Pentre Ifan Neolithic Quoit, Wales.



Pentre Ifan Neolithic Quoit burial mound pictures




The History of Pentre Ifan Quoit

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Pentre Ifan is a Megalith portal tomb or dolmen from the Neolithic Era erected about 5000 years ago. Located in the Parish of Nevern in Pembrokeshire, Wales, Pentre Ifan is the best preserved dolmen in Wales.


Dating from about 3,500 BC the neolithic monument comprises of 7 standing stone with a huge capstone weighing 16 tonnes. The standing stones at Pentre Ifan were originally a stone box at the centre of an earth mound 30 metres (98 ft) long and 17 m wide. Two upright stones acted as door lintels to the underground chamber which were reached via a semi circular courtyard cut into the mound. The walls of the forecourt were lined with stones to stop them falling in. The burial chamber at Pentre Ifan would have been accessed by this stone doorway and it is believed that such neolithic dolmen were part of a burial ritual which honoured the bones and remains of ancestors. It may


Diagram of Pentre Ifan Burial Mound

The dolmen at Pentre Ifan is typical of the burial tombs of north and west Wales. In common these dolmen have capping stones that are far greater than is needed to protect the tomb from the weather, and they have flat undersides. The supporting stones come to a point where they meet the capping stone, which gives the illusion of a great weight being supported by impossibly thin columns. These would have been covered up by the mound which makes these architectural details very odd indeed.


Over time the earthworks of Pentre Ifan have disappeared leaving the impressive quoit we see today. It will never be known for certain what dolmen were used for, but Pentre Ifan seems to have been built as a burial tomb that was re used. The lack of bones indicate that the bones were moved from the chamber at some point. This could have been part of the ritual reclaiming of the ancestors by the family or it could be due to a change of location or beliefs by the Neolithic people that used Pentre Ifan. Another theory suggests that bones were put inside the mound from the walls of the chamber so would have been washed away. The lack of bones has also led to speculation that the dolmen were not burial chambers at all and could have been places of ritual or worship. The incredible effort put into building these massive stone burial mounds points to them being an important part of the Neolithic communities rituals in Britain.


Where Is Pentre Ifan Quoit?

 

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Coordinates: 51.9990°N 4.7700°W

Coordinates: 51.999, -4.77

 

 

 


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