some of them are solitary, some are in groups. Megaliths can be ritualistic, memorial or sepulchral. They are a result of thousands of years of architectural and religious activity, being built and used for almost six thousand years, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age all over the world.
Early Neolithic people considered large stones as most eternal, unchangeable and powerful in this changing world. They wanted to optimize this powerful contact between the physical and the divine world by building sacred architecture, which really demanded great manpower. These megalithic structures were meant to last forever, reflecting the human need for unchangeability.
Such an ancient and still little understood phase of human culture has naturally been a topic of great interest among enthusiasts of archeology, astronomy and anthropology, with each new megalithic discovery sparking interest among the bloggers. Perhaps the most written-of among megalithic structures is the famous Stonehenge.