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Trilith ( Stonehenge )

A trilith ( ancient Greek τρεῖς, τρία treis, tria , German 'three' and λίθος lithos 'stone, rock') is a gate , passage or an architectural element that consists of two bearing stones and a (third) capstone on top, an independent statics and is not directly interlocked with other components.

Triliths ( English trilithon ) were mainly used in Neolithic or Bronze Age buildings in megalithic construction, including in Stonehenge or in the temples on Malta ( Ħaġar Qim , Kordin , Mnajdra , Tarxien on the Ġgantija ). The use of three-point unprocessed stones, as they are, for. B. occur in the yoke structures of passage graves or large dolms, however, does not meet the criterion, because only gate-like three-stone construction methods are so designated, even if they had no gate function, as in the Sarsen circle of Stonehenge.


Podium of the Temple of Jupiter with the three trilithos (top row)

Deviating from normal usage, a group of three giant building blocks lying next to one another in the Roman temple complexes of Baalbek in Lebanon, known for their gigantism, is also called a trilith. Their average weight is 800 t, which means that the ensemble is not only one of the largest ancient monoliths , but also one of the whole of history .

Individual evidence

  1. Adam 1977, p. 52


  • Jean-Pierre Adam: Speaking of you trilithon de Baalbek. Le transport et la mise en oeuvre des mégalithes. In: Syria. Vol. 54, No. 1/2, 1977, ISSN  0768-2506 , pp. 31-63, online .
  • Joachim von Freeden: Malta and the architecture of its megalithic temples . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1993, ISBN 3-534-11012-9