AskDefine | Define trilithon

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A structure consisting of two stone pillars supporting a horizontal stone

Extensive Definition

A trilithon (or trilith) is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts) supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel). Commonly used in the context of megalithic monuments. The most famous trilithons are those at Stonehenge and those found in the prehistoric temples in Malta, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The word trilithon is derived from the Greek 'having three stones' (Tri - three, lithos - stone) and was first used by William Stukeley.
The term also describes the groups of three stones in the Hunebed tombs of the Netherlands and the three massive stones forming part of the wall of the Roman Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Lebanon. Far from Europe and the Middle East, another famous trilithon is the Haʻamonga ʻa Maui in Tonga, Polynesia.

See also

trilithon in German: Trilith
trilithon in French: Trilithe
trilithon in Italian: Sistema trilitico
trilithon in Hebrew: טריליתון
trilithon in Norwegian: Trilitt
trilithon in Polish: Trylit
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