Megalith symbolism in Gavrinis
Carnac close to the Morbihan bay in Bretagne gave a good fishing season in spring seven thousand years ago and I suppose it is so today too. The Table of Gods was surely overloaded when they kept kermesse every year. The passage grave of Gavrinis is a temple
megalith, Gavrinis, Canchal Mahoma, Saros cycle, Troy, Carnac, fasces, kermesse, von Däniken, Le Menec, Ker MarioFirst myth | to Carnac |Back Part 1 |Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Survey ritual astronomy | carved moon suites |sitemap |home |
The Passage Temple of Gavrinis, i.e. passage grave with decorated stones
The lunation at right is from the cave of Chanchal Mahoma on the other side of the Biscayan Gulf and it is supposed to be from 7000 BC. There are 26 symbols since the 3 nights of the wane moon are not counted. The full moon seems to stand still for a couple of days. Note the lunation symbol in the middle at Mahoma. The same we see in the Egyptian symbolism ofRamesses IV.
So it is easy to think about this as wane moon temple on the Island of Gavrinis in the gulf at Morbihan bay. I do not know about the water levels in the bay but at that time. Water level was lower since near another island there is an underwater cromlech. The temple is one of the oldest stone houses in Bretagne ca 4000 BC. In Portugal they tell the
Of the 29 stones are 23 engraved with non-figurative pattern in general. Only few stones can give us a lead about their thinking. We do not know if the engravings were made from the beginning. We have seen in later ages that in times with uncertainty about the World Order the art goes abstract. At this early stage they had to find new words for the things they measured and observed.
The alignments and the underground graves associate to the moon and following the behaviour that mean practical astronomy. Season feast connected the moon calendar to the year. The big festival was in spring and autumn but maybe they celebrated new moon with libation to the water idol and another at wane moon for the fertility in soil symbolised by the axe, i.e. in other places one of the edges of the double axe.
The temple was centre not only for the rituals in the lunations we know a little of from the Roman rituals. The funeral rituals were the same since resurrection was the idea of both human afterlife and vegetative resurrection.
Counting lunations = from new moon to new moon R9 S. Twohig 1981.
Maybe they also counted year and seasons on this stone. We may call the stroke in the middle a ken as we need point to refer and to know. Say that it is the menhir and the half circles are lunations or orbits of another celestial object. The numbers of turns/ bows are often 7 or 14 and that fit with the day periods. That is what we see under the heavenly hood. Then this art gets a meaning and tells about what the artist had in mind.
In the Lascaux cave there is the Naked Lady with a Horn and that is maybe 5000 years older than the lunation in Canchal Mahoma. Since we from many places later see that nakedness and a horn symbolised moon and water we get more illiterate proof for the assumption about moon temple
These eighteen kens maybe are symbols for a lunar year and we know that 18,61 moons is theSaros cycle when the nodes reaches exact same point-, i.e. they knew about eclipses L9 S.Twohig 1981
Perhaps the artist just wrote them down in an artistic way. They only needed to remember the number 18. Stone Right R9 and Left L9 have the clearest symbolism, but we find the same kind on R4 and L6 while the rest is almost non-figurative. There are some wavy lines that could symbolise the Water-snake and then they thought about the under ground fertile water.
Our ancestors thought about an everlasting society and everlasting laws and methods about the real agenda the Table of Gods ... gods are of course human too since mankind invented them. The number of rows and the mathematics are fit for the calculating the quadrature of the night sky, which is the relation of the sun, moon and stars.
Nine to fourteen lines have been sufficient to make a virtual grid on the sky. We do not see them at Carnac however the alignments would have good for making the asterisms since they needed a model on ground for that. In Skandinavian rock-carvings we see the squared model of the grid and signs of declinations. Initially they needed only the level with the ecliptic and the upper square with the circumpolar stars.
Nowadays we use nine declinations on the celestial sphere, but have to use fourteen if we want to cover the changes during a year. Certainly they used them when selecting stars to fit the ideas of the signs of the zodiac as well as the other constellations. Today we speak about signs of the zodiac because we are not any longer interested in the real stars.
I love this old Lady from another cave
We can seldom explain non-figurative art. We can only tell what we feel. In this case I have also the context of other figures showing "the clothed child". Then I get the impression that this is the old woman with the big toothless mouth. She like the child demand for care from the adults. A society should be build so the extremes have a place. In Sumerian tradition we read bout the "the child who's mother sleep in Underworld", i.e. the motherless child that should be a part of society. That is the humanism of the good society.
Some picture stones could be seen as six tits of a sow or similar animal. There are other signs telling about the possibly domesticated pig. It seems that they exported the wedge tomb to the Somme Oise Marne district northward. There we find more pig symbolism as for instance a statue of the fertility idol with neckring and a boar from Bronze Age.
In Scandinavia the sow symbolises fertility and Freya was called "the Sow". Her brother Frey was maybe a brother to the French idol and is perhaps the Engender /Perseus in night sky that became idol together with the Pleiades around 2300 BC. However it seems that in Portugal they observed in another way and used the Pleiades already in 4th millennium.
Pollen-curves from Carnac and the years BCE
The temperature had a peak during 4th millennium that dropped to average around 3000 BC. The upper black curve indicates cereals in middle of 4th millennium BC and nearly continuous culture after that. Compared with Ireland and Sweden where cultivating was not continuous. There were period around 3400 - 3100; 2300 - 2100; 1300 - 1000 and continuous after 500 BC. Agriculture seems overrated among writers of archaeology. Still we do not know much about other agriculture of vegetables that do not leave pollen remains.
Furthermore we can note the decrease in tree pollen that is seen also on Ireland and in Sweden. Maybe they deliberately created open land for animals and oak-forest for the acorn-pigs. Among the decorated stones in the area there are some abstracted animals that look like pigs. Later on the boar was cult for instance in the Oise-Marne district.
In Scandinavia the cult of Boar continued until Viking Age. The concept "ornum" could be read "to the boars" and that was separate estate taken out of common land for the nobility. Another thing is that pork seems to stimulate aggression in man is my experience. I do not eat pork since long and in addition to the aggression pork would give much cholesterol. I have already once got four new arteries.
There are not many weapons and one big axe carvings seems be ritual symbol. There are in the shape of possible boomerangs that maybe was the tool for herds and we see also some shepherd crook.
Artefacts fromTroy 4th millennium BC.
The double axe as amulet came from east perhaps and we find it in amber in Nordic passage graves too. It is from the moon myth. Note the little amulet of the child with a necklace. That little girl we meet in picture stones in the Alps as well as at Carnac
The rectangular amulet was common in the Mediterranean and on Cyprus around 1800 BC.. The necklace was probably the symbol of the field
Some of our ancestor perhaps saw them as almost real beings and that is why I often use star names and ideas without the definite article. It is better use with concepts as sitting, clothed, sleeping, nursing, birth-giving and more since we can derive them from some very old place names.
I suppose they were seen as beings or individuals with some power. Others may have seemed them as a mother, father, mentor etc. Remember that twelve constellations of the zodiac are the finished product we now can use.
Specialist speculating in ancient ideas = religion and myth has given us a disservice. In Swedish we say "Bear's service" and no one really know from where that came. Anyway I do not trust a bear's help.
The disservice is that they use Biblical frames when they categorise ancient ideas and myths. They are always looking for the "Big Mother = Maria". Then we stay there and from locality to locality we discover different archetypes. According to the laws of logic different descriptions can not picture the same object. We go around it if we look after meaning, function and attributes and find that in the rural environment the archetypes/ idols were much the same. However only one idol could not be enough and good lead in agriculture, livestock keeping and other industries. … see alsoOur many mothers
In Nordic myth Odin has got at least 150 names and some of the contradictory and others clear loans. I suppose a lot of them are invented after 13th century and long after Christianity came to use in most places. It is maybe natural that people rather use a few archetypes. But serious archaeologists and analysers of ideas try to bind evidence to real things locally. Then we meet very many so-called gods or rather idols.
We can see it in the place names of which we have thousands that originally have been local idols. That could be different from place to place. For instance the Frisian tribe from Twenthe Netherlands name two idols Alaisagae, Bede and Femmilene. Their neighbours the Hnaudifridi call them the Alaisagae Boudhillia and Friagabis
My solution from the beginning was to use descriptive neutral expressions and take representative examples all the time knowing how complex true rational reality was. A single Mother could do in urban societies although soon the Catholic Church invented helper and mainly the Saints. They were substitute for the Roman analysis of virtues.
From 4th millennium we have not much pictorial evidence. But the finds are similar from Troy to Spain and Carnac. Firstly it tells how people mingled over long distance. In reality it was only a question of staying more days on the seas that was the main road.
The roof box at the passage temple New Grange at Ireland have giving attention to archaeoastronomy. The roof box let the winter solstice shine into the temple. It has overshadowed another passage temple at Knowth with far more astronomy symbolism about lunar calendar and aligned after the equinoxes. Furthermore there is Dowth aligned after winter solstice
Anthony Murphy at Mythical Ireland has done a great job in presenting these important temples that are parallels to the underground temples in Bretagnehttp://www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/knowth/calendarstone.html
At Carnac many place-names have the prefix Ker- as Ker Mario, Ker Lescan and the word order is Celtic. KER means probably ring or district or as in Germany and Scandinavia kreis /krets. In Germany it is still in use meaning districts. That is such as organisation and belonging to a membership. The syllable KR/ CR means something bent/ to a circle as in CROM/ KROM-lech and the Nordic word KRUM means the same.
KR/ CR is root in Chronos, the god of time with crooked thoughts in Greece. It means a circle or perhaps enclosure at the time. In Scandinavia they use -ker as suffix at Bornholm. We hardly know whether it means ring or pond and it may be a late idea. In early villages the pond for the animals and for fire was essential and a part of the plan of local order.
At Carnac are several dialects since the Bretons, Amoricans and old natives have been mixed through the ages. So we have three normal suffixes in place names Ker, Plou- and Loc and the root seems to be "something bent" or better 'enclosure'. We have similar in Scandinavia and even some excavated villages from Iron Age as for instance Hodde at Jutland. Originally these terms maybe are "milking place or place for the night" they developed to fenced villages.
For example Loc Mariaquer where the prefix LOC means enclosure and the suffix QUER have a root that mean quarrel probably in the positive word-fighting way. Or it means the village counsel. We have thedoomrings that surely have been a place for local counsel. Our Germanic folk-lead was developed from the small village counsel (byraad and higher step thing). I would not call it democracy since that is the representative or indirect lead of the upper class.
The megalith culture may be younger in Southern England but there we get some clues about the organisation of the culture. Finds of many axes in depots tell us perhaps about a federation of villages. They were belonging to a bigger stone henge and other establishment in the megalith culture.
It is the principle of fasces that the small circles belong to the great circle and bring their tribe emblem/ sign to the kermesse that still is in use as the word for "fair". Today there is a heavy use of 'kermesse' and I got 60000 hits on the GOOGLE. They have natural had some word for 'fair, market and meeting' even in Stone Age. I think the word 'kermesse' is good even when the linguists wants to quarrel about it.
The Alignments at Carnac has not been built only by local people and must have gathered people from a large area and that means seasonal meetings. In Germanic we have the word 'thing' that means council and originally it was three / four seasonal meetings in a folkland for all kind of common matters from court to quarrel and games.
Symbolic acts are a way to manifest treaties and conventions between peoples and groups of people. Often a treaty has prevented struggles and carried its symbolic acts at intervals as known four or nine-years in the old days.
It would be interesting to know about the ritual. The problem is that we have nothing to compare with. Here is the only thing we have the logic of "going beneath" and probably in pace with the moon. In Scandinavia and as we see in Troy there is evidence of the double axe that belongs to the Inanna myth and the moons up and down.
We have later Sumerian songs aboutInanna stepping down
From the Great Above
She directed her desire towards the Great Below.
The Goddess from the Great Above.
She directed her desire towards the Great Below
My Mistress left the heaven, left the earth
To the underworld she steps down
Inanna left the heaven, left the earth.
To the underworld she steps down,
Left to be a ruler, left to be a mistress.
Inanna symbolises the moon and the fertility of rain. Her step to Underworld was the sowing. We have rock-carvings at Zealand that copies a Sumerian seal with the symbolism. Gavrinis at Carnac and Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth at Ireland are rather moon temples than passage graves. I suppose they practised the first step-down-ritual in these temples. After that it spread to local combines graves and temples since the thought was the same about resurrection of seed and mankind.
It would have been a suitable "ritual package" to learn the new ritual in a song and transport it in memory far home. Or maybe missionaries and emigrants used the method. All the new words in the songs influenced the local vocabularies. That is a better explanation to the mix of languages we have got … instead of mighty theories about warlike tribes conquering Europé. The period of these influences is at least 4000 years.
Lately I asked if they recited Enuma Elish at theLaw Rock at Haugsbyn Maybe the local priestess stood in the naked footprints and recited Inanna songs. Enuma Elish has two parts. The first about Creation and bringing order into chaos and the other part the Ishtar/ Inanna myth. The Akitu festival in spring lasted for a week and at one moment they recited the poem. We can see much of the composition in the Nordic Voluspa. However the agriculture part concentrates on harvest time.
Still, we have our symbolic acts sometimes when an important building is founded or when they send away a special space satellite with a designed plate. On it is a naked man, not too usual in practice. Then there is an example of our metre, so those aliens may know how to measure us. However I have a theory that if aliens come near to us they have intelligence brighter than our primitive fantasy. I suppose they use electronic devices exactly to decide our height to know whether they have beds in our size. It is very difficult to imagine how an intelligence better than our really works.
At Carnac our powers of insight have a good help of the mighty monuments as Le Grand Menhir at Loc Mariaquer. It has been twenty-two to twenty-three metres high and the weight 350 ton. The astonishing details are that they have brought it from a quarry several kilometres away where it was broken from the cliff and given a smooth finish. The work may have been done little by little, but transporting the giant has required a lot of work force.
We have to imagine the rest of the iceberg as organisation of the work and to feed all the people involved. Planning and estimating is some very difficult job how to calculate the need of manpower under the transport and other supports. They needed to know approximately how many men it would take. Then we have the idea in itself. And how to get so many people to work in the same direction and for the same purpose.
It seems more like a religious revival. Once all the people had been in the plan, they become proselytes of the idea. However, Le Grand Menhir itself is only the top of the iceberg as at Carnac are more than 3000 monuments not so big, yet weighing several tens of tons. Here called monuments because they have shaped and smoothed them. Some of them clearly for this purpose.
To me as a pan-European it would be a pride to know about our roots. Also about the birth of European civilisation before we lend too much from the so-called high cultures Egypt and Mesopotamia younger than ours. That is the way we ought to see it, because we have also to remember the cave culture of Western Europe. Of course with all respect for the high cultures, but if they should overshadow our own, it is too much for me to swallow.
When I began my real studies some twenty-five years ago there was hardly a book in the common library about Carnac. The only help was von Däniken and his ravings about all unknown places on Earth. He lived as the saying "The less we know the wilder we fantasise". Anyhow, a few pages about Carnac opened my eyes for this early spiritual centre of Europe. Sailors near Carnac have been astonished already at sea when they saw Le Grand Menhir in its heydays.
Yet ashore they met all the other works of the giants. At Le Menec are 1169 stones in 11 rows and 70 more in a half circle at the end in southwest. The number 70 may suggest that alignment was used to follow the star Capella in Auriga that we know as the heavenly Maid. Folk memory tells that she vanished for 70 days in winter at the time the row were set up. About 2000 BC Capella becomes circumpolar due to precession.
Other stone fields are Ker Mario wide 100 metres, length 1200 metres and 10 rows with 1029 stones, Kerzehro with 113 stones in 10 rows, Kerlescan with 555 stones in 13 rows of which 39 are in a half circle. Lagtiar with 140 stones in three rows. The sum of these is 3006 stones from one metre high to six metres weighing up to tens of tons. If one were set up every year, it is 3000 years of history.
Maybe they had more feast a year and when they had many people together they set up a stone just as a calculator counting events. When the establishment was ready, they could use a mark stone to follow the row and the star like a great memory. Anyhow the stones and their mathematics set ants in ones head. The little brother half as high and heavy as Le Grand Menhir is at Kerlois. Most of the formations are within two kilometres from the centre of Carnac and the great one lays three kilometres to the east. How these alignments have been in use is of course nearly a mystery.
These are detail figures from passage graves in Bretagne after Shee Twohig 1981. They show a speculative mind of the former Europeans.
Look at the "thi thing" in the left corner. Is it some experiment of Archimedes or is it "The old man in the ocean"? Nevertheless, we may tell a lot about it from the pure logic in the establishment. The word establishment is used here to suggest the possibility that the stones have in the algebraic way been manifestations for idols in the organisation of society. Just as a memory it is more stable than when sketching in the sand.
We may read the name Carnac = "meat corner" and it was surely when it got the name. The greatest reminders of early co-operation are the stone rows at Carnac probably made in the early fifth millennium BC.
In French they have still the word kermesse surely of Gaelic origin. Today it means "fair" but has very likely been a time and place of things to discus common matters. Women talk and men debates like the Sumerian poem "Word-fighters". We have similar poems in Edda and Kalevala. Whether it is arranged or not on a fair will be much talking and meeting friends as well as strangers. Then they go home with much of news.
This site have many photos and maps over the huge area of Carnac. RECOMMENDEDhttp://megaliths.sherwoodonline.de