There is something beautiful and otherworldly about Bretagne. Settled by Celtic people, it carries the mystique associated with fairies and other magical creatures found in Celtic folklore. Stone structures found in Morbihan, Bretagne are traces of the development of this druidic culture in France. These megaliths were often large burial grounds or tombs. The megaliths are evidence of analytical and complex thinking, and they represent ideas such as physics, mathematics, religion and the afterlife, astronomy, and architecture. This advanced thinking shows incredible creativity among the individuals of these communities.
The people who constructed the first megaliths had never before seen permanent structures on their landscape. Their ability to haul boulders at any distance shows that they had developed technology or techniques to bring their construction materials to a single site and then lift them to create magnificent monuments for their dead that have lasted for thousands of years. The ingenuity that they needed to organize the construction of a monument is impressive, especially because today’s society views the first farmers, who were therefore the first non-nomadic people, as uncivilized and unintelligent. Their ability to create ideas from scratch and put their ideas into action by forming giant tombs proves that they were more innovative and intelligent than they are usually credited.
There is evidence from some of the megaliths that shows the people who built and used them had begun to watch the movements of the sun and the stars. For example, bodies would be lined up in the same direction – facing the rising or setting of the sun. As time passed, the sun and stars would become important figures in the Celtic religion. In this way, the megaliths mark the beginnings of both astronomy and religion.
Religion is also tied to the megaliths because some of them were tombs and burial grounds in the first place. By building a home or resting place for the dead, the people in Morbihan were expressing their reverence for the dead and their belief in the afterlife. Showing reverence for the dead shows that the people did not just see the dead as decomposing bodies. Building a resting place for the dead implies that the dead have something left within with which they can appreciate the thought.
Building a megalith would have taken considerable time and effort. The people must have had great motivation to gather together and build monuments. Religion would be a good explanation for what encouraged them to make the effort. They also spent time measuring angles and dimensions and testing ways to balance the boulders they were using to build the monuments. They were then not only the creative innovators of a religion, but some of the first mathematicians, physicists, and architects.
It is necessary to throw off the yokes of today’s society and think of the world as it was when the megalithic architects began to create. When thinking about ancient peoples in their own context, their genius begins to surpass that of today’s inventors. Their creativity matches that of the greatest artists, and they begin to stop seeming like uneducated savages and more like the creators of the world as we know it today.