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Category: Rocks, Local time: 20:44:53

The Carnac Megaliths are 3,000 Neolithic menhirs near the city Carnac on the south coast of Bretagne in France . When looking at the regular menhir formations, you will recall Stonehenge in England . Carnac is of the same importance to the French as Stonehenge to the British or Newgrange to the Irish- it is the oldest record of human settlement in the area.

When and Why Were the Megaliths Created?

The megaliths date back to the New Stone Age- the time when people started using tools made of flintstone. This civilization is called the "Megalithic civilization". Along with using stone tools, the people also began building stone constructions (megaliths) which look monumental and have a special charm even todaz. Historians have been arguing about the megaliths for decades but the purpose of the huge stone formations remains unclear. The most widely spread theory says that the stones played a role in religion and burials. The research is focused especially on the process of the construction of the Carnac Megaliths.

Stone Alleys

Carnac Megaliths consist of three groups of megaliths, called Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan. The particular groups are formed by hundreds to one thousand menhirs- large erected stones. For example, there are 1099 menhirs in the part Ménec, of the total length of 1165 meters. The menhirs are organized in 11 rows. There are several smaller groups of Neolithic megaliths scattered around the city of Carnac. Those are usually smaller groups of megaliths, usually in somehow worse condition.

Other Interesting Constructions

Apart from the three groups of megaliths that will impress you especially by their vastness, there are several other unique constructions near the Carnac Megaliths, which provide us records of their time. Table des Marchands - the merchants' table - is a flat stone (the so-called dolmen) , unique for its size and traces of sculpturing. It is no surprise that the largest menhir in the world was identified near Carnac: it is the 21-metres high menhir called MenehHro'ch.

Mysterious Construction Techniques

The average weight of the stones ranges from one to two tons. Regarding the fact that the Carnac Megaliths were created somewhere around 4,000 BC, the menhirs are unique constructions that puzzle the nowadays historians especially by the way they could have been moved without advanced technology. Moreover, we have to realize that the Carnac Megaliths at that time might have been considerably larger and vaster. The stones have most likely been used as building material throughout the millenniums, and some of them do carry traces of such usage indeed.

Information and Facts

GPS: 47.5964, -3.0668
Altitude: 20 m
Airport shuttle:
Last update: Nov 10, 2012 3:27:15 PM

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Cities around

La Trinite-sur-Mer (3.2km)Plouharnel (3.5km)Saint-Philibert (5km)Crach (5km)Ploemel (6km)Erdeven (8km)Locmariaquer (10km)Baden (12km)Auray (10km)

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