Carnac stones, Brittany, France

This post is also available in: French

For once, I fell like posting a photo closer to home, and I came across this one from Carnac in Brittany, France.

The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the small French village of Carnac, in Brittany. There are a number of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs around the place.  More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany.  This is the largest such collection in the world.

The Carnac StonesThe megaliths were erected during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC.  The precise date of the stones is difficult to ascertain as little dateable material has been found beneath them.  One interpretation of the site is that successive generations visited the site to erect stones in honor of their ancestors.

Although the stones date from 4500 BC, modern myths were formed which resulted from 1st century AD Roman and later Christian occupations, such as Saint Cornelius – a Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone.  Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin.


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