Their size can vary considerably, but their shape is generally uneven and squared, often tapering towards the top. Menhirs are widely distributed across Europe, The six sacred stones pdf free and Asia. 1,200 menhirs in northwest France alone.
Some menhirs have been erected next to buildings that often have an early or current religious significance. These are sites of ancient religious ceremonies, sometimes containing burial chambers. Until the nineteenth century, antiquarians did not have substantial knowledge of prehistory, and their only reference points were provided by classical literature. Almost nothing is known of the social organization or religious beliefs of the people who erected the menhirs. Identifying their uses remains speculative. However, recent research into the age of megaliths in Brittany strongly suggests a far older origin, perhaps back to six to seven thousand years ago. With the exception of the stone axe, none of these motifs are definite, and the name used to describe them is largely for convenience.
Christians, but it is estimated that some 50,000 megaliths once stood in Northern Europe, where almost 10,000 now remain. The stones are often included as part of a tomb construction. Norway and Sweden for a long time. Sometimes standing stone monuments are unrelated to known graves. It may be that they served as boundary markers.
In Sweden by the 13th century menhirs were erected as markers for the graves of warriors. The Swedes took his body and burnt it at a river called Skytaa, where a standing stone was raised over him. In Welsh, menhirs are called ‘Maen Hîr’ and they are scattered throughout Wales. Ireland is rich in menhirs, standing stones which are usually located in farmer’s fields and are heavily worn due to poor weather conditions and exposure to livestock. These are situated in Clendy and date back to the third millennium BC. Brittany stands out in the distribution of menhirs by virtue of both the density of monuments and the diversity of types. Brittany, where more than 3000 individual menhirs are arranged in four groups and arrayed in rows stretching across four kilometres.
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Each set is organised with the tallest stones at the western end and shorter ones at the eastern end. The period of occupation spans from the end of the Neolithic era and the beginning of the Bronze Age, until around the Roman times in Corsica. 500 menhirs have been reported. 2000 years after the menhir was originally built have been found. Serbia were marked by large boulders.