Archive - Carnac Menhir Alignment

January 05, 2020

Carnac2294 (2)

Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published January 5, 2014.

Enver Murad
Summary Author: Enver Murad

The Neolithic rock site of Carnac (Kermario) is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Brittany on the western coast of France. Dating back to least 3,300 B.C. this site exhibits single menhirs (standing stones), menhir alignments (stone rows), dolmens (stone tables, probably megalithic tombs) and tumuli (mounds of earth built over dolmens). Of these, the granitic menhir alignments, some of which consist of over 1000 individual menhirs, are particularly remarkable. Within each alignment, the tallest stones are at the western end and shorter ones at the eastern end. Little is known of the pre-Celtic people who erected the menhirs, and the function of the stones is controversial. While stones have been removed in the past to make way for roads or as building materials, the site is currently under state protection and public access has been restricted since 1991, limiting visits to organized tours. This photograph shows the alignment of Kermario in 1971 when the site was still freely accessible.