Construction Systems of Neolithic Dolmen Walls on the Iberian Peninsula
Luis M. Martínez-Torres *, 1, Miguel Martínez-Fernández 2
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2014
First Page: 46
Last Page: 51
Publisher ID: TOBCTJ-8-46
Article History:Received Date: 19/11/2013
Revision Received Date: 28/1/2014
Acceptance Date: 29/1/2014
Electronic publication date: 07/3/2014
Collection year: 2014
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Walls of corridors and chambers in the Neolithic dolmens of Portugal and Spain were constructed using megalithic slabs or masonry. When constructed with slabs, the slabs were arranged using two very different construction systems, based either on placement of an orthostat or on imbrication of the slabs. Although generally dolmens are described with orthostats, on the Iberian Peninsula are most often constructed using imbricated slabs. The walls of orthostatic and masonry dolmens are lintelled structures. The walls of imbricated slab dolmens, however, are unique structures without later representation. Temporally, the orthostatic dolmens represent the earliest construction system, followed by those of imbricated slabs and finally those of masonry. This evolution can be explained in terms of the capacities of the selfsupporting walls and simplification of the construction processes.