Reminiscent of Stonehenge , upright stones dot the French landscape of the area we know as ancient Brittany. Surrounding the tiny village of Carnac, France, they became known as the Carnac stones. More than 3,000 stones, standing in defined rows, obviously are not the product of natural phenomena. In fact, scientists have determined that they were cut from rock found in the area and erected by humans between 4,500 and 2,000 B.C.
In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected , with reports of the stones being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds or even ovens. Even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. The continuing management of the sites remains a controversial topic.
Major archaeological interest in the stone rows only happened in the latter half of the 20th century. These archaeologists originally believed that rather than a series of stone rows, there was in origin just one major stone row, covering a distance of more than eight kilometres. Soon, research revealed that this “single stone row” theory did not hold water ; it seemed that there were mainly three stone rows, each containing approximately 1,000 stones.
One such concentration of stones can be found near Erdeven; the other concentration of stones stands back to the north of Carnac. The most western is that of Menec, where there are 1,099 standing stones in 12 rows. One stone towers above all others, and is thus labelled “the giant”, measuring 3.70 metres. Most of the stones are, however, relatively small, in comparison to the stone row of Kermario, to the east of the row of Menec. Kermario counts 1,029 stones, distributed in ten rows. The field measures 1,120 metres, showing that the stones are roughly one metre apart. This field has the most gigantic stones, and is continued in the field of Kerlescan, where there are 594 stones, in 13 rows and over 880 metres.
All three fields are constructed on the same principle: the tallest stones are located on the western side; the western side is also situated on higher ground than its eastern counterpart. The smaller stones on the eastern side are also at smaller intervals from each other.
Archaeologists have excluded the possibility that these are graves. Neither did they serve a military purpose, though the American soldiers, during the Second World War, did mistake the stone rows for a German defence line. According to the legend, a French soldier who was aware of the situation had to intervene, as otherwise the stone rows would have become the target of intensive bombing raids.
Excluding funerary and military purposes, archaeologists conclude that the only purpose could have been religious. Many researchers agree that the megalithic11 civilisation worshipped nature, and possibly the sun in particular. Some argue that megalithic complexes are astronomical observatories. But whereas impressive research has been done on this aspect, the most basic aspect of this research time and again reveals a particular focus towards the sun.
Carnac is an ideal location for any solar worshipper. The sun makes an appearance almost every day, as the area is blessed with a micro-climate. Situated at the coast of Brittany, it is located at the site where the Gulf Stream hits the European continent. Carnac is furthermore shielded by a peninsula, known as the Presqu’ile de Quiberon. Carnac is therefore proud of its 2,053 hours of sun per year, which from April results in 7 hours of daily sunshine. That we found a series of impressive stone rows in exactly this location, could therefore suddenly be easily explained. Further evidencefor such a theory can be found in the fact that the micro-climate of the Bay of Quiberon ends to the north of Erdeven—which is where the stone row of Kerzerho is situated. There are no stone rows to the north of this.
Apart from massive stone rows, other impressive stone monuments can be found in the area. This includes one standing stone, which was twenty metres high, weighed in at 340 ton and was moved over a distance of six kilometres. It should come as no surprise that this stone is no longer standing. But this stone does underline the knowledge and technology of a culture that was able to perform such feats.12 It also underlines that moving and building with large stones was a well-versed13 knowledge in Western Europe, a thousand years before the ancient Egyptians began to construct their stone monuments along the river Nile.
2011-05-10 09:53 编辑：kuaileyingyu