Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Menhir de Champ Dolent Brittany

 In the Champ Dolent or field of woes stands the tallest Standing stone in France. The menhir rises over nine metres and strengthens beliefs suggesting those bretons were a crazy bunch.
The word menhir (Long Man or Long Stone) was adopted from French by 19th century archaeologists. It is a combination of two words found in the Breton language; men and hir. In modern Welsh, they are described as maen hir, or "long stone". In modern Breton, the word peulvan is used.

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Stereograpic projection 360 degrees of the Menhir de Champ-Dolent
Prints of this Roundscape are available for £12.99

Many menhirs were originally carved with megalithic art. This often turned them into anthropomorphic stelae, although images of objects such as stone axes, ploughs, shepherd crooks and yokes were common, none of these motifs are definite, and the names used to describe them are largely for convenience. The designs have largely been worn away with time and it is rare to find even traces of them. Many stones have since been redecorated by those wishing to control the immense symbolic power. The Cross placed on the menhir de champ dolent was an attempt to wean the locals into understanding how the church had overcome this ancient symbol.

It didn't work, any better than the Christian tale of the devil throwing the rock at Mont St Michel and missing.
Another story states of a fraternal or parental battle that took place here where a father had his son strangled in front of his wife and children. There is good evidence for a battle here in AD 561 and it is possible that this memory had given the place a name. The Archaeologist Aubrey Burl claimed the pink granite rock was towed from about 5km away with the smaller rock at the stones base arriving from a different area. The small polished rock makes an ideal place for everyone to have their photos taken or to perform human sacrifices, depending on your balance between holiday facebook albums and druidic practices.

Stereograpic projection 360 degrees of the Menhir de Champ-Dolent

Over the centuries, the menhirs have variously been thought to have been used by Druids for human sacrifice, used as territorial markers or elements of a complex ideological system, or functioned as early calendars. Practically nothing is known of the social organization or religious beliefs of the people who erected these stones. There is not even any trace of these people's language; however we do know that they buried their dead and had the skills to grow cereal, farm and to also make pottery, stone tools and jewellery. Identifying their uses remains speculation. However, it is likely that many uses involved fertility rites and seasonal cycles.

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There were about 50,000 megaliths in Western Europe of which about 10000 remain. There are still some 1,200 menhirs in northwest France alone. Standing stones are usually difficult to date, but pottery found underneath some in Atlantic Europe connects them with the Beaker people. The developments of radiocarbon dating and tree-ring calibration have done much to further knowledge in this area. Recent research into the age of megaliths in Brittany strongly suggests a far older origin, perhaps back to six to seven thousand years ago.

Stereograpic projection 360 degrees of the Menhir de Champ-Dolent
Prints of this Roundscape are available for £12.99

Round Scapes are framed original digital photographs of landscapes. Photographing panoramic landscapes allows me to manipulate these images into stereographic projections sometimes known as little planets

Stereograpic projection 360 degrees of the Menhir de Champ-Dolent
Prints of this Roundscape are available for £12.99
Stereograpic projection 360 degrees of the Menhir de Champ-Dolent

The view you end up with is a 360 degree landscape manipulated into a globe.
The size of the Round Scape print and frame together is 17 x 22cm with fittings allowing for wall mounting or free standing on a shelf or desk. Price £12.99
Larger framed versions are also available for £17.99

Interested in megaliths? Other pages from this site.

Normandy Megalith - Allée couverte de Bretteville

A Walking Guide to the Saint Just Alignments

Markers - The Saint Just Alignments

Knowlton Church Landscape Painting Dorset

Hill forts around the Blackmore Vale Dorset

Roundscape of des Pierres Droites Standing Stone Alignments Brittany

Awakening the Ancestors digital sketches and video of Standing stone alignments in Brittany

Menhir de Champ Dolent Round Scape

The eye of the lake l'étang de Quéhon

Paintings and Sketches

The way the path is stopped by stones from paintwalk

9 Barrow Down - Watercolour Sketch from paintwalk

Hillfort sunset watercolour sketch from paintwalk

Monteneuf Standing Stones Water Colour Landscape Brittany

The Avenue Alignments a Decalcomania Painting by Paintwalk

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