Are you even a little curious about Mausoleum? As you may soon perceive, I am curious about many things, and am constantly eager to bring out fascinating facts I dig up online. Reality being what it is… my university students and associates bring various sites to my attention, so I aim to share them as soon as possible. In fact, often our regional secondary school student volunteers bring in their preferred online findings. Either way, I like to bring these things to our blog so you may learn, and help us all discover a bit more about Mausoleum.
Let me share one thing before we go too far, several of those who are persistent followers of my posts will recognize this, however, I like to share it since individuals repost my content on their various sites accounts, I include this in to bring my story to each brand-new website on which it is shared. Maybe a bit unusual to believe, I know, but my Harvard-educated mother was a stay-at-home-mom until I was 18. She poured her hunger for knowing, puzzle-solving, and similar interests into my mind. My mom built into my soul a desire for a lifetime of learning, and I enjoy it! Have you currently seen that in me? I think of so, due to the fact that it distinctively certifies me to bring intriguing and relevant info to you, one post by post, over time.
Be realistic, OK? Who could say no to Mausoleum? You will quickly seen that I have been an avid student of this category for decades now, going to conferences and attending local meet-up groups. My hobbies and interests are fairly different, and it develops an intriguing life, and each day is a brand-new adventure! In fact, my family has actually been interested in all this for a very long time, so you might say I grew up with it, and I am proud of all the things my dad, mom, and extended family built into my mind to make me the individual I am today.
Red Square in pre-revolutionary Moscow was a typical trade square with the usual willow market before the Easter. In the course of the October Revolution Bolsheviks buried 238 dead bodies right along one of the walls in Red Square, and at once this laid a revolutionary ritual cemetery status to the Easter square. The first public rallies, demonstrations took place here, at the mass grave, as public oaths of allegiance to the new political regime. After Moscow had turned into the capital, Red Square automatically got the status of the main cemetery of the Soviet Republic. A separate grave in Red Square was given to one of the party leaders Yakov Sverdlov in 1919. Later, in 1920, the American journalist John Rid was buried there. That’s why it went without saying that Lenin must be buried in Red Square when he died. By the day of Lenin`s funeral, 24 January 1924, there was built a temporary wooden mausoleum for the leader’s coffin. The marble and granite mausoleum with speaker tribunes we can see now appeared in 1930 and became an innovative complex consisting of a dead body, tribunes and parade marches.
First days after Lenin`s death no one intended to embalm his body – authorities relied on severe frosts. However, numerous delegations from all around the country and telegrams from workers asking to show the body of Lenin to the whole world gave an impetus to perpetuate the body and not commit it to earth.
The widow and sisters of Lenin were strongly against making a “doll” of Lenin, but they remained unheard, as a propaganda effect was more powerful than common sense. Nevertheless, Soviet medics managed to operationally cope with the unique task of embalmment and a red Soviet pharaoh appeared in Moscow.
70 years later
After the USSR collapse Lenin cult’s time was over and there the talks about the mausoleum’s propriety started. There appeared the idea to demolish the mausoleum, commit Lenin`s body to earth near his mother’s grave in St. Petersburg and also to get rid of the cemetery of Soviet political leaders in the centre of Moscow. Recently the Russian Academy of Sciences has rigorously spoken out on the historical activity of Vladimir Lenin and has called to bury the body, demolish the mausoleum and replace it with a monument to Minin and Pozharsky.
However, the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences expresses perplexity about the opinion his colleagues presented: “Academic institutes must be engaged into dealing with science, but when they make a political judgement as a respond to a public organization – it clearly looks like someone’s command”.
The opinions on whether the body of Lenin must remain in the Mausoleum or to be buried vary from extremely radical to indifferent. Lenin`s burying supporters think it is not in Russian and European traditions to make a dead body open to the inspection of everybody, while those who wants Lenin Mausoleum remain in Red Square say it is still one of the places of interest in Moscow, which is not a hindrance to anyone.
Who were the Megalith Builders? Archaeologists agree about the independent origin of European megalithism, but neither about the origin nor the kind of relationship, if any, existent among the various megalithic areas. The typical “diffusionist-inventionist” controversy is very present at this case. Diffusionists emphasize the role of diffusion, i.e. the spread of cultural elements from one area or group of people to others by contact, rather than independent invention or discovery. The discussion becomes very subtle in megalithism because it is not clear where the borderlines (and of what kind) lied among the European Neolithic inhabitants, and to which extent these people were able to travel and interact among each others.
Based on the interpretation of the physical archaeological remains, Euan Mackie proposes the existence of a consistent tradition carried across Neolithic Britain by a theocratic elite, whereas mainstream archaeologists prefer the idea of local not-well communicated chiefdoms.
My research aligns with MacKie’s side, and goes much further. In this article, I am going to deal with the largest and most spectacular among the megalithic monuments: the Alignments of Carnac. This extraordinary site of Brittany (peninsula of NW France) contains only itself more than 3,000 standing stones, huge granite menhirs aligned in several rows along approximately 4 km, divided into three main modules and a last one much smaller and degraded.
Many hypotheses have been raised, some really unusual, to explain the purpose of these alignments; for example, an antiquarian of the last century suggested that it could be the fossil of a large snake. Others suggested that it might be a Roman camp, or a way to temples disappeared, or even a prehistoric earthquake detector. A local legend says that they were Roman soldiers petrified by God while they were chasing St Cornelius, the local saint. Alexander Thom proposed, as he did with many other megalithic monuments, that they could have been an ancient astronomical observatory. However, the most accepted hypothesis is that they formed a huge necropolis; in fact, in the vicinity of the alignments there are several mounds with a more obvious funerary purpose, such as that of Saint-Michel, one of the oldest in the world.
A colossal monument such as the Alignments of Carnac necessarily require an equally colossal labor in its construction. Archaeology is faced with the dilemma of finding a megalithic society that complies with the grandeur of its monuments. What type of social organization would allow such a display? We should keep in mind that we are talking about the fourth millennia BC, i.e. the European Megaliths Builders preceded those considered as the earliest civilizations (Mesopotamia and Egypt).
Based on the mainstream hypothesis of Carnac being a necropolis, and in the fact that the employ of large amounts of manual labor is a typical characteristic of hierarchical societies, it can be speculated about the rocks having a representational function, each one representing one leader.
The sad incident of the disappearance of some of the stones impedes to be precise, though it could still be interesting to make a rough calculation with at least the three main modules. Le Ménec is the most western one, with 1,100 menhirs in 11 rows that would, therefore, represent 100 leaders of a confederation of 11 chiefdoms. Kermario has 982 menhirs in 10 rows, indicating again another 100 leaders of a confederation of 10 chiefdoms, and Kerlescan has about 550 menhirs in 13 rows, and would represent half the number than the two previous modules (50 leaders).
The height of the menhirs decreases from west to east in each of the modules, which could be explained assuming that the time direction moved also from west to east, because it seems more reasonable to expect that the previous leaders were more revered. If this is so, Le Ménec would be the representational mausoleum of the first 100 leaders, Kermario of the next 100, and Kerlescan of the last 50 (of each chiefdom). At this point in the history of the confederation, the mausoleum would be continued in a much more reduced scale until its complete cessation, corresponding this terminal phase to the module of Le Petit-Ménec. In conclusion, we could round all this calculation to a confederation of ten or so chiefdoms, that lasted along 250 successive leaders.
There is no a clear date of construction for this monument, which, given the huge amount of labor and corresponding extend of time that it had to require, is not surprising, though it is estimated that its main phase of construction took place along the final centuries of the 4th millennium BC. Therefore, we could propose that this was about the time its builders decided to immortalize in stone their records, a work that they would continue in the following centuries, at the same time that they added the successive leaders of their present epoch.
If we now consider the 3,000 years of megalithic phenomenon in Western Europe as the time span this confederation was effective, we would obtain that each leader would have ruled an average of 12 years (3,000/250). Obviously, if we were to choose a different time span, the result would be different; for instance, if we assume a longer time, stretching from 4800 to 1200 BC, as proposed by some authors, then we would obtain an average of 14.5 years per leader (3,600/250). The main point of this calculation is not to be precise, but to show that its outcome is reasonable.
In summary, here it is succinctly proposed a very simple and ground-breaking working hypothesis that presents the megalith builders as a culture politically organized in a confederation of about ten chiefdoms, who built the Alignments of Carnac as their “royal representational mausoleum,” each stone representing one of the leaders of their history.
Question: tell the truth. Are you frantically burnt out? Hopefully not! Thank you for reading my post! I know I am still excited to share all I’m finding out, and see this as far more than “Just doing a task,” so to state, due to the fact that I am pressing hard for a meaningful life, and find I love this outlet to expand my horizons. This is far more that just staying occupied or using-up my time, it’s an actual education!
For those who you are still curious about Mausoleum, then read-on with the other posts in this section. You now know I am curious about lots of things, and always excited to share intriguing facts I find online. I’ll remain to monitor my college students and colleagues to bring internet sites to my attention, so I will certainly share what they bring as quickly as possible.
Like I said previously, I would clearly be out of sorts if I did not have this site to share my passions on all the topics and training I discovered in private ventures. My beliefs are open for dispute, but I have to caution you that I have studied this subject for a long, long time and have seen numerous elegant ideas come and go. Make sure to share a a number of data-points when you send your conflicting perspectives.
Cheers! I very much appreciate your valued hours in evaluating this Mausoleum info, and I look forward to “seeing you” here once again very soon!
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