Carnac stones or Karnag in Breton is ancient
archaeological site located in Morbihan
department of France. It is situated near a village of Carnac
and La TrinitŽ-sur-Mer in Brittany. It is famous for its massive megalithic
structures that is spread over large area. The Menhirs or freestanding stones are
aligned in geometric forms and it is similar to that of Stonehenge
across the English channel. In total there have been located over 3000
stones of different sizes and complexity of the alignments.
Description of the Carnac Stones Archaeological Site
groups of megalithic complexes carry their own name. The
archaeologists date Cahir archaeological site back as old as 4500 BC. The
construction of the site lasted till about 2000 BC.
Several legends exist that explain some perfect lines that are formed by
boulders in some areas. Many claim that the stones are actually Roman
legions that were stopped by legendary wizard Merlin. Others claim that
it was in fact Christian
pope Cornelius in the middle of the third century who did the same. In reality, however
the Carnac stones existed long before Romans and Celtic tribes ever showed
up. Subsequent generations of different nations have used these stones
for road construction, building of peasant houses, chicken
sheds, cattle and humans shelters and other uses. It is possible
that all the alignments made up one single group of boulders,
but over time their removal left only few areas of the original
The stones of Carnac is still a mystery. Many historians and
archaeologists still debate on the significance and purpose of
these massive prehistoric complexes. Some claim that it helped
the ancients to celebrate the solstices, while other claim it
was merely a symbol of prestige. And there is also other
theories that blame everything on the little green men from
Kermario alignment is also known as "House of the Dead". The
complex consists of 10 rows of stones that reach length of 1300 meters (4300
feet). They spread in different directions forming a fan like structure. There
is also a stone circle in the east end. It probably served as the centre piece
for ancient pagan rituals. In total this site consists of 1029 stone slabs.
Kerlescan alignment consists of 555 stones that are divided in 13
lines. Each line reach the length of 800 meters (2600 ft). Stone size range from
80 cm (2ft 7in) to 4 meters (13 feet). In the north side of the alignment there
is a stone circle.
Ménec alignment is one of the largest in the region and one of
the best planned stone formations. Eight to ten rows of menhirs form a rectangle
1165 meters long and 100 meters wide (3822 feet by 330 ft). Additionally the
site contains two cromlech on the eastern and western sides of the structure.
Cromlech is usually referred to round stone structures for religious or more
often burial purposes. The largest slab in Menec alignment is 4 meters (13 feet)
Petit-Ménec alignment is located near community of
that lies just to the East of Carnac. This is a fairly small megalithic
structure lost in the woods. You might need help from the locals to locate it.
Carnac Tumuli (Carnac Stones Archaeological Site)
Tumuli are burial chambers of the ancient people. Carnac is home
to several of these interesting and unique structures. These were probably
reserved to the riches members of society or to the most important like wizards,
priests and etc. Along with the body ancient tribes left all the important
objects that the dead might need in the afterlife. During archaeological digs
scientists discovered several stone chests filled with jewelry, pottery and
other small objects.
The most famous tumulus is that of Saint- Michel. It was
constructed somewhere between 5000 BC and 3400 BC. It measures 125 m by 60 m and
reaches a height of 12 m. It held a burial chamber with bodies of royals. Their
subjects put various objects so that their rulers could use them in the
afterlife. Existence of tumulus was widely known, but it was believed to be an
old pagan temple. Since pagan rituals often involved bloody sacrifices it was
assumed that the megalithic formation was also a site of cruel practices. A
Christian church was constructed in 1663 and later rebuild in 1813. It was first excavated in 1862 by Rene Galles. It was also
excavated between 1900 and 1907. Most of jewellery, pottery and other artifacts
are currently held in the Museum of Prehistory of Carnac.
Carnac Dolmens are megalithic structures that probably served as
burial grounds for ancient tribes. Some of these formations were later used by
farmers as a shelter for themselves or their animals. Dolmen consists of two
upright stones with a horizontal places on top. However than you have two or
more of these units they are called Allee couverte or covered alleys. These were
probably constructed to hold bodies of more people.
The Manio "Giant" (Carnac Stones Archaeological Site)