Talk abstract details

Basque Stone Octagons Revisited
Roslyn Frank


The paper reviews the most recent findings from archival research and associated fieldwork conducted in the Basque region concerning the "stone octagon" complexes called 'sarobeak' which are found throughout Euskal Herria (Basque Country). These unusual stone complexes, some of which have been carbon-dated to the first century A.D., continued to be used into the latter part of the 20th century, while their geometry and dimensions were set by law in the Fueros, the Basque law codes. The paper is divided into three parts: 1) description of the architectural design of the sites (orientation of the stones, overall geometry and units of measurement used in their construction); 2) analysis of the socio-cultural embedding of the sites and their known uses and; 3) questions raised by the relationship of the Basque sites to other megalithic monuments in Euskal Herria and along the Atlantic Facade.