23 Iconic Examples Of Prehistoric Architecture

Anyone who is a lover of archeology and anthropology to the core, will know very well the fascinating constructions and architectural creations of Man in prehistory. There is a diverse yet gigantic composition of monoliths, stilts, clay, and huge rocks, each structure built between the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic, until the Bronze Age. There is no denying that these are the real architectural jewels that fill with interest.

Have a look at 23 of the most famous and iconic examples of prehistoric architecture.

1 Stonehenge

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Stonehenge was built in the late Neolithic period in Wiltshire, England and approximately in the year 2500 BC, dating back to 5,000 years from now. Undoubtedly, it is the most famous prehistoric architecture in the world.

Rings of standing stones are found in Stonehenge with each standing stone measuring around 4.1 metres (13 ft) high, 2.1 metres (6 ft 11 in) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic, and contains several hundred burial mounds.

2 Colossal Heads Olmeca

Prehistoric architecture

The colossal heads belong to the Olmec civilization, and date back to at least 900 BC. In total 17 large heads were built as a basalt monument which were first found on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and still rest there.

3 Dolmen Of Menga

Prehistoric architecture

Built in the Copper Age in around 2500 BC, the Dolmen of Menga or Cave of Menga is situated in the town of Antequera, Malaga, Spain. This prehistoric site is well known for its incredible regularity in form and for being the largest dolmen in all of Europe.

4 Göbekli Tepe

Prehistoric architecture

The unique and majestic Gokobeli Tele is also referred to as the birth place of history’s first religion. Göbekli Tepe is located in the southeast of Turkey, on the border with Syria, and was built about 11,500 years ago. The most striking factors is that it was intentionally covered with earth and deliberately concealed about 8000 years ago.

5 Yonaguni Monuments

Prehistoric architecture

The Yonaguni Structures or Yonaguni Monuments are a matter of current study as there is a strong controversy over their nature. They are immersed in the depths of the coasts of the island of Yonaguni in Japan. This is an immense megalith that has many forms and seems to be carved by Man, something that has not really been confirmed in a round way.

In which case, this work would have been developed at least 10 millennia ago. There is still a bonus that I will present to you on the next slide.

6 The Ġgantija Temples

Prehistoric architecture

The temples of Ġgantija are located on the island of Gozo, Malta. They are 2 megalithic temples that existed in the Neolithic period. Its construction dates from the years 5,000 to A.C. and 2,500 A.C.

7 The Unfinished Obelisk Of Aswan

Prehistoric architecture

This 42 m high obelisk is a prehistoric architecture located in the quarries of northern Egyptian city – the city of Aswan. The primary constituents are granite, slate and alabaster. During its construction in about 1550 BC, the obelisk cracked by accident and it was later abandoned with the weight of 1200 tons.

8 Newgrange

Prehistoric architecture

Newgrange lies in the prairie grasslands of County Meath, Ireland, and dates from 3200 BC. Built in the Neolithic period, it is a funerary passage and one of the most popular archaeological site in Ireland.

9 Callanish Stones

Prehistoric architecture

The Stones of Callanish, Clachan Chalanais in Gaelic, are located on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. They are a series of great menhirs or megalithic monuments that were erected in the prehistoric times. Their construction is estimated between 2900 AC and 2600 BC.

10 Temples Of Tarxien

Prehistoric architecture

The Temples of Tarxien are located in the region of Tarxien, Malta. Built in 3150 BC, they are complex religious constructions with many astonishing architectural relics of the prehistory.

11 Carnac Stone Alignments

Prehistoric architecture

Carnac alignments, or the Carnac rocks, are a large megalithic rock alignment in the region of Brittany, France. It is the most extensive prehistoric architecture in the world, and existed in the Neolithic period. There are more than 3000 rocks aligned between centuries V and III AC.

12 Tomb of Gavrinis

Prehistoric architecture

The tomb of Gavrinis lies in the homonymous island of French lands. This megalithic monument has a great amount of historical and cultural value. It comes from the Neolithic period, and dates to 3500 BC. What’s notable is that it was one of the greatest artistic expressions that existed throughout Europe.

13 Silbury Hill

Prehistoric architecture

Silbury Hill may seem to be a nature’s wish thing but in reality it is artificial. It measures 40 m in height, and is found in Wiltshire, England. Chronologically it dates back to 2400 BC.

14 Kit’s Coty House

Prehistoric architecture

Kit’s Coty House is the remnant of a neolithic tomb having long chambers, situated on Blue Bell Hill over Kent County, England. It would have been an immense megalith of prehistory, but is now a matter of past. It was erected between the years 10,200 and 8800 BC.

15 Bryn Celli Ddu

Prehistoric architecture

Bryn celli ddu is a prehistoric architectural site located on the Isle of Anglesey, belonging to Wales. It translates to something like “the tomb of the sacred grove”.

16 Dolmens of North Caucasus

Prehistoric architecture

The North Caucasus dolmens are found in the forests of the Caucasus Mountains, in the territories of Russia and Abkhazia. The group of dolmens dates from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, and are formed by the megaliths.

17 Nuraghe

Prehistoric architecture

Nuraga which has turned into ruins today, once used to be a megalithic building with construction dating back to 1000 BC. Located on the island of Sardinia, Italy, it has also been adopted as the local emblematic symbol of the region. The structure has no foundation and is supported only by rocks, arranged one by one.

18 Stenness Erect Rocks

Prehistoric architecture

The Stones of Stenness are a group of enormous rocks of Neolithic period, and are located in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. They date to at least 3000 BC, and are strikingly smooth and well-worked.

19 Ring Of Brodgar

Prehistoric architecture

The Brodgar Rings are found in the Orkney Island, Scotland. Like most of the prehistoric constructions, they consist of huge rocks placed in the Neolithic period to form a natural sanctuary where religious rituals are believed to have been performed. The beauty and conservation of this structure is exemplary and its construction dates from the year 2500 BC.

20 The Infiernito

Prehistoric architecture

The Infiernito are the monoliths of the El infiernito. They have a remarkable presence in the archeological park of Monquirá, department of Boyacá, Colombia. The archaeological site dates back to the pre-Columbian era and is believed to be the ground of numerous religious rituals.

21 Cahokia Mounds

Prehistoric architecture

Located on the Mississippi River plains in the US, the Cahokia mounds are an Amerindian archaeological site dating back to 1500 BC. Although, it is considered a natural site, but was created by the native Americans who inhabited these regions.

22 Maeshowe

Prehistoric architecture

Located in Scotland, the Maeshowe also known as cairn, is a cone-shaped tomb. Maeshowe actually are large mound of rocks dating back to precisely 2800 BC i.e. the Neolithic period. Around more than 30 tons of stones were discovered, making it another incredible archaeological site of Scotland. Today, it is covered under a thick layer of grass, and often confuses people that the landscape is a natural hill.

23 Maumbury Rings

Prehistoric architecture

The Rings of Maumbury are actually Henge, dating back to at least 2400 AC. Putting it in other words, it is a Neolithic architectural structure of circular form (Hedge). Found in Dorset, England, the Maumbury rings are basically circular holes having a diameter of 85 m and a depth of 10 m. Numerous human remains as old as thousand years have been excavated.