A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument or building. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are often made of very hard and solid metamorphic or igneous rock.
In architecture, the term has considerable overlap with megalith, which is normally used for prehistory, and may be used in the contexts of rock-cut architecture that remains attached to solid rock, as in monolithic church, or for exceptionally large stones such as obelisks, statues, monolithic columns or large architraves, that may have been moved a considerable distance after quarrying. It may also be used of large glacial erratics moved by natural forces.
Large, well-known monoliths include:
- Aso Rock, Nigeria
- Ben Amera, Mauritania
- Brandberg Mountain, Namibia
- Sibebe, Swaziland
- Zuma Rock, Nigeria
- Bellary, India
- Mount Kelam, Indonesia
- Madhugiri Betta, India
- Sangla Hill, Pakistan
- Savandurga, India
- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
- Yana, India
- Bald Rock, near Tenterfield, New South Wales
- Pine Mountain, Victoria
- Mount Coolum, Queensland
- Mount Wudinna, South Australia
- Uluru / Ayers Rock, Northern Territory
- Mount Augustus, Western Australia
- Kalamos, Anafi, Greece
- Katskhi pillar, Georgia
- Logan Rock, Treen, Cornwall, England
- Penyal d'Ifac Calpe, Valencian Community, Spain
- Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar
- Rock of Monaco, Monaco-Ville, Monaco
- Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
- Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge, Washington
- Bottleneck Peak and Moon, Sids Mountain, Utah
- Castle Rock, Pineville, West Virginia
- Chimney Rock, Bayard, Nebraska
- Courthouse and Jail Rocks, Bridgeport, Nebraska
- Devils Tower, Wyoming
- El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California
- Enchanted Rock, Llano County, Texas
- Frog Woman Rock, Mendocino County, California
- Great White Throne, Zion National Park, Utah
- Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
- Haystack Rock, Clatsop County, Oregon
- Looking Glass Rock, Transylvania County, North Carolina
- Morro Rock, Morro Bay, California
- Scotts Bluff National Monument, Gering, Nebraska
- Shiprock, San Juan County, New Mexico
- Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain, Georgia
- Tooth of Time, Cimarron, New Mexico
- Wolf Rock, Linn County, Oregon
- Stawamus Chief, Squamish, British Columbia
- El Peñón, also known as El Peñol Stone or simply La Piedra, Colombia
- Pão de Açúcar, Brazil
- Pedra da Gávea, Brazil the world's largest monolith on the coastline
- Torres del Paine, Chile
A structure which has been excavated as a unit from a surrounding matrix or outcropping of rock.
- Aztec calendar stone "Stone of the Sun"
- The Church of Saint George in Lalibela, Ethiopia, is one of a number of monolithic churches in Ethiopia
- Coyolxauhqui Stone another aztec monolith
- Ellora Caves - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Great Sphinx of Giza "The Egyptian Sphinx"
- Gomateswara or Lord Bahubali at Sravanabelagola, Karnataka
- Manzanar National Historic Landmark, USA
- Obelisks - see this article for a list
- Ogham Stone, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
- Standing stones
- Stone circle
- Stone of the Pregnant Woman, Baalbek
- Stonehenge contains several
- The Longstones or the Devil's Quoits, Avebury, Wiltshire, England
- Vijayanagara Empire medieval South Indian carved examples
- List of inselbergs
- Mad Men (season 7) episode 4, "The Monolith"
- Monadnock (or inselberg)
- Monolithic architecture
- The Monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey
- López Domínguez, Leonor (May 2001). "Villa de Bernal and its Magic Mountain". México Desconocido #291.
- "Peña de Bernal - Bernal - Queretaro" (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2008.
- Cava Northrop, Laura; Dwight L. Curtis, Inc. Let'S Go, Natalie Sherman, Raul Carrillo (2007). Let's Go Mexico: On a Budget. Macmillan. p. 370. ISBN 978-0-312-37452-5.
- Escobar Ledesma, Agustín (1999). Recetario del semidesierto de Querétaro: Acoyos, rejalgares y tantarrias. Conaculta. p. 75. ISBN 978-970-18-3910-2.
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