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What Are The Carnac Stones in Carnac, France?

Updated on October 30, 2011
Carnac Stones from above.
Carnac Stones from above.

by Christine B. 2011

There are thousands of megalithic stone structures around and through Carnac, France in Brittany. The stones consist of more than 3,000 standing stones that had been hewn from local rock quarries, that were supposedly erected by pre-Celtic people of Brittany. They are the largest collection of standing stones on the planet, but no one knows for sure why they were put there.

The local legend tells that the stones were actually once Roman soldiers that Merlin turned to stone and that accounts for the lines of them being so straight. Not many really believe that theory, however. Archeologists claim that the stones date back to 3300 BC, and some have been dated as old as 4500 BC. This would be long before anyone on Earth was able to fly over the configuration. But that doesn’t mean that someone from another planet couldn’t fly over them and read the alignment as a coded warning or directional signal of some sort, which is a more likely scenario.

The stone formations have been broken down into three major groups: The Menec, Kerlescan and Kermario. Some of the stones have been broken up or used for other structures over the millenniums since they were first placed, so identifying specific patterns is now difficult.

In the Menec alignment the stones were positioned in eleven converging rows for 3,822 by 330 feet. There seems to be the remains of stone circles within this alignment. The largest stones are 13 feet high and the shortest at rise to only two feet. There seems to be a pattern where the largest stones are on both ends and the shortest stones are in the middle.

The Kerlescan alignment has thirteen rows that are 2,600 feet long with stones ranging in height from 2 ft. 7 in. to 13 feet. This is a smaller group then the Menec and has only 555 stones. It is located further east then the other two sites. There is another circle alignment that is made up of 39 stones at the extreme west of this group.

The Kermario alignment is located further east. It is made up of 1029 stones that are positioned in a fan-like layout. This one has ten columns that are about 4,300 feet in length. At the east end of this alignment there is another stone circle made with shorter stones.

There are also a variety of ancient stone buildings in the area. They are referred to as dolmens and are thought to have once been tombs. No bones have been found there, However. The soil of Brittany is very acidic, and by now would have eroded any bones that were put in it that long ago.

The Dolmen were constructed of several large stones that supported a cap stone, and were then surrounded by mounds of soil.

The lone stone referred to as the Manio Giant is located near the Kerlescan alignment. The mammoth stone is 21 feet tall and looks as though it is a large creature –carved that way and not natural.

Many archeologists have extended years of study to this area, but no one has been able to come up with a concrete reason for their presence. It has been suggested that they line up with astrological alignments, but that hasn’t been proven to the majority of the archeologists who have studied them.

So, why did the ancient people find it necessary to put all of these stones into these formations? If it was for some religious purpose, why did they need so many groupings? It all remains a mystery.

The Carnac Stones in Carnac, France
The Carnac Stones in Carnac, France


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    • Christine B. profile image

      Christine B. 6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Ingenira. So many mysteries, so little time to write about them all! :o)

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Interesting structure. These stones will remain a mystery forever.

      I am linking this story to my recent hub where I talked about other mystery stories.

    • Christine B. profile image

      Christine B. 6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Lizzy.... there are so many more that I had never heard of as well. They are all over the world, so many that the media can't keep up with them all. It's so amazing that we still have these unsolved mysteries. . . it seems as though there are more unsolved mysteries then there are things on this planet that we have solid proof of.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your editing skills! :o)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I have often wondered about these various stone formations worldwide, both carvings such as Easter Island, and megaliths such as Stonehenge. These are three that somehow escaped my notice until now. I vaguely recall hearing the name, but had not heard of any details until now.

      Thanks for filling in that gap in my education. ;-)

      Voted up, awesome & interesting.


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