Carnac and Locmariaquer

The first thing that struck me as a read more about Carnac was the intentionality with which all of the structures and placed and organized .The religious significance is so important in understanding the people who made these landmarks as well as understanding the landscape. I found it so interesting that the sacredness of the space was something to be protected and obvious. The area could only be reached by a sacred path and it was always set apart from the surrounding area. Furthermore, each rock was placed strategically according to size in relation to all of the other rocks, they were each facing a certain way, and none of them were randomly located. The intentionality of the people how built these sacred places is so astonishing and admirable.

            The structure of the monuments also testifies to the intelligence of the population. Looking at the Saint-Michel Tumulus we can see that the builders had an enormous understanding of space and science. By creating an “artificial” hillock and a superficial rocky hardpan, the builders were able to protect the burial chamber from erosion. The fact that the chamber was built in several stages but in a rather short amount of time is also impressive considering the type of primitive lifestyle we often associate with the people of the 5th century B.C. It is so hard for me to even fathom the type of lives people led 5,000 years before Christ and serves to make the construction of these monuments even more impressive to me.

            I also think that the art the people chose to create on these tombs is extremely important in telling us what the people of that time knew, saw, and cared about. For instance, at Locmariaquer, the tombs are decorated with axes, oxen, shields, stele, and “crosiers”. The image of the jambstone was meant to be seen by many people, even from a great distance. The question is, “why”? Why were these images important to the people? More specifically, why were these the images they chose to portray of their tombs when they believed their loved ones would be passing into the afterlife?

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