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A block or slab of stone perhaps selected for its shape or mass that was set upright as a marker of some kind. In the British Isles and neighbouring areas of northwest Europe the majority of standing stones date to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, part of a long‐lived tradition of using stones in this way. As free‐standing structures they seem to mark sacred places, alignments, and sometimes burial grounds. Many are connected with broadly contemporary monuments such as stone circles, and a high proportion have evocative names. A few examples, such as Long Meg in Cumbria, have been adorned with rock art, while in Brittany, where they are also known as menhirs, large examples were broken up in Neolithic times and used in the construction of simple passage graves.

Subjects: Archaeology — Classical Studies.

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