29Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 10+.
According to Jones, "What we see today when we visit a megalithic tomb may be the end product of generations of use and alteration of a sacred locale rather than a single-phase construction. A monument may have begun as a timber structure, perhaps a raised platform on which bodies were left to decompose or perhaps a house where somebody had died. The timber structure may have been subsequently burnt down or left to collapse and then a stone-built megalithic tomb may have been built on top of the remains of the timber structure. Over several centuries of use, human bones and other artifacts may have been placed in the chambers of the tomb, rearranged within the tomb and possibly even removed from the tomb. At a later point in time again, the entrance to the megalithic tomb may have been ritually blocked, preventing any further interaction with the contents of the chambers. Still later, people may have dug holes into the cairn covering the tomb and inserted further burials."
The types of tombs we today identify as court tomb, portal tombs, passage tombs, and wedge tombs were previously known as court cairns, portal dolmens, passage graves, and wedge-shaped gallery graves. An intermediate type of Early Neolithic monument called a Linkardstown tomb consists of a circular mound covering a central large burial chamber, usually with distinctive decorated pottery.