Definitions

cromlech

cromlech

[krom-lek]
cromlech [Welsh or Breton,=crooked stone], term that has changed in meaning from its original equivalent to dolmen. It later came to be used for a single standing stone and now usually refers to a circle of such stones; however, the term is used in this sense for such remains on the Continent, e.g., Britanny and Portugal, rather than for those on the British Isles.
Cromlech is a Brythonic word (Breton/Welsh) used to describe prehistoric megalithic structures, where crom means "bent" and llech means "flagstone". The term is now virtually obsolete in archaeology, but remains in use as a colloquial term for two different types of megalithic monument.

In English it usually refers to dolmens, the remains of prehistoric stone chamber tombs. However, it is widely used in French to describe stone circles. Confusingly, some English-speaking archaeologists, such as Aubrey Burl, use this second meaning for cromlech in English too.

In addition, the term is occasionally used to describe more complex examples of megalithic architecture, such as the Almendres Cromlech in Portugal.

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