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Large circular structures involving carved megalithic orthostats are a typical feature; e.g. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, it is not clear that any of the European Megalithic traditions (see below) are actually derived from them.
At Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20. As well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions.
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The most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the portal tomb – a chamber consisting of upright stones (orthostats) with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof.
Many of these, though by no means all, contain human remains, but it is debatable whether use as burial sites was their primary function.
Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles also occur in the Middle East.
A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most widely known megaliths not being sepulchral.
They belong to the incipient phases of agriculture and animal husbandry.
The standing stone has a very ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times.
Although not always 'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, and can reach 5 metres or more in some cases (such as Ader in Jordan).