This article explores the use of axe motifs within a form of carved schematic art unique to the megalithic monuments near Carnac, southern Brittany, France. First published in February 2014.
A diagram found on the underside of the capstone
of a chambered dolmen called Kercado (see figure 1) appears to hold
metrological and astronomical meanings. Classified as a type of AXE, local axe
motifs are said to have three distinct forms (a) triangular blades, (b) hafted
axes and (c) the Mane Ruthual type [Twohig, 1981].
Types b and c are often found in the singular on
the undersides to roof slabs and in the case of form (b), the hafted axe, I
have attributed its display below the roof slab of Table des Marchands at Locmariaquer (inset right) as being used to
represent the north pole between 5000 and 4000 BC, at a time when there was no
star near to the pole itself. The abstract point of the north pole, the
rotational axis of the earth, is shown as a loop attached to the base of the axe
haft, whilst the axe head then represented a chosen circumpolar star, as this
rotates counter-clockwise in the northern sky, at the fixed distance of the
haft from the pole itself. Note how compatible this idea of an axe ploughing
the northern skies is to our own circumpolar constellation, The Plough. Note
also that the eastern horizon moves through the equatorial stars at the same
angular rate as the marker star moves around the north pole.
Sacred Number and the Lords of Time interpreted Thom’s megalithic fathom of 6.8 feet (as 2.72 feet times 2.5) found at Carnac’s Alignments as a useful number of 82 day-inches between stones in the stone rows of Le Menec. After 82 days, the moon is in almost exactly the same place, amongst the stars, because its orbit of 27.32166 days is nearly 27 and one third days. Three orbits sums to nearly 82 days. But the phase of the moon at that repeated place in the sky will be different.
In a previous article, the 7,500 foot-long Erdevan alignments were seen to have been a long count of the Saros period of 19 eclipse years versus the distance to Mane Groh dolmen of 19 solar years, this probably conceptualized as an 18-19-6 near-Pythagorean triangle, whose inner angle is the bearing from east of Mané Groh. However, the path directly east caused the actual alignments, counting the Saros, to veer south to miss the hill of Mané Bras.
It has been remarked that the form of the northern alignments of Edeven were similar
to those starting at Le Menec’s egg-shaped stone circle 4.25 miles away, at a
bearing 45 degrees southeast. Whilst huge gaps have been caused in those of
Edeven by agriculture, the iconic Le Menec alignments seem to have fared better
than the alignments of Kermario, Kerlescan and Petit Menec which follow it
east, these being known as the Carnac Alignments above the town of that name.
One similarity between alignments is the idea of starting and terminating them with ancillary structures such as cromlechs (stone kerb monuments), such as the Le Menec egg and, despite road incursion, a3-4-5 structure similar to Crucuno, aligned to the midsummer sunset by a length 235 feet long. This is the number of lunar months in the 19 year Metonic period and is factored 5 times 47. Another similarity may be seen in Cambray’s 1805 drawing of these Kerzerho alignments, at the head of ten stone rows marching east (figure 1).