Carnac: The Royal Mausoleum

The Alignments of Carnac are near the coasts of Brittany (NW peninsula of France), and constitute the largest and most spectacular megalithic monument in the world. This extraordinary complex contains more than 3,000 standing stones, huge granite menhirs aligned in several rows along approximately 4 km, divided into three main modules and a last one much smaller and degraded.

Many hypotheses have been raised, some really unusual, to explain the purpose of these alignments; for example, an antiquarian of the last century suggested that it could be the fossil of a large snake. Others suggested that it might be a Roman camp, or a way to temples disappeared, or even a prehistoric earthquake detector. A local legend says that they were Roman soldiers petrified by God while they were chasing St Cornelius, the local saint. Alexander Thom proposed, as he did with many other megalithic monuments, that they could have been an ancient astronomical observatory.

However, the most accepted hypothesis is that they formed a huge necropolis; in fact, in the vicinity of the alignments there are several mounds with a more obvious funerary purpose, such as that of Saint-Michel, one of the oldest megalithic constructions.

A colossal monument such as the Alignments of Carnac necessarily requires an equally colossal labor in its construction. Archaeology is faced with the dilemma of finding a megalithic society that complies with the grandeur of its monuments. What type of social organization would allow such a display? We should keep in mind that we are talking about the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, i.e. the European Megaliths Builders preceded the considered as the earliest civilizations, those of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

I propose as a working hypothesis that the builders of the Alignments of Carnac could have belonged to a solar culture, politically organized as a confederation of about ten kingdoms, each governed by a king who ruled for a fixed period of time established by a cycle of heaven. This monument in particular would be the royal mausoleum, each stone representing one of the kings of their history.

Carnac: The Royal Mausoleum

2 thoughts on “Carnac: The Royal Mausoleum

  1. Ken Robert Coe says:

    I agree, it is clear that there would have been organization and some sophistication to accomplish the megalith structures.
    However, there is no need to continue to perpetuate the idea that kings were always in charge of people. It might be better to choose “ruler” as the word, rather than “king,” since we have no way to know whether the people believed then that only males could be rulers. Powerful priestess-queens could have also been rulers of the people, and is not at all unlikely.
    Your ideas are good, but would be better leaving open that which we cannot know.

    1. Your point is well taken. I investigated the issue of gender to the point of being aware of the weight of each word. The females (princesses and queens) also played a very important role (equivalent) in the ruling structure of the confederation as i explain in further releases. For instance, both Avebury and Stonehenge integrated both principles (male/female or solar/lunar) in their designs, played by male and female figures during the “hierosgamos.” Please, bear with me, i may fall into many biases but not into that of gender.

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