The Carnac Stones - Mysterious but an Archaeological delight

Yes, Stonehenge is unique. But so are the Carnac stones. These collection of megalithic stones which are scattered, quite closely, around Carnac in Brittany, is an archaeological delight. So, what makes these megaliths special? You will find out soon enough.

The groups: There are three major alignments which signify the Carnac stones, viz., Menec, Kermario and Kerlescan. Now, the Menec alignment is thought to be the vestiges of stone circles at either ends, as you will find how the 11 rows of menhirs converges. The Kerlescan, on the other hand, is smaller compared to the Menec, as well as the Kermario, with 555 stones, and towards its extreme west (where the stones are considered  highest) there is a stone circle, with 39 stones helping to form it so. Coming to Kermario and its fan-like alignment, the 1029 stones are arranged in 10 columns, and if you are wondering about its length, then it's 4,300 feet! Stoned yet? That's enough information to drown anyone, but wait till you hear about the dolmens!

The mysterious dolmens: Dolmens are believed to have been tombs, and you will find plenty in Carnac, most of them in dilapidated conditions. Kercado dolmen, which is to the south of the Kermario alignments, is in surprisingly stable condition, with a menhir on top. What makes it more important is because of the fact that several artifacts were discovered there, ranging from axes, human and animal teeth to unique beads with a bluish tint. Now that's a blast from the past, without a time machine.

When and why were they built?: There's a reason these stones are special. They were built during the Neolithic period, around 3,300 BCE. That's ancient, but some of them were built even earlier, probably around 4,500 BCE! This is the largest collection of prehistoric stones, and as to why they were built, researchers are divided, giving it a  mysterious air. It must be mentioned that the first excavation was undertaken by James Miln back in the 1860s. In 1796, French officer, La Tour d'Auvergne, suggested that the site used to Druidic gatherings. That sounds like something straight out of a video game, but that's not the end. Some theories suggested astronomical affiliations, with connection to stars or direction of sunsets during solstices, and one of the most famous theories was of Alexander Thom, who propounded the concept of 'megalithic yard', but it is not without its fair share of challenges.

If myths are to be believed, we might be looking at the entire Roman legion, transformed to stone, courtesy of Merlin. If not, then probably the pagans who flocked around Pope Cornelius, who, very much like Merlin, turned them to stone. Those were stone-hearted acts, but with the obsession of decoding history, coupled with technological advancements, let's hope that we get to the bottom of these stones. Or their history.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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