Museum of the Origins of Man


Fig. 29A1) Place of cult of plain with alignments of menhir.
The menhir of Carnac are of four types: anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, with harmonious elaboration in abstract meaning, simply outlined. The menhir constituted from simple stones are much rare.
These four types of menhir can be considered sculptures: more interesting are those zoomorphic and anthropomorphic.
This is sure the place of cult of the post-paleolithic prehistory more important in the world.
These alignments are at Carnac, Morbihan, Bretagne, France; they extend for 3 km in east - west direction , and are subdivided in three groups: Menec, comprising 1169 menhir; Kermario, with 982; Kerlescan, with 579.
On the exact meant of these menhir, a consideration that finds all agree, is that about the dimension of some of them and the number of men that had to participate to the transport and the erection, from which is deduced that they were public monuments .
Nothing says to us that these wera gravels, perhaps the menhir were commemorative of men and events.
The zone of these alignments considered as "cult place" finds agree all the scholars.
The opinions that divide the scholars, instead, are fundamentalally of two types. First they consider these menhir aligned simple stones; they attribute the origin of the alignments to the third millennium B.C., and connect the menhir to some manifestations of solar cults. These opinions go back beyond half century ago; they have not made more progresses, and it is what is taught at school.
The second current of study, than we share, refers to the origin of the menhir in the Paleolithic; to the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic menhir, that are authentic sculptures realized in an immense range of styles; and about the religious aspect, we assume that the typology is immense, as is immense the typology of the same menhir; but we do not exclude also the manifestations of solar cults, practiced in the third millennium.
Some anthropomorphic and zoomorphic menhir of Carnac are published in this site.




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