Carnac is arguably Europe’s most visually remarkable megalithic sites. It is situated near the town of the same name in Brittany. Many will have seen images of the rows of standing stones there, often unaware that there are four main sets of them close to Carnac as well as cromlechs and solitary menhirs, including the largest, Le Grand Menhir Brisé, now broken, but originally 70 ft long and weighing around 300 tons. In their 1978 book [1771.180], Alexander Thom and his son, Archie, in the conclusion to their book, in spite of their extensive studies of the stone rows, agreed that “we do not know what these were for” and although various theories have been proposed since, we still don’t.
Jean Markale presumed that there was a connection between Atlantis and the megalithic standing stones of Carnac in Brittany. Rather than solve these two mysteries, his book, Carnac et L’enigme de L’atlantide (Carnac and the Enigma of Atlantis)  would seem to deepen them.
Helmut Tributsch suggested that the island of Gavrinis near Carnac in Brittany had been the capital of this Atlantean civilisation(a). He dated the destruction of Atlantis to 2200 BC, a date also favoured by Anton Mifsud.
Hans-Pény Hirmenech expressed the wild idea that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Wikipedia notes that “A Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone.”(a)
Hank Harrison supports the idea of a megalithic Atlantis with its centre of power, probably located in the Morbihan area of Brittany.
Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.”(b) Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading authority, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(c).
The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven and later in a paper(l) published in Oxford Journal of Archaeology. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and he contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic. Of these, Iman Wilkens is arguably the best known advocate of an English location for Troy since 1990. In 2018, Gerard Janssen has added further support for Wilkens theory(k).
However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism. A more nuanced approach to the reality or otherwise of the ‘War’ is offered by Petros Koutoupis(j).
The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed an historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f).
Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!
Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II, proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs! In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in fact a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.
Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the ten-year War, using astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920’s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC. According to Eratosthenes the conflict lasted from 1193 to 1184 BC(m).
In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return Odysseus, ten years after the War(a). Stuart L. Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g), in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.
A new dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the Academia.edu website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return as 1207 BC.
What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.
Eric Cline has suggested that an earlier date is a possibility, as “scholars are now agreed that even within Homer’s Iliad there are accounts of warriors and events from centuries predating the traditional setting of the Trojan War in 1250 BC” [1005.40].
However, even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.
(d) https://www.mikamar.biz/rainbow11/mikamar/articles/troy.htm (offline) see Archive 2401
>(n) Atlantis, Volume 10 No. 3, March 1957<
Hans-Pény Hirmenech was the author of a 1906 book, in French, in which he reviewed possible connections between the Celts, Basques and Atlantis. He claimed that Atlantis had been situated in the North Sea and that Helgoland was a remnant of it.
Hirmenech expressed the wild idea that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War!
Hirmenech was a founding member of la Société Préhistorique Française (The Prehistoric Society of France)(a).
[I’m indebted to Stelios Pavlou for some details above.]
Manuel Vega (1967- ) was born in Spain and studied Chemistry there and later worked as a research scientist in America and Japan. He travelled widely in the Far East before returning to the United States where he spent five years training a Buddhist monk before resuming a more secular life.
In 2012 he published Sailors of Stonehenge in which he reviews the principal megalithic sites of Western Europe, including some interesting speculation. For example he describes the English Avebury complex as a site of ‘monarchical renewal’ and proposes related ceremonies at Stonehenge. Another of what I consider his more fanciful ideas is his suggestion that Ireland’s Boyne Valley, which includes Newgrange, was used as a ‘royal funerary complex’ for dead English kings! He maintains that the location of many of these sites was determined by the position of astronomical features in the night sky.
Vega ends the book with a chapter on Atlantis, which he locates in the Atlantic and identifies the Atlanteans as the Megalith Builders. “By the end of the 4th millennium BC they designed a huge celestial mirror over the Atlantic territories, which served to regulate themselves politically and religiously (implementing Heavens on Earth). The largest and most unique constructions, such as those at Carnac, Avebury, Stonehenge and Newgrange, were royal monuments erected at key sites of this celestial mirror according to a megalithic technology designed to attain the rebirth of the sacrificed kings again as princes, keeping an unbroken royal lineage.”
* Vega returned to the subject of the megalith builders in 2015 with the publication of Voyage Zero. However, in 2017 he became even more contentious in Madrid is Atlantis, which as the title implies, claims that Atlantis was located in the vicinity of the author’s native city.*
I found it very hard to accept most of his claims.
Those interested in reading more of Vega’s ideas can read his blogs(a).
Brittany in northwestern France is sometimes referred to as Little or Lesser Britain. It is one of the most exciting regions of Megalithic Europe. The stone rows of Carnac are unequalled, Le Grand Menhir Brisé was once the largest standing stone in Europe, while Morbihan contains a huge number of dolmens and standing stones.2019 saw a report that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data present, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (b) Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge’s leading, authority, has endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(c).
The earliest suggestion that Atlantis may have been the connected with the Armorican peninsula came from François Gidon in the 1930’s when he proposed that Atlantis had been situated on an exposed Celtic Shelf stretching from Brittany to Ireland. Unfortunately, he dates the submergence of this land to between 3000 and 1200 BC, which was millennia after that part of the Celtic Shelf had been inundated by the Flandrian Transgression.
Jean Markle was convinced that the Carnac stone were connected with Atlantis. Recently, Sylvain Tristan followed the work of Jean Deruelle in supporting a megalithic Atlantis. Further support has come from Alfred deGrazia and Helmut Tributsch who saw Megalithic Europe as Atlantis with the island of Gavrinis in Brittany as its capital.
The American researcher, Hank Harrison, considers the Morbihan départment as a significant Atlantean location if not the home of its capital.
(a) See: Archive 2501
Jean Markale (1928-2008) was the pen-name of Jean Bertrand, a French writer and teacher who wrote extensively on a wide range of pre- Christian and medieval subjects. He presumed that there was a connection between Atlantis and the megalithic standing stones of Carnac in Brittany. Rather than solve these two mysteries, his book would seem to deepen them. His scholarship has been seriously brought into question by his critics.