Duby Tal/Albatross

CIRCLES OF SILENCE. Consisting of four concentric stone walls surrounding a large heap of stones that covers a massive dolmen (two vertical stone slabs supporting an upper horizontal slab—), the megalithic complex of Rogem Hiri in the Golan has long puzzled archaeologists. Some have speculated that the complex originally functioned as an ancient astronomical observatory, while others have suggested it served as a sanctuary or funerary site for the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age populations of the Golan. By the end of the Early Bronze Age (c. 2300 B.C.E.), the central dolmen was covered with small stones and turned into a tumulus, or burial mound. In the Chalcolithic period, however, Rogem Hiri was a special type of sanctuary, built specifically for the purpose of ritually exposing the bodies of the dead to vultures and other birds of prey.