| 8 July 2006
Over 60 standing stones unearthed in Brittany
About 60 standing stones, some of them nearly 2 metres tall, have been unearthed in Kerdruelland, near Belz (Morbihan, Brittany), a few kilometres from Carnac. The standing stones are lying on the ground and they date to the Early Neolithic, or about 5000 BCE. The newly found stones are of great interest, mainly because their stone sockets - the holes in which they were placed when standing - are intact.
"It's an exceptional discovery, because for the first time we can make a modern excavation, working on the original sedimentary environment" Jean-Paul Demoule de l'Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap) said. Actually, the megaliths were found under a layer of sediments that helped to protect them, and inside it were also found pottery sherds and pieces of silex.
More than half of the 60 stones lying on the 3000 square metre site have been found intact, while the others have been damaged and removed laer to become part of country houses or field walls. Among those found intatct, 40 stones are 1.5m tall, 9 are more than 1.8m tall and one is 2m tall, Christine Boujot - archaologists of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - said. Another surprising detail is that all the stones have been overturned about 4000 years ago, and 75% of them are aligned on the same direction: Northwest-Southwest.
Sources: Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives (28 June 2006), Le Monde, TSR (1 July 2006)
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