Tourists heave menhirs in France to solve ancient mystery
In the Asterix comic books you only had to drink a magic potion to be able to lift a menhir. But in reality you need vast quantities of muscle power and lots of patience. That is what a group of 30 holiday-makers found out when they heaved on a rope to move a 4... continues...
18th - 22nd June 2009 - Stones, Snakes and Sun....
A unique chance to approach the mysterious megaliths of Carnac ! Talks, sunrise and sunset observations, visits on foot, by boat and by helicopter, workshops, exhibitions, films, story telling, music...5 incredible days of wonder and discovery... continues...
In the Cornouaille district of Brittany, where pagan ceremonies still linger in most force, there is a custom which Villemarque believes to be Druidical. In June the youths and maidens above sixteen years of age assemble at some lichen-clad dolmen, the young men wearing green ears of corn in their hats, and the girls having flowers of flax in their bosoms. The flowers are deposited on the dolmen, and from the manner in which they remain or wither the young lovers believe they can divine the constancy of their selected partner. The whole party then dance round the dolmen, and at sunset return to their villages, each young man holding his partner by the tip of the little finger. At whatever time this practice originated, it may be presumed the dolmen was not then considered a sepulchre, as we cannot suppose the youthful population of a district assembled to deposit the offerings of love on a tomb, or to disturb the dwellings of the dead with their joyous revelry.
Mentioned in "The early races of Scotland and their monuments" by Lieut.-Col. Forbes Leslie (1866).
The writer is contemplating how stone axeheads might have been used, and concludes from their variety of sizes that they were tools (or the larger ones being weapons).
.. the large celt appears to have been fixed in a cleft stick, or enclosed within the folds of a tough, slender branch [..] It is said that when the Breton peasant finds a celt, called in most countries on the Continent a "thunderstone," he places it in the cleft of a growing branch or sapling, and leaves it there until the wood has formed and hardened round it; but this must have taken a great length of time. We do not, however, find the slightest trace or mark of such a handle on a single celt in this Collection [that of the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy].
From p46 in 'A Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities ... in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy' by W R Wilde (1857) - on Google Books.
14,000 year old engraved 'tablets' discovered in France
Some forty prehistoric engravings, more than 14,000 years old, have been discovered in Finistere, at the town of Plougastel-Daoulas, in Brittany (northwestern France).
Depicting several animals, these artistic vestiges date back to the Upper Palaeolithic period and are extremely rare in Europe.