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The Ancient Menhirs that Cross Continents

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posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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I've seen quite a few threads about well-known ancient sites and theories but I haven't really seen much about lesser-known ancient sites that are surprisingly widespread and common throughout the entire world. So here's some information about probably the oldest and most common structure that people don't really ever talk about.

First, what is a Menhir?


A menhir is a large upright standing stone. Menhirs may be found singly as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Their size can vary considerably; but their shape is generally uneven and squared, often tapering towards the top. Menhirs are widely distributed across Europe, Africa, and Asia, but are most numerous in Western Europe; in particular in Ireland, Great Britain and Brittany. In northwest France there are 1,200 menhirs. [1] They originate from many different periods across pre-history, and were erected as part of a larger Megalithic culture that flourished in Europe and beyond.


Source

As the definition states, menhirs are old and widespread. We don't know much about the culture(s) of the people who constructed them, and up until recently most people assumed they were either for calendars or some kind of sacrificial altars. Some new theories state that they mark important locations for either events or fallen leaders.

The most famous collection of menhirs is probably Carnac, France. The Carnac menhirs number nearly 3,000 and are arranged East to West, largest to smallest. No one knows why these Menhirs were erected, although looking at it reminds me of Arlington cemetery in DC.



Menhirs aren't just blank pieces of stone, either. Many menhirs are adorned with art from the builders.



images of objects such as stone axes, ploughs, shepherd crooks and yokes were common. With the exception of the stone axe, none of these motifs are definite, and the name used to describe them is largely for convenience. Some menhirs were broken up and incorporated into later passage graves where they had new megalithic art carved with little regard for the previous pictures. It is not known if this re-use was deliberate or if the passage grave builders just saw menhirs as a convenient source of stone (Le Roux 1992).


Source

It's important to note that recent research has shown the menhirs to be much older than previously thought, possibly around 7,000 years old. The glyphs on the menhirs seem (since no one is really sure what they mean) to show people they were farmers and herdsmen, with knowledge of sheperding, farming, toolworking, sewing, etc.

Here is a picture of a Swedish menhir adorned with what looks like a calendar.



Nearly all of the information on Menhirs centers around the European ones because they are so numerous in France and the UK. There are, however, Asian menhirs and even South American ones.

I think the South American menhirs are the most interesting because you never hear anything about them. Where are they? Located in Columbia, the isolated U'wa tribe has 12 of them standing in their territory.


And as part of their cosmology, the U'wa world above is mirrored below the earth. In this inverted universe live shadow people, alter egos of those living on the surface. Here in the underworld, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. "In psychological terms," wrote Osborn, "this relates with the world of the psyche and the different levels of the conscious and unconscious."

The sense of mystery is everywhere. On reaching puberty, young U'wa women put on head-dresses, or cocaras, made of giant leaves from which they can see only through a small slit in the front. They wear them until someone asks to marry them, which can take four or more years. Then there are the 12 menhirs, great standing stones like those at Stonehenge, which Osborn believed were the pillars of the U'wa's spiritual world. U'wa myth says that when the last one falls, the world ends. Only two still stand.


Source

It's interesting that they mention the sun rising in the West and setting in the East in the shadow realm, and part of me wonders if there's any connection between the U'Wa menhirs and the European ones. The Carnac menhirs are placed tallest to shortest starting from the Western side. Perhaps this is something marking the passage of the sun in the "shadow world"?

Menhirs are also in North America, mainly in the Northeast in the wilderness and on hill/mountain tops. Originally, it was said they were road markers or gravestones during colonial periods. But that theory didn't hold up because there were no roads pre or post colonial era around them.

*The closest thing America has to stonehenge is located in Salem, by the way. Interesting, huh?

Native Americans claimed not to know who built their menhirs, saying that they were in place before their tribes even inhabited the land. Could there be truth to this legend?

Here is a link to a Google book talking about the North American menhirs. Source

When we're able to talk to the people who actively used the menhirs, we get the same general story. The Native Americans and the U'Wa both claim they didn't build the stones but they were placed there by divinity. We simply don't know who put the European ones together and we don't know what the glyphs mean, but I bet if the people were still around we'd hear a similar story.

There's something special about menhirs that connects the world together. I personally think they were some way for these ancient civilizations to connect and communicate with the spiritual world of the dead and the gods that they worshipped, and I think it shows that either these civilizations all started from one common seed, or perhaps there was some outside force involved that told them to construct these monuments as markers and a way to meet.

Opinions?




posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 01:13 AM
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Originally posted by Avenginggecko
Here is a picture of a Swedish menhir adorned with what looks like a calendar.



Its not a menhir, its a runestone. And its not a calender, its a text probably praising some viking that's died, something the dude that erected the stone did or similar.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 02:28 AM
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To the above poster - you can call it a runestone if you like - it doesn't stop being a menhir just because you call it something else. Its a standing stone - and thats all a menhir is.

Very interesting post OP - what I find interesting is the use of the number 12 with respect to astronomy and time all over the world.

The empirical number 12 - seems to have been widely used - and I always wonder if the system did not have a single source.

I am a long time supporter of the idea that our past was connected to ET's - whether we are them, they created us, or brought us here. I have had a look at a few alternatives.

There are a lot of ancient things that indicate a link between different parts of the world - and some ruins, and artifacts that indicate a higher tech than we even possess now.

These stones are very interesting - thanks for your post.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 02:55 AM
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I was going to say the same thing as merka!
Runestones can not be menhirs - it is overtly stated they dont know the purpose/people building them. Runestones have very OBVIOUS purpose as stated in_the_runes. Most are commerorate their dead family/friends, like a gravestone, except not over a grave (Norsemen did not bury).

I could even go get my notes and translate right now. We know about runestones. OP said menhirs are blank or have a picture.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by Ridhya
 


Menhirs are just massive standing pieces of stone. Runestones qualify, and I didn't say we didn't know what every menhir says, I just generalized because we don't know what a lot of them say.


Some new theories state that they mark important locations for either events or fallen leaders.


Obviously that fits the definition of what a runestone is.

Amagnon:

You're welcome. I don't see a lot of information around some of these, especially the standing stones in North and South America, so I thought it would be good to highlight an OP that shows how widespread they were in ancient cultures.

The astronomical alignments are very interesting, coupled with the fact that some menhirs (like the North American ones) are put in high places makes you wonder on whether or not they were trying to signal someone high up, whether it be an ET or a deity. Nazca lines, anyone?



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by merka

Originally posted by Avenginggecko
Here is a picture of a Swedish menhir adorned with what looks like a calendar.



Its not a menhir, its a runestone. And its not a calender, its a text probably praising some viking that's died, something the dude that erected the stone did or similar.


You are correct, it is not a calendar, you are also correct in titling it a runestone, some are simple "Olaf was here", some are tales, directions, markers and a few a written as powerful warding spells.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by prof-rabbit
You are correct, it is not a calendar, you are also correct in titling it a runestone, some are simple "Olaf was here", some are tales, directions, markers and a few a written as powerful warding spells.

Of course I'm correct, I'm a bloody Swede and very familiar with the stones which are littering the place here. Hell we even got to learn runes in school


Avenginggecko, saying that some new theories state that they mark important locations for either events or fallen leaders. fit the description of a what runestone is, is completely incorrect since there's no such thing as a new theory about them. We KNOW what they say. Because of that we KNOW why they where erected. There's nothing ambigious about them.

Thus, they're not in the we-dont-know-what-their-purpose-is-menhir-type-stone category.

Yes, I'm picky :p



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by merka
 


You certainly are picky!
I was limited in my characters for posting the OP and yes we do know what some menhirs state and why they're there, the point was that many of them are still unknown as to who and why they were placed where they are. The one I posted was simply the best picture I found of a marked menhir. Many of the menhirs are still unknown as to why they are there and up until the last century most people just assumed they all shared a similar purpose of being a gravestone or memorial.

Also, many of the menhirs (or runestones in the case of the picture in the OP) were erected by earlier cultures and once they died out/vanished were marked up by later people as markers for the fallen or for someone(s) accomplishments. We may know why some cultures erected or re-used menhirs, but we don't know why for many more.

Regardless of the nit-picking, it's still interesting to note that from what we know about all menhirs they seem to share some common link with the spiritual world.


As the definition states, menhirs are old and widespread. We don't know much about the culture(s) of the people who constructed them, and up until recently most people assumed they were either for calendars or some kind of sacrificial altars. Some new theories state that they mark important locations for either events or fallen leaders.


This is in reference to mostly the menhirs in Brittany, the UK, Asia, South America, and North America, although the U'Wa in Columbia state that their 12 menhirs are the pillars of the Earth that count down to the end of times.


It's important to note that recent research has shown the menhirs to be much older than previously thought, possibly around 7,000 years old. The glyphs on the menhirs seem (since no one is really sure what they mean) to show people they were farmers and herdsmen, with knowledge of sheperding, farming, toolworking, sewing, etc.


This is in reference to the Carnac menhirs, which were discovered to be older than previously thought and contain markings from a civilization we don't really know anything about.

And lastly, to clarify any confusion: a runestone is a menhir even though we know exactly what some of them may say. I couldn't really go into huge detail about each and every type of menhir in the world because they are so prolific in early cultures, but I think the generalizations still stand.
Hope that clears it up a bit!



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by Avenginggecko
reply to post by merka
 


And lastly, to clarify any confusion: a runestone is a menhir even though we know exactly what some of them may say. I couldn't really go into huge detail about each and every type of menhir in the world because they are so prolific in early cultures, but I think the generalizations still stand.
Hope that clears it up a bit!


Runestones come in all shapes and sizes and are specific, generalizations are that both apples and oranges are fruit.

According to your definition this too is a Menhir.

www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com...



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