Mané Rutual symbol

This symbol was named after the Mané Rutual (also known as Mané Rutuel or Mané Rethuel) chambered cairn where is was first found. It is also called 'Mane Rutual axe' or 'plough axe'.


The symbol is found in a number of megalithic cairns. Although there is believe that some (if not all) carvings are on re-utilised stelae.

Name comment
Mané Rutual Orthostat of Mané Rutual cairn
Mané Rutual capstone of Mané Rutual cairn (after Twohig)
Penhape Orthostat from Penhape chambered cairn, Ile aux Moines (after Minot)
Gavrinis capstone of Gavrinis chambered cairn is the middle piece of a stele fitting onto the capstone of the Table des Marchands. The carvings on the upper side and not visible in the chamber.
Kercado capstone of Kercado chambered cairn


The symbol has been interpreted as a special type of axe that might be used as a kind of plough (Le Rouzic).

More recently Cassen [Cassen04] associated the symbol with a spouting whale. Cassen also includes the symbol on the back of the Mané Lud cairn in his considerations, which forms the least abstract form of the symbol.

Whale interpretation
Cassen's interpretation of a spouting whale (from [Cassen04])


  • [Cassen04] Serge Cassen, 'Pigeon-raven, snake and sperm whale, magical objects and domestic horned. The division of the world during the early Neolithic of western France', Proc. of the 11th Neolithic Seminar, 2004, pdf