Menhir

Name:

Menhir

Material:

Mammoth ivory carving

Description:



A menhir is a large upright standing stone. The function of Menhirs has provoked more debate than practically any other issue in European pre-history. Over the centuries they have variously been thought to have been used by Druids for sacrifices, used as territorial markers or elements of a complex ideological system, or functioned as early calendars. Until recently, menhirs were associated with the Beaker people, who inhabited Europe during the later third millennium BC; the European late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. 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. Many menhirs are 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. With the exception of the stone axe, none of these motifs are definite, and the name used to describe them is largely for convenience.


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