RESEARCH ARTICLE


Geology, Construction Materials and Building Phases of the El Gustal Neolithic Menhir (Álava, Spain)



Luis M. Martinez-Torres
Departamento de Geodinamica, University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, Apdo. 644, E- 48080 Bilbao, Spain.


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Creative Commons License
© 2013 Luis M. Martinez-Torres;

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento de Geodinamica, University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, Apdo. 644, E- 48080 Bilbao, Spain; Tel: +34-946012557; Fax: +34-946013500; E-mail: luismiguel.martinez@ehu.es


Abstract

The Neolithic menhir El Gustal is located on a karstificated Coniacian limestone. The original morphology of the monolith and the pit has been preserved, and fragments of limestone filled the hollow. This has made it possible to identify construction phases of the most elementary stone constructive typology. Firstly, the original position of the monolith in the quarry of origin has been determined. Secondly, according to the basic laws of the lever, the forces required to erect the monolith provided by three movements employing two class I and one class II levers have been determined. Thirdly, the fall and subsequent breakage of the menhir due to the shallowness of the pit has been deduced.

Keywords: Backfill, Collapse, Lever, Limestone, Monolith, Pit, Stability.