Simple dolmen

The type of Urdolmen was defined by Ernst Sprockhoff and Ewald Schuldt took this notion when the publication of his excavation of 106 megaliths in Mecklenburg- Vorpommern. He is at the beginning of the dolmens and the development of other megalithic sites of the Funnel Beaker Culture ( TBK ) and comes to 3500 BC almost the entire distribution area of the stone ritual structures of the Nordic Megalitharchitektur before, but not in the Netherlands, in Lower Saxony, not west of the Weser, not east of the Oder and only one time in Sweden ( Lejeby at Laholm ). This Urdolmen only has a 2.75 m long stone, which formed a long side and a square hill, from which about 10 curbs are obtained.

Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of Neolithic societies. Their origin and function are considered as indicator of social development.

Demarcation between Urdolmen and stone box

In many cases, a clear separation is impossible. In the necropolis of Bruessow - Wollschow, in Uckermark, Urdolmen, block chambers and stone cists occur together. The differences in the degree of depression and in the material of the wall stones. In Urdolmen and block chambers they are usually made ​​of boulders, along the stone boxes usually made ​​of boards. Whether this was for the Neolithic people of relevance remains questionable, because there is also a combination of both materials. The typical Urdolmen depression also occurs in larger megaliths; in Schleswig -Holstein, for example, 22 times, which is low compared with the total number and an archaic form should represent.


The smallest Urdolmen lie on the Danish island of Zealand, where the length - width ratios of the southern half of the island ( Dolmen of Jyderup ) ( 1.7 x 0.6 m) in the northern part are still being offered. This smallness led researchers such as Hans -Jürgen Beier, the Urdolmen to deny the status of a megalithic site. Whether that also very small monolith graves meet the requirements, is still open.

You can Urdolmen on the development, which was a learning process for the early builders, follow the step by step and see how they met the requirement provided with more and more sophisticated ( and larger ) solutions. This also applies to the expansion of the Urdolmens to Advanced Dolmen (or Rechteckdolmen ) to its round variant, the Polygonaldolmen and Großdolmen.

Block crate

The prototype of the Urdolmens is closed on all sides and sunken into the ground, so-called block crate. She has no access and is, once closed, difficult to open with the less trained users once and reuse. She was thus provided for one-time use. On the island of Sylt in Schleswig -Holstein two Urdolmen were found in common barrow. They are located in the hunebeds mostly individually, on or parallel to the longitudinal axis, as so-called "parallel Lieger ". In Ulstrup at Gundeslevholm are two of the three local Urdolmen as a couple side by side in barrow. The block box in Tykskov of Varnæs in Aabenraa and the slant in Nørreskov on Als in the barrow. Just north of the Eider Urdolmen are covered in about 20% of the monuments of a round hill.

Accessible Urdolmen

Initial progress - in the sense of multiple use - access by creating an access. For further deepened in the soil copies, it offered initially ( in Denmark and Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, has the Urdolmen of Barkvieren ) at the top. By dividing the ceiling into a large and a manageable stone an entry-level opportunity has been created. This variant is not widespread.

This development path has been abandoned in favor of different axial solutions. The Urdolmen was sunk initially less deep and the top half of one of the narrow sides was used as access. This form is for example to at the megaliths of Grundoldendorf. The burden of the still single capstone was on three support stones spread ( three-point support ). This process represents the discovery of the statics of the three-point support

The more parallel-sided accessible Urdolmen are slightly larger than the closed with 2.2 m to 2.6 m long and 1.0 m to 1.8 m wide. For Schleswig -Holstein, the small chamber of Dobersdorf, Plön, (1.8 m length x 0.5 m width) in this respect an exception as of the 20 Urdolmen of Schleswig-Holstein to the 12 fully enclosed, five to attributed to the short side open variant and three ( destroyed ) Urdolmen be determined in detail. Of the once about 88 Urdolmen in Mecklenburg -Vorpommern, there are 51

In the first episode Rechteckdolmen (stone chamber of gram village in the municipality Wangels ) East Holstein and graves were ( still sunk in pits ) built (stone chamber of Deinste ). In the next step we understood it, the foundation of always lying in Urdolmen on their longest narrow side sidestones be such that its base could be performed close to the surface. The higher placement allowed the stem of a corridor of the ground floor led into the chamber ( picture below right). Now, however, a threshold stone was required, the ( symbolic) separated the sacred chamber and the profane transition from one another.

This effort has been made to reduce the closure plate of the now -usable Urdolmens to a manageable size for the settlement community. The Urdolmen with transition led to the extended dolmen on that are a little longer, usually have more than one ceiling tile and - have and support stones, standing on one of its two smallest areas - except for the transition type of new Gaarz, district of Bad Doberan, so allow a height expansion of the chamber.

Urdolmen were once in hunebeds or round hills, but these are removed for the most part. The Urdolmen of Lindeskov on Funen is located in the second largest with 168 m long barrow in Denmark (after Kardybdysse 185 m). By comparison, the longest German Hunebeds measures 160 m. In Poland, the enclosure of a megalithic chamber loose bed is 130 m long. From the Netherlands, only one process has come down in the barrow.