Definition characters description and diffusion
In the Bronze Age Stone barrows, kurgan and tholos, developed and spread. These are mausoleums devoted to the leaders of the clan leaders, warriors with virile and solar symbols decorations that are also painted on pots, hewn out of monolithic phallic steles or on the entrance to the tombs that were decorated with ornaments dedicated to male burials. Monuments commonly ascribed to funeral use were used to manage water resources both for practical and ritual purposes.
General characters description and diffusion
The early shapes of the barrow consisted on hypogeal constructions with a rectangular entry, called dromos, and leading to a pseudo circular dome that is called tholos in Greek. They spread all over the Aegean area and attained the height of architectural accomplishment in the so-called Treasure of Atreus in Mycenae in the 15th century BC. The dome, made out of megalithic stone blocks, was 13.2 m high and 14.2 m wide. It represents the passage from the passive Neolithic building technique, which was inspired by the natural Palaeolithic cavities, to built architecture. The barrow, which is a structure with pseudo domes having a circular base and an outside mound-shaped profile is used in the typical constructions of the Apulian Murgia landscape, known as trulli. The well-known little town of Alberobello (Allen, 1969) is an example of an urban conglomeration of trulli. However, they are common in various types of rural shelters throughout the low and coastal Murgia highland (Ambrosi et al, 1990). The name trullo derives from the Greek term tholos, i.e. dome. Similar structures found in the Balearic Islands, the talayotes, have the same etymological origin. The term recalls the name of the Nabatean stone mounds that allowed the humidification of the vineyards and the olive groves, the teleylat (Arabic plural of tell which stands for heap of stones, hillock) al-anab (vineyard). The elevations are reminiscent of ancient Mesopotamian and African monuments such as the earthen and straw cones that can still be admired in the regions of Aleppo and Harran as well as the stone barrows, the medracen, in Northern Africa, such as the Cleopatra Selene’s mausoleum in Algeria. The plan is very similar to the lobes of the nuraghi or the meanders of the Cretan labyrinth. Many megalithic monuments of the same typology such as the dolmen, the menhir and the specchie, terraced heaps of stones like the ziggurat and the early pyramids, whose masonry enables the moisture absorbed by the tree roots to be conserved in the soil, cover the Apulian countryside. The architectural structure is the most suitable to stand high temperature and moderate the effects of temperature ranges. It is also the most suitable both for the rainwater harvesting and the creation of large inside rooms without using supporting wooden beams, thus no trees need to be cut down.
Advantages and sustainability
Masonry of various structures allows for moisture from tree roots to be absorbed into the soil and conserved there. These structures can withstand high temperature and can also be used for rainwater collection without the need to cutting down trees in order to build these structures since they are not made from wood.