Stonehenge could be the most well-known instance. However, tens of 1000’s of different historical websites that include large, curiously organized rocks dot Europe. A brand new examine suggests these megaliths weren’t created independently however as a substitute could be retracted to a single hunter-gatherer tradition that began almost 7000 years in the past in what’s at this time the Brittany area of northwestern France. The findings additionally point out societies on time have been higher boaters than sometimes believed, spreading their tradition by sea.
“This demonstrates completely that Brittany is the origin of the European megalithic phenomenon,” says Michael Parker Pearson, an archaeologist, and Stonehenge specialist at University College London.
The origins of the megalith builders have haunted Bettina Schulz Paulsson since she excavated her first megalithic monument in Portugal almost 20 years in the past. Early on, most anthropologists thought megaliths originated within the Close to East or the Mediterranean, whereas many modern thinkers again the thought they had been invented independently in five or six entirely different areas around Europe. The first hurdle, she says, has been sorting by way of the mountains of archaeological information to seek out dependable dates for the 35,000 websites, together with carved standing stones, tombs, and temples.
The very earliest megaliths, she discovered, come from northwestern France, together with the well-known Carnac stones, a dense assortment of rows of standing stones, mounds, and lined stone tombs known as dolmens. These date to about 4700 B.C.E., when hunter-gatherers inhabited the area. Engravings on standing stones from the area depict sperm whales and different sea life, which suggests the precocious masons may have been mariners, Schulz Paulsson says.