Artifacts from the Neolithic period mark the development of society and religion. On a large-scale, menhirs and burial chambers mark the link between religion and death. It is the physical representation of a passage into the afterlife and the religious belief that there is more than nothingness after the grave. The graves themselves are a symbol of the importance of community and society because the people within them were worth the effort it took to build giant structures. During this time, we also begin to see sculptures, pottery and jewelry. These objects often hold religious purposes.
It is amazing that 16 to 18 thousand years ago humans were already developing ways to solve their need to believe in something more. They were developing forms of religion that were organized enough to need pottery for potions, as a picture on the megalith’s website describes a bowl. They were creating sculptures and drawing things that were important to them on rocks in order to set those things apart as important or sacred. Organizing a religion into a process and setting certain objects apart as sacred from the rest are complex ideas.
The evidence that the Neolithic peoples had created sacred objects and places means that their religion had become something other the simple belief in something outside of the “self.” It had become the process of taking action and making efforts to change “fate” and move whatever powers are in control in their favor. Religion did not just begin when written history recorded the tales, but in prehistoric times, possibly even before the creation of rock monuments and small artifacts that are found in their ancient settlements today.
This evidence of religion is also evidence of an organized community. They were able to discuss ideas and decide on rules together (I say this because it would have been a community effort to build megaliths and decide on sacred chambers and symbols). So, the megaliths represent both their community beliefs and are evidence that there was a community to speak of in the first place.
The megaliths and artifacts from the Neolithic period are books with missing pages. We do not know everything about them and the details on why they were built are unsure. However, it is possible to infer from them certain details, like their purpose, and then create stories of to fill in the missing pieces.