The modern archæologist, though speculating ad infinitum upon the dolmens and their builders, knows, in fact, nothing of them or their origin. Yet, these weird, and often colossal monuments of unhewn stones — which consist generally of four or seven gigantic blocks placed together — are strewn over Asia, Europe, America, and Africa, in groups or rows. Stones of enormous size are found placed horizontally and variously upon two, three, four, and as in Poitou, upon six and seven blocks. People name them “devil’s altars,” druidic stones, and giant tombs. The stones of Carnac in the Morbihan, Brittany — nearly a mile in length and numbering 11,000 ranged in eleven rows — are twin sisters of those at Stonehenge. The Conical menhir of Loch-Maria-ker in Morbihan, measures twenty yards in length and nearly two yards across. The Menhir of Champ Dolent (near St. Malo) rises thirty feet above the ground, and is fifteen feet in depth below. Such dolmens and prehistoric monuments are met with in almost every latitude. They are found in the Mediterranean basin; in Denmark (among the local tumuli from twenty-seven to thirty-five feet in height); in Shetland, and in Sweden, where they are called ganggriften (or tombs with corridors); in Germany, where they are known as the giant tombs (Hunengraben); in Spain (see the dolmen of Antiguera near Malaga), and Africa; in Palestine and Algeria; in Sardinia (see the Nuraghi and Sepolture dei giganti, or tombs of giants); in Malabar, in India, where they are called the tombs of the Daityas (giants) and of the Râkshasas, the men-demons of Lanka; in Russia and Siberia, where they are known as the Koorgan;in Peru and Bolivia, where they are termed the chulpas orburial places, etc., etc., etc.

There is no country from which they are absent. Who built them? Why are they all connected with Serpents and Dragons, with Alligators and Crocodiles? Because remains of “palæolithic man” were, it is thought, found in some of them, and because in the funeral mounds of America bodies of later races were discovered with the usual paraphernalia of bone necklaces, weapons, stone and copper urns, etc., hence they are declared ancient tombs. But surely the two famous mounds — one in the Mississippi valley and the other in Ohio — known respectively as “the Alligator Mound” and “the Great Serpent Mound,” were never meant for tombs 1 (Vide infra). Yet one is told authoritatively that the Mounds, and the Mound or Dolmen Builders, are all “Pelasgic” in Europe, antecedent to the Incas, in America, yet of “not extremely distant times.” They are built by “no race of Dolmen Builders,” which never existed (opinion of De Mortillet, Bastian, and Westropp) save in the earlier archæological fancy. Finally Virchow’s opinion of the giant tombs of Germany is now accepted as an axiom: “The tombs alone are gigantic, and not the bones they contain” — says that German biologist; and archæology has but to bow and submit to the decision. 2

That no gigantic skeletons have been hitherto found in the “tombs” is yet no reason to say there never were the remains of giants in them.Cremation was universal till a comparatively recent period — some 80, or 100,000 years ago. The real giants, moreover, were nearly all drowned with Atlantis. Nevertheless, the classics, as shown elsewhere, often speak of giant skeletons still excavated in their day. Besides this, human fossils may be counted on the fingers, as yet. No skeleton ever yet found is older than between 50, or 60,000 years, 3 and man’s size was reduced from 15 to 10 or 12 feet, ever since the third sub-race of the Aryan stock, which sub-race — born and developed in Europe and Asia Minor under new climates and conditions — had become European. Since then, as said, it has steadily been decreasing. It is truer therefore to say, that the tombs alone are archaic, and not necessarily the bodies of men occasionally found in them; and that those tombs, since they are gigantic, must have contained giants, 4 or rather the ashes of generations of giants.

Nor were all such cyclopean structures intended for sepulchres. It is with the so-called Druidical remains, such as Carnac in Brittany and Stonehenge in Great Britain, that the travelling Initiates above alluded to had to do. And these gigantic monuments are all symbolic records of the World’s history. They are not Druidical, but universal. Nor did the Druids build them, for they were only the heirs to the cyclopean lore left to them by generations of mighty builders and — “magicians,” both good and bad.

It will always be a subject of regret that history, rejecting a priori the actual existence of giants, has preserved us so little of the records of antiquity concerning them. Yet in nearly every mythology — which after all is ancient history — the giants play an important part. In the old Norse mythology, the giants, Skrymir and his brethren, against whom the sons of the gods fought, were potent factors in the histories of deities and men. The modern exegesis, that makes these giants to be the brethren of the dwarfs, and reduces the combats of the gods to the history of the development of the Aryan race, will only receive credence amongst the believers in the Aryan theory, as expounded by Max Müller. Granting that the Turanian races were typified by the dwarfs (Dwergar), and that a dark, round-headed, and dwarfish race was driven northward by the fair-faced Scandinavians, or Æsir, the gods being like unto men, there still exists neither in history nor any other scientific work any anthropological proof whatever of the existence in time or space of a race of giants. Yet that such exist, relatively and de facto side by side with dwarfs, Schweinfurth can testify. The Nyam-Nyam of Africa are regular dwarfs, while their next neighbours (several tribes of comparatively fair-complexioned Africans) are giants when confronted with the Nyam-Nyams, and very tall even among Europeans, for their women are all above 6 ½ feet high. (Vide Schweinfurth’s latest works.)

In Cornwall and in ancient Britain the traditions of these giants are, on the other hand, excessively common; they are said to live even down to the time of King Arthur. All this shows that giants lived to a later date amongst the Celtic than among the Teutonic peoples.

If we turn to the New World, we have traditions of a race of giants at Tarija on the eastern slopes of the Andes and in Ecuador, who combated gods and men. These old beliefs, which term certain localities “Los campos de los gigantes“the fields of giants,” are always concomitant with the existence of pliocene mammalia and the occurrence of pliocene raised beaches. “All the giants are not under Mount Ossa,” and it would be poor anthropology indeed that would restrict the traditions of giants to Greek and Bible mythologies. Slavonian countries, Russia especially, teem with legends about the bogaterey (mighty giants) of old; and their folklore, most of which has served for the foundation of national histories, their oldest songs, and their most archaic traditions, speak of the giants of old. Thus we may safely reject the modern theory that would make of the Titans mere symbols standing for cosmic forces. They were real living men, whether twenty or only twelve feet high. Even the Homeric heroes, who, of course, belonged to a far more recent period in the history of the races, appear to have wielded weapons of a size and weight beyond the strength of the strongest men of modern times.

“Not twice ten men the mighty bulk could raise,
Such men as live in these degenerate days.”

If the fossil footprints from Carson, Indiana, U.S.A., are human, they indicate gigantic men. Of their genuineness there can remain no doubt. It is to be deplored that the modem and scientific evidence for gigantic men should rest on footprints alone. Over and over again, the skeletons of hypothetical giants have been identified with those of elephants and mastodons. But all such blunders before the days of geology, and even the traveller’s tales of Sir John Mandeville, who says that he saw giants 56 feet high, in India, only show that belief in the existence of giants has never, at any time, died out of the thoughts of men.

1 We take the following description from a scientific work. “The first of these animals (the alligator) designed with considerable skill, is no less than 250 ft. long. . . . . The interior is formed of a heap of stones, over which the form has been moulded in fine stiff clay. The great serpent is represented with open mouth, in the act of swallowing an egg of which the diameter is 100 ft. in the thickest part; the body of the animal is wound in graceful curves and the tail is rolled into a spiral. The entire length of the animal is 1,100 ft. This work is unique . . . . and there is nothing on the old continent which offers any analogy to it.” Except its symbolism, however, of the Serpent — the cycle of Time — swallowing Kosmos, the egg.
2 It might be better, perhaps, for FACT had we more Specialists in Science and fewer “authorities” on universal questions. One never heard that Humboldt gave authoritative and final decisions in the matter of polypi, or the nature of an excrescence.
3 57,000 years is the date assigned by Dr. Dowler to the remains of the human skeleton, found buried beneath four ancient forests at New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi river.
4 Murray says of the Mediterranean barbarians that they marvelled at the prowess of theAtlanteans. “Their physical strength was extraordinary (witness indeed their cyclopean buildings), the earth shaking sometimes under their tread. Whatever they did, was done speedily. . . . . . They were wise and communicated their wisdom to men” (Mythology, p. 4).

The Secret Doctrine, ii 752–755
H. P. Blavatsky

The Venus Figurines of the European Paleolithic Era

Read the article by April Holloway here.
Read the article by April Holloway here.

The Venus figurines is a term given to a collection of prehistoric statuettes of women made during the Paleolithic Period, mostly found in Europe, but with finds as far as Siberia. To date, more than 200 of the figurines have been found, all of whom are portrayed with similar physical attributes, including curvaceous bodies with large breasts, bottoms, abdomen, hips, and thighs, and usually tapered at the top and bottom.  The heads are often of relatively small size and devoid of detail, and most are missing hands and feet. Some appear to represent pregnant women, while others show no such signs. There have been many different interpretations of the figurines, but none based on any kind of solid evidence. Like many prehistoric artifacts, the cultural meaning may never be known.

The Paleolithic period lasted from around 30,000 BC to 10,000 BC and is characterised by the emergence of human creativity. Man-made artifacts from this period show the very earliest signs of workmanship, from small personal adornments and cave paintings to the prevalent Venus figurines, which represent the earliest known works of figurative art.

The figurines were carved from all manner of different materials, ranging from soft stone (such as steatite, calcite, or limestone) to bone, ivory, or clay. The latter type are among the earliest ceramic works yet discovered.  The oldest statuette was uncovered in 2008 in Germany. The “Venus of Hohle Fels”, as the figure has since been called, was carved from a mammoth’s tusk and dates to at least 35,000 years old.

The size of the figurines ranges from 1.5 inches to 9.8 inches in height. They have mostly been discovered in settlement contexts, both in open-air sites and caves, and on rare occasions, they have been found in burials. Considering they were found all throughout Europe, and were sometimes separated by thousands of years, the general similarity of these sculptures is extraordinary.

A selection of some of the Venus figurines found throughout Europe

A selection of some of the Venus figurines found throughout Europe. Image source.

The term ‘Venus figurines’ is controversial in itself.  Inspired by Venus, the ancient Greek goddess of love, it assumes that the figures represent a goddess. Of course, this is one possible explanation, but it is just one of many interpretations that have been proposed.  A considerable diversity of opinion exists in the archeological and paleoanthropological literature regarding the possible functions and significance of these objects. Some of the different theories put forward include: fertility symbols, self-portraits, Stone Age dolls, realistic depictions of actual women, ideal representations of female beauty, religious icons, representations of a mother goddess, or even the equivalent of pornographic imagery.

According to Soffer, Adovasio, and Hyland (2000), the garments that many of the Venus figures have been found wearing, including basket hats, netted snoods, bandeaux, string skirts, and belts, were not typical Paleolithic day wear. The authors suggest that the garments are more likely ritual wear, real or imagined, which served as a signifier of distinct social categories.

Dixson and Dixson (2011) argue that it is unlikely that the figures were realistic representations of women.  At the time the statuettes were made, Europe was in the grip of a severe ice age and it is unlikely that obesity was a common feature. Instead, the authors proposed that the figures may have symbolized abundance and hope for survival and longevity, and for well-nourished and reproductively successful communities, during the harshest period of the major glaciation in Europe.

Unfortunately, the true meaning and purpose of these statuettes may never be known, leaving us to wonder why prehistoric people separated by significant time and distance created such similar figures, and what they really meant.



IS Science against those who maintain that down to the Quaternary period the distribution of the human races was widely different from what it is now? Is Science against those who, further, maintain that the fossil men found in Europe – although having almost reached a plane of sameness and unity from the fundamental physiological and anthropological aspects which continues till this day – still differ, sometimes greatly, from the type of the now existing populations. The late Littre confesses it in an article published by him on the Memoir calledAntiquités Celtiques et Antediluviennes by Boucher de Perthes (1849) – in theRevue des Deux Mondes (March1, 1859). He says in it (a) that in these periods when the Mammoths, exhumed with the hatchets in Picardy, lived in the latter region, there must have been an eternal spring reigning over all the terrestrial globe 1; nature was the contrary of what it is now – thus leaving an enormous margin for the antiquity of those periods” and then adds: (b) “Spring, professor of the Faculty of Medicine at Liege, found in a grotto near Namur, in the mountain of Chauvaux, numerous human bones ‘of a race quite distinct from ours.‘”

Skulls exhumed in Austria offered a great analogy with those of African negro races, according to Littre, while others, discovered on the shores of the Danube and the Rhine, resembled the skulls of the Caribs and those of the ancient inhabitants of Peru and Chili. Still, the Deluge,whether Biblical or Atlantean, was denied. But further geological discoveries having made Gaudry write conclusively: “Our forefathers were positively contemporaneous with the rhinoceros tichorrhinus, thehippopotamus major“,and add that the soil called diluvial in geology “was formed partially at least after man’s apparition on earth” – Littre pronounced himself finally. He then showed the necessity, before “the resurrection of so many old witnesses,” of rehandling all the origins, all the durations, and added that there was AN AGE hitherto unknown to study “either at the dawn of the actual epoch or, as I believe, at the beginning of the epoch which preceded it.

The types of the skulls found in Europe are of two kinds, as is well known: the orthognathous and the prognathous, or the Caucasian and the negro types, such as are now found only in the African and the lower savage tribes. Professor Heer – who argues that the facts of Botany necessitate the hypothesis of an Atlantis – has shown that the plants of the Neolithic lake-villagers are mainly of African origin. How did the latter come to be in Europe if there was no former point of union between Africa and Europe? How many thousand years ago did the seventeen men live whose skeletons were exhumed in the Department of the Haute Garonne, in a squatting posture near the remains of a coal fire, with some amulets and broken crockery around them, and in company with the bearspelæus, the Elephas primigenius, the aurochs (regarded by Cuvier as a distinct species), the Megaceros hibernicus – all antediluvian mammals? Certainly at a most distant epoch, but not one which carries us further back than the Quaternary. A much greater antiquity for Man has yet to be proved. Dr. James Hunt, the late President of the Anthropological Society, makes it 9,000,000 years. This man of science, at any rate, makes some approach to our esoteric computation, if we leave the first two semi-human, ethereal races, and the early Third Race out of the computation.

The question, however, arises – who were these Palæolithic men of the European quaternary epoch? Were they aboriginal, or the outcome of some immigration dating back into the unknown past? The latter is the only tenable hypothesis, as all scientists agree in eliminating Europe from the category of possible “cradles of mankind.” Whence, then, radiated the various successive streams of “primitive” men?

The earliest Palæolithic men in Europe – about whose origin Ethnology is silent, and whose very characteristics are but imperfectly known, though expatiated on as “ape-like” by imaginative writers such as Mr. Grant Allen – were of pure Atlantean and “Africo”-Atlantean stocks. 2 (It must be borne in mind that by this time the Atlantis continent itself was a dream of the past.) Europe in the quaternary epoch was very different from the Europe of to-day, being then only in process of formation. It was united to N. Africa – or rather what is now N. Africa – by a neck of land running across the present Straits of Gibraltar – N. Africa thus constituting a species of extension of Spain, while a broad sea washed the great basin of the Sahara. Of the great Atlantis, the main bulk of which sank in the Miocene, there remained only Ruta and Daitya and a stray island or so. The Atlantean connections of the forefathers 3 of the Palæolithic cave-men are evidenced by the upturning of fossil skulls (in Europe) reverting closely to the West Indian Carib and ancient Peruviantype – a mystery indeed to all those who refuse to sanction the “hypothesis” of a former Atlantic continent to bridge the ocean (Cf. “Scientific and geological proofs of the reality of several submerged continents”). What are we also to make of the fact that while de Quatrefages points to that “magnificent race,” the TALL Cro-Magnon cave-men and the Guanches ofthe Canary Islands as representatives of one type – Virchow also allies the Basques with the latter in a similar way? Professor Retzius independently proves the relationship of the aboriginalAmerican dolichocephalous tribes and these same Guanches. The several links in the chain of evidence are securely joined together. Legions of similar facts could be adduced. As to the African tribes – themselves diverging offshoots of Atlanteans modified by climate and conditions – they crossed into Europe over the peninsula which made the Mediterranean an inland sea. Fine races were many of these European cave-men; the Cro-Magnon, for instance. But, as was to be expected,progress is almost non-existent through the whole of the vast period allotted by Science to the Chipped Stone-Age. 4 The cyclic impulse downwardsweighs heavily on the stocks thus transplanted – the incubus of theAtlantean Karma is upon them. Finally, Palæolithic man makes room for his successor – and disappears almost entirely from the scene. Professor Lefevre asks in this connection:

“Has the Polished succeeded the Chipped Stone-Age by an imperceptible transition, or was it due to an invasion of brachycephalous Celts? But whether, again, the deterioration produced in the populations of La Vezere was the result of violent crossings, or of a general retreat northwards in the wake of the reindeer, is of little moment to us.” He continues:

“Meantime the bed of the ocean has been upheaved, Europe is now fully formed, her flora and fauna fixed. With the taming of the dog begins the pastoral life. We enter on those polished stone and bronze periods, which succeed each other at irregular intervals, which even overlap one another in the midst of ethnical fusions and migrations. . . . The primitive European populations are interrupted in their special evolution and, without perishing, become absorbed in other races, engulfed . . . by successive waves of migration overflowing from Africa, possibly from a lost Atlantis [?? far too late by æons of years] and from prolific Asia . . . all FORERUNNERS OF THE GREAT ARYAN INVASION” (Fifth Race).


1 Scientists now admit that Europe enjoyed in the Miocene times a warm, in the Pliocene or later Tertiary, a temperate climate. Littre’s contention as to the balmy spring of theQuaternary – to which deposits M. de Perthes’ discoveries of flint implements are traceable (since when the Somme has worn down its valley many scores of feet) – must be accepted with much reservation. The Somme-valley relics are post-glacial, and possibly point to the immigration of savages during one of the more temperate periods intervening betweenminor ages of Ice.
2 “Whence they (the old cave-men) came, we cannot tell” (Grant Allen).
The palæolithic hunters of the Somme Valley did not originate in that inhospitable climate, but moved into Europe from some more genial region – (Dr. Southall, “Epoch of the Mammoth“, p. 315).
3 The pure Atlantean stocks – of which the tall quaternary cave-men were, in part, the direct descendants – immigrated into Europe long prior to the Glacial Period; in fact as far back as the Pliocene and Miocene times in the Tertiary. The worked Miocene flints of Thenay, and the traces of Pliocene man discovered by Professor Capellini in Italy, are witnesses to the fact. These colonists were portions of the once glorious race, whose cycle from the Eocene downwards had been running down the scale.
4 The artistic skill displayed by the old cave-men renders the hypothesis which regards them as approximations to the “pithecanthropus alalus” – that very mythical Hæckelian monster – an absurdity requiring no Huxley or Schmidt to expose it. We see in their skill in engraving a gleam of Atlantean culture atavistically re-appearing. It will be remembered that Donnelly regards modern European as a renaissance of Atlantean civilization. (“Atlantis,” pp. 237-264.)


The Secret Doctrine, ii 737–741
H. P. Blavatsky