- Category: Carnac
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Figure 1 The entrance of Crucuno's cromlech, which opens to the south-east [Summer Solstice, 2007]
It is not immediately obvious that the Crucuno dolmen (figure 1) faces the Crucuno rectangle about 1100 feet to the east. Dolmens appear to have been used to mark the beginning significant time counts. At Carnac's Alignments there are large cromlechs initiating and terminating the stone rows which, more explicitly, appear like counts. The only (surviving) intermediate stone lies 216 feet from the dolmen, within a garden and hard-up to another building, as with the dolmen (see figure 2). This length is interesting since it is twice the longest inner dimension of the Crucuno rectangle, implying that lessons learned in interpreting the rectangle might usefully apply when interpreting the distance at which this outlier was placed from the dolmen. Most obviously, the rectangle is 4 x 27 feet wide and so the outlier is 8 x 27 feet from the dolmen.
Figure 2 The in-town outlier to the east of the Crucuno dolmen. [photo: Robin Heath, 2007]
Momentarily at least, one can consider the two lengths of (210-) 216 feet relating to 108 feet of the rectangle and I believe dolmen to centre of rectangle to be about 1105 feet. The combined monument is then as figure 3.
Figure 3 The combined monument seen within satellite data, showning two key dimensions in white, the section above magnifying the in-town components.
The Metrological Key to Crucuno
- Category: Carnac
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In 1973, Alexander Thom found the Crucuno rectangle to have been "accurately placed east and west" by its megalithic builders, and "built round a rectangle 30 MY [megalithic yards] by 40 MY" and that "only at the latitude of Crucuno could the diagonals of a 3, 4, 5 rectangle indicate at both solstices the azimuth of the sun rising and setting when it appears to rest on the horizon." In a recent article I found metrology was used between the Crucuno dolmen (within Crucuno) and the rectangle in the east to count 47 lunar months, since this closely approximates 4 eclipse years (of 346.62 days) which is the shortest eclipse prediction period available to early astronomers.
Figure 1 Two key features of Crucuno's Rectangle
About 1.22 miles northwest lie the alignments sometimes called Kerzerho, on the present D781 before the hamlet Kerzerho - after which they were named - on the way north to Erdeven from Plouharnel. These stone rows are the start of a major complex monument but here we consider only the section beside the road to the east. Unlike the Le Menec, Kermario and Kerlestan Alignments, which start north of Carnac, Kerzerho's alignments are, like the Crucuno rectangle accurately placed east and west.
Figure 2 Two stones, angled to the diagonal of a 3-4-5 triangle 235 feet from north west stone and setting sun at summer solstice. The diagonal appears counted in 235 feet as to the Metonic period
- Category: Carnac
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The word Alignment is used in France to describe its stone rows. Their interpretation has been various, from being an army turned to stone (a local myth) to their use like graph paper, for extrapolation of values (Thom). That stone rows were alignments to horizon events gives a partial but useful explanation, since menhirs (or standing stones) do form a web of horizon alignments to solstice sun and to the moon's extreme rising and setting event, at maximum and minimum standstill. At Carnac the solstice sun was aligned to the diagonal of the 4 by 3 rectangle and maximum and minimum standstill moon aligned to the diagonal of a single or double square, respectively.
It seems quite clear today that stone rows at least represented the counting of important astronomical time periods. We have seen at Crocuno that eclipse periods, exceeding the solar year, are accompanied by some rectalinear structures (Le Manio, Crucuno, Kerzerho) which embody counting in miniature, as if to record it, and it has been observed that cromlechs (or large stone kerb monuments) were built at the ends of the long stone rows of Carnac and Erdeven. Sometimes, a cromlech initiated a longer count, with or without stone rows, that ended with a rectangle (Crucuno). The focus on counting time naturally reveals a vernacular quite unique to this region and epoch. We have seen that the Kerzerho alignments were at least a 4 by 3 rectangle which recorded the 235 lunar months in feet along its diagonal to midsummer solstice sunset. After that rectangle there follows a massive Alignment of stone rows to the east, ending after 2.3 km having gradually changed their bearing to 15 degrees south of east. Just above the alignments lies a hillock with multiple dolmens and a north-south stone row (Mané Braz) whilst below its eastern extremity lies the tumulus and dolmen, "T-shaped passage-grave" (Burl. 196) called Mané Groh.
Figure 1 The intermittent extent of the Erdevan Alignments, and associated dolmens
Figure 2 The Micro-site of Kerzerho rectangle diagonal whose outer dimensions were in units of 47 feet
If we take the hint that the Kerzerho rectangle at the western extremity of the Erdevan alignments has the length 235 feet along its diagonal, and remember that terminating monuments often form a micro-site, a clue to the whole provided by an oral culture, like a textbook, then we can expect the Metonic of nineteen years within which 235 lunar months complete, to be present in the larger monument. We also know that the 47 lunar month approximation/reminder for 4 eclipse years was also involved since 235 = 5 x 47, and the Crucuno count to the south, between dolmen and rectangle, was 4 by 3 with units of 47 feet.
It is possible that the alignments (figure 1), which were once "probably complete" (Lukis, 1888) and gaps now widened by agricultural necessity, sought to avoid the small hill of dolmen called Mané Braz whilst providing the alignments as a counting corridor-like cursus. Below the eastern extremity of the alignments lies the tumulus and dolmen of Mané Groh and one can see its bearing, on Google Earth, as being 18.4 degrees south of east whilst its distance, from stone left of the entrance to Kerzerho, divides by 235 feet 32 times. Thus, if a unit of 32 feet is used, then the distance to Mané Groh is 32 times the distance across Kerzerho's diagonal and it too marks the Metonic period.