Moving 400 tons’ worth of boulders to make a 65-foot-wide tomb is no easy feat. That’s why Israeli archaeologists were impressed to find an ancient burial chamber of that size dating back to the “Dark Ages,” more than 4,000 years ago.
And the tomb isn’t just big. It also has a rare example of rock art carved into its ceiling.
The scale and careful construction of the megalithic tomb suggest that people of this era weren’t exactly living in the dark after all. Rather, the tomb, known as a dolmen, could be indirect proof of the existence of some type of organized society, the researchers argue. [See Images of the Tomb and Rock Art]
“The gigantic dolmen at Kibbutz Shamir is without doubt an indication of public construction that required a significant amount of manpower over a considerable period of time,” study leader Gonen Sharon, an archaeologist at Israel’s Tel-Hai College, said in a statement.
Thousands of megalithic burial structures have been found all over the Levant — in Syria, Jordan and Israel. Archaeologists recently conducted a survey of the hundreds of dolmens near Israel’s Kibbutz Shamir, which is located on the lower western slopes of the Golan Heights.
One particular dolmen stood out. It was 65 feet in diameter and was made of a heap of about 400 tons’ worth of boulders. The biggest boulder was a 50-ton capstone that covered the central rectangular chamber of the tomb. In the dirt below, the archaeologists found the bones of an adult male, an adult female and a young child. There were also several secondary chambers built in the outer corners of the tumulus, or burial mound. SEE MORE AT LINK BELOW