Category: france

The departure, Fécamp, 1949. Photographed by Willy Ronis.

The departure, Fécamp, 1949. Photographed by Willy Ronis.

Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1958. Photographed by Kees Scherer.

Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1958. Photographed by Kees Scherer.

France in the early photography: 26 rare and fascinating photos…

France in the early photography: 26 rare and fascinating photos of French people from the 1840s.

Bibi au Palais de la Méditerranée, Nice, 1929. Photographed by…

Bibi au Palais de la Méditerranée, Nice, 1929. Photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartigue.

50 amazing photos capture street scenes of Paris around 1900.

50 amazing photos capture street scenes of Paris around 1900.

Where Did European Megaliths Come From?

A recent Bayesian analysis of some 35,000 surviving megaliths from across Europe used radiocarbon dates, cultural material, and information about burial rites to estimate a chronological sequence for the megaliths.

The results suggested that megaliths first emerged in northwestern France, and spread over sea routes. “Megaliths,” for this study, included megalithic tombs, standing stones, and stone circles. They were largely built in or near coastal areas during the Neolithic and Copper Ages, supporting a sea-borne spread. And surviving megaliths, though as far apart as Sweden, Spain, and Malta, often share similar structural features. It made archaeologists suspect they were related, which was also confirmed by the statistics.

Right now, the evidence suggests that the first megaliths were dolmens – giant standing stones covered with a mound of earth or stone – built in northwestern France. Some of these were built as early as 4792 BCE. That region is also home to pre-megalithic graves and transitional structures similar to, but not yet quite, dolmens. Other regions have megaliths but they also have other forms of burials, and they have no transitional structures that appear to be evolving into megaliths. The weight of the evidence, at least the evidence available for this latest Bayesian analysis, supports a French birthplace for megaliths. 

Bar du Soleil, Deauville, France, 1964. Photographed by Leonard…

Bar du Soleil, Deauville, France, 1964. Photographed by Leonard Freed.

Sunday morning on the Champs Elysees, 1951. Photographed by Bert…

Sunday morning on the Champs Elysees, 1951. Photographed by Bert Hardy.

A quiet wedding, Montrouge, Paris, 1945. Photographed by Robert…

A quiet wedding, Montrouge, Paris, 1945. Photographed by Robert Doisneau.

France, 1957. Photographed by Philippe Halsman.

France, 1957. Photographed by Philippe Halsman.