OF SHADOWS AND SYMBOLS: CARNAC

Carnac, France, is home to the largest concentration of Neolithic megaliths in Europe. Most notable among these are the Carnac Alignments, formations of menhirs (standing stones) errected in rows that converge toward a common aspect. The Alignments of Ménec, Kermario, Kerlesan, and Petit-Ménec span nearly three miles, and at one time comprised more than four thousand stones (currently they number near three thousand). The menhirs increase in size from the eastern to the western ends and culminate in a quadrilateral enclosure (quadrangle). The processional qualities of the formations suggest they were most likely used for ceremonial rituals. Their orientation corresponds to the setting sun of the winter solstice and indicates a culture sensitive to celestial movements and seasonal cycles. Yet, intentions of their placement remain obscure.

 

 

 



 
 

 

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