Carnac Stones – Carnac, France - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.

Carnac, France

Carnac Stones

Hundreds of prehistoric stones, arranged in perfect lines in a French field. 

When a gap in historical knowledge occurs, people tend to fill it in with whatever they want to believe. Since the modern age began, the people of the village of Carnac have tried to fill in the missing pieces of 4,000 prehistoric stones, perfectly lined up in a series of fields in Brittany.

The Carnac Stones date back between 4500 B.C.E-3300 B.C.E, and are mysteriously lined up in three open field sites. Stretching almost a mile in length, the fields feature equally spaced stones ranging in size from one to 4 metres high. Although studied and analysed, there is no definitive answer to their purpose or creation.

Frighteningly without understanding, the people of Carnac stepped in and wrote a narrative based on their own status in the world. Local lore believes that the stones were a Roman army that was turned to stone by Merlin, the great wizard during the time of King Arthur. As with many local pagan traditions, this legend was adapted to fit a Christian lens as well, and some claim the stones are a fleeing army of Pagans turned to stone by Pope Cornelius.

Although we will never have the true answer that explains the bizarre lines of stones, following the narratives that explain them will likely be an interesting study for years to come, and will also likely change in the coming millennia as well.

Contributed by
serflac
Edited by