Thursday, October 1, 2009

carnac---part I....the alignments

heading south from devon to france by ferry....then driving across brittany for a few more hours...ariving in the dark [actually and metaphorically]...finding the self-catering rental unit after some morning: to the stones, at last! if english customs could see me now...truth trumps fiction again...

there are over 3,000 standing stones, called menhirs, in carnac---making it the largest megalithic site still standing in europe. the average radiocarbon dating places them between 4,000-6,000bc!!! bc!!!! why didn't we learn about this in school?

the 'first' [westernmost] group is the menec alignment---named thus because all the stones are in aligned rows, running east/west. picture a field about 3 times longer than an american football field filled with about 6 lengthwise rows of 5-10ft tall stones. add in perfect mediterranean weather and you get an idea of what we experienced.

we walked all the way around the perimeter fence; direct contact with the alignment stones is forbidden due to erosion concerns.

allons-y eastward down the route des alignements! to kermario!

this is very difficult to capture in words and pixels! and, honestly, there weren't any eureka epiphanies to report [darn!] no spaceship landings nor past life regressions...i know, disappointing! both james and i felt more 'connection' to the more hidden away dolmens and tumuluses.

kermario from an observation tower:

confession: the stones definitely command the landscape with one's attention and respect. james and i concluded after a quick thought experiment: how would it feel to be in charge of disrupting the stones as, say, a developer? like a grave robber...well, a lot less poetically than that...

we tried to picture the society that would spend so much time and energy to do this: was the labor of love, leisure or of compulsory servitude? who ordered the work? a priest with a vision/demand? a warrior chief? the illuminati?

a dolmen of the kerlescan [easternmost] alignment. dolmen? standing stones with table stones across the top, forming a burial tomb. can we do better than place stones upright to commemorate the end of a human life?

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