20 August 2016

THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 6/7: Astronomical Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC

Ancient Astronomy Series: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 6/7: Astronomical Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC.

What is the age of Astronomy? How old is it? Can we find some tangible evidence of it's age?
Many clues can be found in almost all civilizations on Earth before us.
In this mini series of articles we will establish the chronology of astronomy with astronomical relics, instruments, artifacts, alignments, maps, references and places in ancient periods pinpointing exactly in time, the age of Astronomy.

Ancient Astronomy Series. List of articles.
    1/7 Instruments: NASA's STEREO mission. Predicting the Sun's activities. 2006AD
    2/7 : Relics: Abù Bakr Ibn Yùsuf's medieval Moroccan astrolabes. 1216AD
    3/7: Places: El Caracol, Mayan Observatory. 906AD
    4/7: Artifacts: Nebra sky disk of North Germany. 1600BC
    5/7: Astronomical References: The scarab and the Dung beetle. 1813BC
    6/7: Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC
    7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Starmap. 10500BC
Illustration 15: Scale model of the megalithic stones in Carnac, France.

3300BC. Megaliths of Carnac, France.
Location: Western Europe.
On the coast of Brittany in Western France we find fields of Megaliths. These Megaliths create alignments that track certain celestial events, such as the monthly Full moon's positioning with the lines of the Megalithic stones. These stones align them selves with the sun's risings and settings at solstices and equinoxes. A complete astronomical calendar I dare say.

”The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the village of Carnac, in Brittany, consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre/proto-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world. Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC.

Illustartion 16 The sixteen-square matrix, useable at Carnac for estimating 
solar and lunar extremes within each quadrant.

There are three major groups of stone rows — Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan — which may have once formed a single group, but have been split up as stones were removed for other purposes.
Howard Crowhurst is a resident researcher of the Megalitics stones of Carnac. His research shows that there are many alignments to be found of the Moon and the Sun at certain periods of time through out the year. His research applies the principles of Alexander Thom, a researcher that came before him.

There are what Alexander Thom considered to be the remains of stone circles at either end. According to Crowhurst there is a "cromlech containing 71 stone blocks" at the western end and a very ruined cromlech at the eastern end. The largest stones, around 4 metres (13 feet) high, are at the wider, western end; the stones then become as small as 0.6 metres (2 feet 0 inches) high along the length of the alignment before growing in height again toward the extreme eastern end.

At the Carnac field we can identify many different ”stones lines” making alignments, such as the Kermario alignment, the Kerlescan alignments and the Petit-Ménec alignments. Everyone of these stone alignments are different from the next in it's own respect. Here are the alignments in details.

Illustration 17: Drawing of the Kermario stone alignment. Based upon a photo by Yvon M.

Kermario alignment
This layout recurs a little further along to the east in the Kermario (House of the Dead) alignment. It consists of 1029 stones[9] in ten columns, about 1,300 m (4,300 ft) in length. A stone circle to the east end, where the stones are shorter, was revealed by aerial photography.

Illustration 18: Scale model of Kerlescan. Von Marek.69 talk - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Kerlescan alignments
A smaller group of 555 stones, further to the east of the other two sites. It is composed of 13 lines with a total length of about 800 metres (2,600 ft), ranging in height from 80 cm (2 ft 7 in) to 4 m (13 ft). At the extreme west, where the stones are tallest, there is a stone circle which has 39 stones. There may also be another stone circle to the north.

Illustration 19: Megaliths in boisée. Petit-Ménec - Unmentioned author, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Petit-Ménec alignments
A much smaller group, further east again of Kerlescan, falling within the commune of La Trinité-sur-Mer. These are now set in woods, and most are covered with moss and ivy.

Illustration 20: Tumuli of St-Michael (Tumulus de Saint-Michel). By Zacharie Le Rouzic - Own work, Moreau.henri, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Tumuli's are generally mounds of earth built up over a grave. Usually these graves are from the neolithic period (from 10000 to 2000 BC ). They generally feature a passage leading to a central chamber which once held neolithic artifacts.
The Tumuli of Saint-Michel is the largest grave mound in continental Europe. Later in time, they have build a church on top of the tumuli to cover the old burial mound and emphasize the new worship institution.

Illustration 21: The Dolmen of Er-Roc'h-Feutet (Roch-Feutet).Near the Chapelle de La Madelaine has a completely covered roof.La Madelaine 47.6208°N 3.0482°WA large dolmen measuring 12 by 5 m (39 by 16 ft), with a 5 m (16 ft) long broken capstone.

There are several dolmens scattered around the area. These dolmens are generally considered to have been tombs; however, the acidic soil of Brittany has eroded away the bones. They were constructed with several large stones supporting a capstone, then buried under a mound of earth. In many cases, the mound is no longer present, sometimes due to archaeological excavation, and only the large stones remain, in various states of ruin.

The Megalithic Stones at Carnac strongly indicate clues of astronomical alignments, which brought forward the knowledge of astronomy in that period of time. With the evidence in hand, i must conclude that the Prehistoric Stone fields of Carnac were indeed astronomically linked.

So what is the age of Astronomy, you ask? At least since 3300BC. That means the knowledge of astronomy is at least 5316 years old.
The search for the age of Astronomy is still out there. Read the next article of our series on The age of Astronomy”and see how far back we can push it's age in time. Stay tuned, and continue reading Ancient Astronomy Series. THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY.

Please take time to read the links and PDF files on this subject.

Pubic outreach program  by Astronomy club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland

No comments:

Post a Comment