Why are Carnac Stones Called Megaliths?

Of all the megaliths, or “great stones,” erected thousands of years ago by the prehistoric people of Europe, few are more impressive than those at Carnac, in the Brittany region of France. About 3,000 upright stones stand near Carnac, many of them arranged in neat rows. Some of the stones are almost 18 feet tall!

One group of megaliths consists of 11 lines of stones stretching almost 3,500 feet. The arrangement contains more than 1,000 large stones. Another group consists of 982 stones in 10 lines, and another includes 540 stones in 13 lines, stretching about a half mile. Thousands of the stones at Carnac were removed or destroyed over the centuries, so it’s possible that these three groups of megaliths may have ‘once been part of a single large arrangement.

No one is quite sure why the megaliths were erected at Carnac. Perhaps the rows of stones were to define the route of a sacred procession. Perhaps they played a part in the observation of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies. The people who lived in the region in past centuries had their own explanation for the stones at Carnac.

According to legend, a Roman army was turned to stone by a Christian saint. The marching Roman soldiers, in their neat rows, became the lines of megaliths that now stand at Carnac!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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