Week 2 (Ariel)

 From this weeks reading what stood out the most to me was the Dolmen. “Dolmens are chambers or enclosures consisting of two or more verti­cal stones supporting a large single stone, much as legs support a table. The earliest dolmens were tombs.” After learning about these tombs it was interesting comparing those tombs to the way people are buried now. Dolmens date back to the Neolithic period (8,000-3,000 BC) The Neolithic people built made this tombs made out of large stone and just by looking at the Dolmens it looks like it was difficult to build and to me that shows how much they honor the dead.  In todays time we don’t go through that physical work. We have a tombstone made for whoever passed and then we bury them underground so I would say the work compared to back to the Neolithic period is way easier. I do believe that we honor the dead the same as the people from the Neolithic period honored the dead from their time.

Dolmen, Crucuno, north of Carnac, Brittany, France, c. 4000 B.C. (p. 28)


Growing up I have been told from family members and close people around me when we die we either go to heaven or hell. My family is Catholic so they do believe in a afterlife. I also know people who believe nothing happens when we die, that when we die that’s it, so they don’t believe in a heaven or hell. It’s fascinating to me listening to others and see how we all think differently. It definitely makes me think more about this weeks reading because I can compare how people in the past viewed life and death compared how we view life now a days.

I chose to do more reason on the Jericho Skulls because in the past I’ve heard people talking about the Jericho skulls but I never really knew what they were. So doing research on this I was finally able to learn what the Jericho Skulls were. During the Neolithic era skulls were filled with plaster, shells were used in the eyes and paint was used to create facial features. There are a few reasons why some believe the skulls were covered with plaster. “Initially each plastered skull would have been a known individual, but as time passed they likely became ancestor figures who may have been worshipped”(Glover, 2016)  What I found really interesting was that they were able to reconstruct the face of someone who has been dead for thousands of years. “The face of a man that lived and died over 9,500 years ago can now be seen for the first time since his plaster likeness was created in ancient Jericho”(British Museum, 2017)



Adams, L. S. (2005). A history of western art (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Shore, A. (2017, January 17).Facing the past: the Jericho Skull. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://blog.britishmuseum.org/facing-the-past-the-jericho-skull/

Glover, M. (2016, December 14). The Jericho Skull: Just as they were about to leave the site, someone spotted a skull jutting out at an angle. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/the-jericho-skull-british-museum-facial-reconstruction-ct-scan-a7474516.html




4 thoughts on “Week 2 (Ariel)”

  1. Ariel, I enjoyed reading your analysis on the tombs and how much work was put into them! I had never really thought about how much time and effort was put into creating something for someone who is dead. It was so concrete and lasting. I wonder if part of the reason they used stone was because the ground was closer to hell or maybe just too hard to dig through? But like you said, it could be because of ancestral worship.


  2. I enjoyed reading something new and familiar! I also did my research on the Jericho Skulls. It’s so cool how they were able to recraft someone’s face. I wonder how much further they’ll be able to take taht in the future, and how much of us they’ll be able to recreate for future people to look at! I also enjoyed reading further about the Dolmens. You’re so right, it must take a lot of commitment to honor the dead that way. I think about how a bunch of people gather for funerals, but this is a bunch of people gathering to lift heavy things–even in a time of mourning.


  3. I agree that we the Dolmens seem very difficult to build. Do you know how many Dolmens were found and how those numbers compared to the population from the Neolithic era? I think that physical labor is not as necessary for burials as it used to be due to technological advances. I agree that we honor the dead just like the people from the Neolithic period. I think the degree of honor depends on the importance of the person. A king, for example would have great monuments, such as the Pyramids of Giza, while a family member from a lower status family might have a simple burial.

    I think it’s interesting how different cultures view the afterlife. In some cultures, the dead are buried with “tools” to aid them in the afterlife. Some cultures even burn clothes or leave food next to the tombstones to give for the dead to eat.


  4. Thanks for putting a definition of the Dolmens because I had no idea what they were. The construction of Dolmens is drastically different from the tombs we have today. It is a very complex design and I agree with you that it could represent how much they respect the dead. It would take probably a lot of time/work to make a Dolmen. I like how you mention your personal beliefs. I agree that it is very fascinating learning about people’s ideas of afterlife. I also researched about the Jericho skulls. I read about them possible being worship like you did. It is fascinating how they were able to preserve the facial structure of the skulls.


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