The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal

ISSN: 1874-8368 ― Volume 12, 2018

Building Materials of Neolithic Tombs in Alava, Northern Spain

Luis M. Martínez-Torres
Departamento de Geodinámica, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, PO Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao, Spain


Fifty-two Neolithic tombs (dolmens) were grouped into megalithic stations that are mostly located on lithotecto from which the building rocks were removed. In six dolmens, there were no clues found to explain the presence of allochthonous stones, except perhaps in one of them, where rocks were selected to cause colour contrast. The morphology of the slabs, of chambers and corridors, showed no evidence of carving. The angularity of the tumulus blocks indicates that some were collected from the surface and others were manually fragmented. The identification of the construction materials in Neolithic dolmens with elemental geological features provides information on the building process, adding valorisation to the prehistoric monuments and enabling their reconstruction.

Keywords: Lithotype, Size, Sphericity, Manufacture, Geological features, Building materials.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2017
Volume: 11
First Page: 152
Last Page: 163
Publisher Id: TOBCTJ-11-152
DOI: 10.2174/1874836801711010152

Article History:

Received Date: 07/12/2016
Revision Received Date: 17/02/2017
Acceptance Date: 17/02/2017
Electronic publication date: 31/03/2017
Collection year: 2017

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© 2017 Luis M. Martínez-Torres

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Departamento de Geodinámica, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, PO Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao, Spain Tel: +34-946012557; Fax: +34-946013500; E-mail:


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