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A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones, the word "megalithic" describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions.



The most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in a large area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side, they occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, and in Jordan, which probably has the largest concentration of dolmen in the Middle East.In Saudi Arabia, only very few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz, they seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, and thus could indicate a continuous tradition related to those of Somalia and Ethiopia.The standing stone has a very ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times, although not always 'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, and can reach 5 metres or more in some cases (such as Ader in Jordan).This phenomenon can also be traced through many passages from the Old Testament, such as those related to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who poured oil over a stone that he erected after his famous dream in which angels climbed to heaven (Genesis -22).

Jacob is also described as putting up stones at other occasions, whereas Moses erected twelve pillars symbolizing the tribes of Israel, the tradition of venerating (standing) stones continued in Nabatean times and is reflected in, e.g., the Islamic rituals surrounding the Kaaba and nearby pillars.

Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles also occur in the Middle East.