THE MEGALITHS OF BRITTANY

When stones were a sacred element of nature, the human being was completely devoted to building megaliths. In the French Brittany there are large amounts of them. Some megaliths are so big in size that it seems that were built by giants.


13.01.2009 Text and pictures: LUIS ABENGOA

Brittany may be one of the places of the world that has higher density of megaliths. We should also add that some of them have a particular characteristic in relation to the megaliths of other places in the world: the spectacular size. When we stare at these masses of inert stones, we are forced to make an exercise of imagination that leaves no one indifferent. Above all, when we think about how and with which techniques the humans of five and six thousand years ago were able to build and shape these megaliths.

The difficulties of its building are being explained with arguments, apparently unquestionable, that always underlie questions such as the weight, size and, above all, the removal of the stones. We know that a lot of the megaliths were brought from remote places to be settled where today are placed with the intention of remaining there eternally.

The fact that Brittany keeps blocks of stone cut by the hands of humans in such a big size, unlike other places in the world where it does not frequently happen, precisely answers factors such as the weight and volume. They had the intention that these blocks went beyond the passing of time. This is why the builders did not save any effort to bequeath the remains to the future. This intention is what prevented these monuments from being dismantled.

As if it was a security system, the megaliths of Brittany were built in such a way that removing them would be a problem and it has been achieved. Although we have to say that other smaller stones survived, it maybe happened thanks to the lack of interest, confusion or just because they were not a nuisance for agricultural lands. The stones maybe were even useful to establish the limits of a land or to tether some livestock to them.

In other places of Europe, the task of destruction of the historical memory carried out by some agents (the Church, building material, agricultural and pasture lands, etc.) has been implacable in relation to the amount of destruction that here was much smaller. Therefore, only a minimum percentage of these buildings have been saved.

However, apart from the huge size of these giants of stone in Brittany, their builders had other intentions. There are different theories about that. Some of them are diverse and others seem to be closer to more possible thesis. Undoubtedly, the reason for being of the megaliths of Brittany and from other parts of the world is due to mystical, spiritual questions without detriment that they fulfilled calendar functions. This is the thesis that seems to explain the alignment of menhirs in places like Carnac.

The human societies that built the megaliths chose that way of paying tribute to the forces of nature, on which they depended and which represented a mystery for them. Some of these forces were the sun, the moon, the sky, the summer, the winter or the miracle of life expressed in the harvest, or the birth of animals or human beings.

Undoubtedly, the megaliths were the meeting point where they professed worship, liturgies and rituals related to luck, female fertility and fertility of land. In some cases, the megaliths were the last dwelling of some of those men and women that lived 5,000 years ago.

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