Blog Post

The Giants of Prehistory: Cro-Magnon and the Ancient Monuments


Peering into the mists of prehistory, we discern figures as monumental as the structures they erected. The Cro-Magnons, our Homo Superior ancestors, tower over early European landscapes not only in their formidable physical stature but also through their enduring contributions to ancient engineering and societal development. This essay delves into how their exceptional physical and cognitive abilities enabled them to construct massive stone monuments across Northern Europe, reshaping our understanding of Stone Age capabilities.

Physical Attributes of the Cro-Magnons

The Cro-Magnons, synonymous with the first modern humans of the European Upper Paleolithic period, displayed remarkable physical traits. With an average height of 6’6″ and a weight of around 300 lbs, their robust builds were complemented by brains about 15% larger than modern humans. These enhanced physical and neurological features were crucial, empowering them to manipulate their environment and undertake monumental construction projects.

Giants of Prehistory: Cro-Magnon
Largest of the Homo species

Technological Mastery and Monumental Construction

Contrary to the traditional view of prehistoric peoples as mere hunter-gatherers, the Cro-Magnons were sophisticated tool users with a profound understanding of their landscape. They harnessed their physical robustness and superior cognitive abilities to engineer tools and devise strategies for moving and erecting stones weighing over 20 tonnes. This capability is demonstrated by megalithic sites such as Stonehenge and Carnac, which stand as testaments to their architectural prowess.

The construction of these monuments involved more than sheer brute strength; it required an advanced understanding of engineering principles and effective teamwork. The ability to coordinate large groups for such projects suggests complex social structures and well-developed leadership capabilities within Cro-Magnon societies.

Maritime Mastery: Enhancing Construction and Connectivity

The most groundbreaking of the Cro-Magnons’ engineering achievements may have been their maritime technology development. As pioneering boat builders and sailors, they exploited waterways to transport themselves and the massive stones used in their megalithic constructions.

Giants of Prehistory: Cro-Magnon
Neolithic Catamaran

Boat-Building Innovations

The creation of boats marked a revolutionary expansion of human horizons. For the Cro-Magnons, boats were pivotal, transforming their interactions with the environment. Constructing durable, seaworthy vessels allowed them to navigate rivers and coastlines, facilitating the transport of heavy stones across extensive distances. The invention of the catamaran for transporting stones is a clear example of the level of engineering sophistication of this civilization that took thousands of years to duplicate after their demise. This innovation also reduced the physical strain and logistical complexity of moving large loads overland.

Navigational Skills and Waterway Exploitation

The Cro-Magnons’ strategic use of waterways suggests a sophisticated understanding of their environment. Their navigation skills, informed by knowledge of tides, currents, and seasonal water flows, were essential for the safe and efficient transportation of materials. This is why their sights are connected to astronomy and the moon, as tides are dictated by the moon’s movements over its twenty-eight-day cycle, which, as marine navigators, would be essential to comprehend. These skills imply a high level of environmental integration, enabling them to coordinate complex construction projects across vast distances.

Giants of Prehistory: Cro-Magnon
Reed Boat Catamarn

Impact on Trade and Cultural Exchange

Their mastery of maritime pathways extended beyond facilitating construction projects and promoted trade and cultural exchange among distant communities. By forging waterborne trade routes, the Cro-Magnons facilitated the exchange of goods and technological and cultural innovations across Europe, profoundly impacting the development of early human societies.

The Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Megalithic Structures

Beyond their architectural achievements, the megalithic structures built by the Cro-Magnons held deep cultural and spiritual significance. These sites likely served as centres for religious activities and social gatherings, reflecting their spiritual lives and communal values. The enduring nature of these sites indicates their significance across generations, serving as focal points for cultural transmission and collective memory.

Giants of Prehistory: Cro-Magnon
Using boats to transport the Bluestones

Conclusion: A Comprehensive View of Cro-Magnon Capabilities

The legacy of the Cro-Magnons is not confined to their physical remains but extends through the monumental stone structures they left behind. These structures were not merely the result of raw physical power but were born from a sophisticated blend of engineering knowledge, astronomical understanding, and complex social organization. As we continue to uncover more about these ancient builders, we gain a greater sense of our past and a profound appreciation for the ingenuity and strength of our ancestors. This reevaluation of Cro-Magnon’s capabilities invites us to reconsider the narrative of human progress and the true origins of civilization as we know it.

Further Reading

For information about British Prehistory, visit for the most extensive archaeology blogs and investigations collection, including modern LiDAR reports.  This site also includes extracts and articles from the Robert John Langdon Trilogy about Britain in the Prehistoric period, including titles such as The Stonehenge Enigma, Dawn of the Lost Civilisation and the ultimate proof of Post Glacial Flooding and the landscape we see today.

Robert John Langdon has also created a YouTube web channel with over 100 investigations and video documentaries to support his classic trilogy (Prehistoric Britain). He has also released a collection of strange coincidences that he calls ‘13 Things that Don’t Make Sense in History’ and his recent discovery of a lost Stone Avenue at Avebury in Wiltshire called ‘Silbury Avenue – the Lost Stone Avenue’.

Langdon has also produced a series of ‘shorts’, which are extracts from his main body of books:

The Ancient Mariners

Stonehenge Built 8300 BCE

Old Sarum

Prehistoric Rivers

Dykes ditches and Earthworks

Echoes of Atlantis

Homo Superior

Mysteries of the Oldest Boatyard Uncovered