Jul 24, 2016

Tumulus d'Er Grah, Table des Marchand, Grand Menhir - Locmariaquer (France)

In Locmariaquer (Morbihan / Brittany) is a huge megalithic site with the Tumulus d'Er Grah, Table des Marchand and the broken Grand Menhir. This area is well restored and organised. At the entrance you can watch an interesting movie about the neolithic age and its megaliths.

Table des Marchand and Grand Menhir with Locmariaquer in the background

Official Website: http://www.site-megalithique-locmariaquer.fr/en/
Geographical coordinates: 47° 34´ N, 2° 57´W 

Tumulus and Dolmen d'Er Grah

The Tumulus and Dolmen d'Er Grah (aka Er Vinglé) is one of a few closed single graves of the megalithic age. The Dolmen was built appr. 4200 BC. Its endstone is to be seen on the top of the Tumulus.   
The Tumulus has a length of 140m and the width varies from 16m to 26m. It must been one of the hugest in Brittany. The stones are from local granite and orthogneiss was used for the endstone.


Table des Marchand

This sight (aka An Daol Varchant) was built appr. 3900 BC. although the flag stone is older than the Dolmen. This stone with height of 3,20m has engravings on both sides. There are shown 49 crooks.  
The capstone has engravings of a plough and the forelegs, breast and parts of the head of a cattle. Its horns seem to be engraved in another part of the capstone in Gavrini. This stone in Locmariaquer is the lowest part of a menhir which middle part belongs to the Dolmen de Gavrini and the upper part is maybe the capstone of the Dolmen d'Er Grah. 
During an extensive reconstruction the Tumulus and the double-stage cairn were rebuilt. 

Endstone with engraving of 49 crooks
Capstone with the engravings of a plough and parts of a cattle

Grand Menhir brisé

Beside the Table des Marchand four fragments of the Grand Menhir are situated and very well known as the world's biggest menhir. It is more than 20m long with a weight of 280 tons. It consists of orthogneiss which is not to be found on the peninsula of Locmariaquer. 
Behind the Grand Menhir another 18 smaller menhirs had been standing in former times. This alignment was built around 4500 BC and was destroyed between 4300 and 4200 BC. There is no hint on reason or initiator.  

May 23, 2016

Dolmen de Mané Lud - Locmariaquer (France)

The Dolmen de Mané Lud is one of the biggest and most important megalithic monuments in Brittany. It is situated at the highest point in the peninsula in Locmariaquer - surrounded by trees and old houses in a nice and quiet area far away from tourism.

Actually the Dolmen is part of a Tumulus of 80m length, 50m width and 5m height. The corridor has a length of 10m but only 5m are covered with stones. Dimensions of the chamber are 4m x 3m and a maximum height of 1,80m. The capstone of the Dolmen has a length of 8,30m, width of 4m and height of 0,5m but it is broken in two pieces.

In the Dolmen skeletal remains of two humans, pottery sherds and flintstone were found.
The very special in this Dolmen are several carvings in the end stones and the floor plate but not on the ones consisting from granite only from orthogneiss. They seem to show a whale blowing water (interpreted by Serge Cassen).
There are similar carvings at Gavrini. The smaler carvings look like Báculos (crooks).

Geographical coordinates: 47°34'26.3"N / 2°57'03.7"W

The Tumulus with the Dolmen on its top
View from the top of the Tumulus with one large top stone
The Dolmen from above with its entrance on the left
Dolmen to right and house left
End stone with whale carvings
View from inside through the corridor
Top stones of the Dolmen

May 21, 2016

Dolmen de Kergavat (Er Roc'h) - Plouharnel (France)

Along the street D781 south of Plouharnel you can find the Dolmen de Kergavat (also called Er Roc'h or Kergouvat). It is situated next to the street but there is no information sign next to the dolmen.
The size of the chamber is app. 4m x 3m.

Apr 10, 2016

Géant de Manio / Quadrilatère de Manio - Carnac (France)

Along the stone rows of Carnac to the east the "Quadrilatère de Manio" and the "Géant de Manio" are to be found.
Both are dated to the neolithical age of about 4.500 B.C. and were discovered at the beginning of the 20th century.

The quadrilateral enclosure of local granite stones have a height of max. 1 meter. The length of the site is about 37 meters, the eastern width is app. 10 meters but western width app. 7 meters. It was supposed to be a surrounding of a flattened tumulus.  

"Géant de Manio", the menhir next to the Quadrilatère, has a height of app. 6,5 meters. A legend says: If you throw a pebble onto the top of the menhir AND it remains on it, you have a free wish ...

Quadrilatère de Manio

Menhir Géant de Manio
Stones on top of the Géant

Mar 15, 2016

Tumulus St. Michel - Carnac (France)

From a distance the Tumulus of St. Michel looks like a huge hill but it is one of the biggest grave hills in Europe and situated in the east of Carnac. The Tumulus has dimensions of 125m length, 60m width and 10m height. Inside the Tumulus is a closed chamber where burnt human bones were found. In the 13 stone cists around this chamber furthermore remains of burnt animals bones, axes, pendants were found.
Unfortunately it is not possible to have a look into the Tumulus.
During the 17th century the chapel was built on the hill. There is also a christian cross next to it. Its erection dates back to the 16th century.
Geographic coordinates: 47° 35′ 17″ N, 3° 4′ 25″ W

side entrance (closed) to the Tumulus

Menhir, back entrance (closed) and stairway to the top of the Tumulus

Christian cross and overview to the west from the top of the Tumulus
Christian cross, chapel and overview to the east
Cross with crucifixion