Travels

No stone left untoured!

Posted

Friday 14 June 2019

“Al, we get the ‘3000 stones around Carnac’ thing, but did you really need to photograph every one?”

I cycled a circuit of prehistoric sites today. I’ve seen a few rock stars.

I stopped off at the Saint Michael tumulus.

At 30m is the highest point in Carnac. The mound was built over six thousand years ago and covers a funerary structure of tunnels that have been excavated.

On to the Locmariaquer megaliths about 13 km away. The scale best appreciated from above.

The site consists of three edifices. The tumulus Er Grah, was originally 140m long but housed just one burial chamber,

covered by the large stone.

The Breton name for the structure, Er Vinglé, or quarry, gives a clue about the missing stone.

Quite a structure for one person. Enough of the self-effacing ‘just toss me in a skip’, I don’t think it unreasonable for my family to do the same for me when my time comes!

The circular structure is the Table of Marchand dolmen erected about 3900 BCE.

The rear slab,

is in its original position so the dolmen was built around it. More recycled stone makes the roof.

No, the engraving is not that. Apparently, it’s an axe.

There is the lower part of an ox on the roof as well. The roof is the middle of a large stone that broke into three pieces. The lower part, with the rest of the carving, has been found 4 km away as the roof of another dolmen. The upper part is the roof of the Er Gras tumulus.

Quite a cosy place.

The broken roof rock is thought to have come from a row of 18 menhirs that led to the Great Menhir, their post holes can be seen on the satellite image.

The Great Menhir was 20m tall, the biggest in the region. The theory is an earthquake caused it to split, the top falling one way and breaking into three, pushing the bottom

the other way.

The nearest source for the stone for the menhir is 10 km away over hills and water. Somebody really wanted that rock there!

Back on the bike for the return journey I swung by the dolmen of Kerleskan,

the Quadrilatère du Manio,

here’s the ‘quadrilateral’

the Tumulus de Kercado,

another cosy place,

all of which lay either side of the seemingly endless alignments.

As I looked at row upon row of stones, it occurred to me there must have been a hell of a lot of “to me, to you!” going on, and now I can’t get the image of the Chuckle Brothers dressed in skins out of my mind.

And there’s more.

“Stone me! Please, no more!”

OK.

Rock on!

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