Most people have knowledge of Stonehenge; without question the daddy of Neolithic sites. A sprinkling know of Carnac; over 3000 carefully aligned stones – some of monolithic proportions, erected between 3300 – 4500 BC near the village of Carnac in France. Fewer still have uttered the word  Gavrinis.

Gavrinis, a tiny island off the coast of Brittany in France clung to the mainland between 3,500 and 5,000 BC., a time defined by burial tomb construction. Not more than a bumpy  outcropping of rock (750 by 400 meters) uninhabited Gavrinis slept undiscovered until 1835 when French archaeologists started poking about a sunken burial tunnel entrance. Serious excavation began in the 1930s.

Gavrinis defies explanation. Over 50 stone slabs form the entrance tunnel and inner chamber – curiously carved slabs begging for stand at attention while humming the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey reverence. Gut reaction to a mind blowing epic – Gavrinis is no ordinary Neolithic site..

Roughly half the slabs boast intricate carvings resembling fingerprints. Mathematicians  believe it’s a code of sorts. Computer analysis dropped a bombshell – patterns represent the number of days in a year, references to solstice and equinoxes, an exact longitude and latitude of the island, and the “mathematical constant Pi”.

Much as this makes me grin from ear to ear, I have to admit not everyone is on board.  Many mysteries of the ancient world find themselves living on book shelves in “wing nut” land. Irrefutable archaeological evidence hasn’t taken Gobekli Tepe or Puma Punku off the crazy shelf and into mainstream consciousness. If 16th century Turkish admiral Piri Reis could produce a map of Antarctica, precisely as it would appear without ice, yet wallow in conspiracy land – it’s doubtful Neolithic people at Gavrinis coding “Pi” into fingerprint carvings will make a ripple.

Call me a pondering fool, I don’t care.Not for a second do I entertain the notion “alien” or otherworldly intervention had anything to do with ancient head scratchers. I’m going to fall asleep with a silly little grin; content in the knowledge that ancient civilizations kicked ass.

18 thoughts on “Gavrinis

  1. Ok I will call you a pondering fool. If all the ancient civilizations were so smart why was the majority of that knowledge not passed on to the next generation. I know the sudden and unexplained death of these civilizations ties every thing up nicely for us to sleep well at night. I just don’t buy the whole theory that in some way nothing was passed on to the next generation.

    • Ancient history often defies explanation.Dusty history text books teach the masses that Mesopotamia was the cradle of civilization. Gobekli Tepe was constructed 5000 years earlier. Puma Punku in Bolivia is considered the oldest monolithic archaeological site on earth. Dating back perhaps as much as 10,000 year before Mesopotamia. Perched on the top of a mountain plateau, massive stones weighing up to 100 tons were quarried miles away, transported up the side of this mountain before these people had the wheel or anything other than stone tools.

      You voice scepticism because you can’t imagine some of their knowledge being passed on. In south america the Spanish managed to all but obliterate Inca, Aztec, and Maya history. So many events left to our imaginations. How about Piri Reis? In 1513 he drew a map that included the coastline of Antarctica before covered in miles of ice. Something that happened 15,000 years ago.He claims to have copied it from an vague earlier map of undetermined origin, which has never been found.Thermal imaging by NASA confirms beyond any doubt that his map is accurate.There is no explanation, yet the fact is irrefutable.

      Pondering ancient history blows my mind, drops my jaw and leaves me shouting holy crap. Spending time learning about mysteries that elude explanation doesn’t make me a conspiracy or dreaded “ancient alien” nut job. Focusing on proven scientific research – be it carbon dating or thermal imaging – leaves me shaking my head in disbelief. Just because we don’t know how or why, can’t erase the fact it happened.

      Hugs 🙂

    • Certainly ‘they’ did things that we’d be a wee bit challenged to replicate today. Or explain.

      Our beloved archaeologists glibly babble about building pyramids and wondrous works out of stone using soft metal tools or hand-held wee hard boulders—but none of them try it, do they? Hell all you need is a few rocks and twenty thousand slaves— (Eh? Wot? Not slaves? Damn! Why wasn’t I told? You mean all my teachers were wrong? Sheesh!) …

  2. In what coordinate system are the longitude and latitude of Gavrinis recorded? Presumably it could not be the one used today, since the Royal Observatory at Greenwich was not commissioned until 1675 and its longitude was not selected as the global prime meridian until 1884 (after which the French, current landlords of Gavrinis, continued using the Paris prime meridian until 1911). Also, to how many decimal places is Pi calculated on the stones? Thanks.

    • Both excellent questions – I confess I don’t have the answers. My research always ends up at the same place; claims of these facts without explanation. If you manage to dig up answers I would love to hear them.

  3. The heights to which previous civilizations have risen are themselves proofs — the fact that these proofs don’t rise to the arbitrary tests that 21st Century critics apply does not, I think, take anything away from their glory.

    Keep pondering.

    As I said before this thing about passing on information to future generations is a test of civilization that I have come to think is not all that good of a thing. We are able to build, generation after generation on the results of those who went before but the more I see how this works out the more I think that what we pass on is the least desirable of the things we COULD pass on. We don’t pas son culture, we pass on greed. (excuse the exaggeration and hyperbole)

    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

  4. I shall remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of my work but I have worked at Gavrinis with other scientists and intelligence officials for nearly 2 decades. And I know its secrets as well as any of my fellows. One mystery has continued to elude us though. It is what we call the 63rd enigma. It begins occurring at a distance of 3 permutations of 63 into the structure. Once this far within the structure an individual begins to experience an uncontrollable double tap of the foot at every 63 steps. It is quite unnerving until the individual grows accustomed. We originally theorized it to be a psychosomatic initiated event but double blind testing later proved it occurs independently of the subjects knowledge of its existence. As of yet we still have no modal theories to adequately explain the event. Given recent peaks of talk concerning alien visitation speculation I felt compelled to post and inform that I and my colleagues who work daily with Gavrinis data are convinced we will eventually be able to propose a wholly rational theory that supports natural causes for Gavrinis, including the 63rd enigma.

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