Megalithic heritage

The mysterious megaliths

The people here have lived among the megaliths for the past 7000 years.  Menhirs, dolmens, mounds and alignments pepper the Carnac landscape, silent witnesses of the past…

Neolithic farmers erected these monumental stones like sculptures in the landscape. Today it is a highly protected site thus difficult to form an objective overall view of the original site, which has resisted massive destruction and urbanisation over the years.

According to archeologists, only 10 to 20% of the megaliths remain today, making it a real challenge for researchers to piece together the puzzle.


Who were these builders ?  Where did they come from ?

Although there was already a ritualized population in the Mesolithic era 8000 BC, it is difficult to imagine men from the Neolithic era (5000 BC), who were settled and had mastered farming, carry out such a huge feat.  How did they quarry, shape and transport these vast slabs of granite? A huge concerted effort would be required, as well as a powerful, structured society, organised into a hierarchy and passed onto the next generation.

Very few traces of human life have been found, so the mystery remains.


What was the purpose ?

There are no doubt several reasons why they are there.  The dolmens were used as burial chambers and for rituals, but the purpose of the isolated menhirs or groups of menhirs is still unknown today.  In the absence of remains, the engravings and various objects uncovered in the dolmens (pendants, pearls, axes, arrows, flint) give a few indications of the spiritual significance of the site.  The ACEM, a local organisation, is trying to clarify the purpose of these constructions.

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