Locmariaquer Megaliths

Locmariaquer, France

The Locmariaquer megaliths are a complex of Neolithic constructions. They comprise the elaborate Er-Grah tumulus passage grave, a dolmen known as the 'Table des Marchand' (Merchant's Table) and 'The Broken Menhir of Er Grah', the largest known single block of stone to have been transported and erected by Neolithic man.

The Broken Menhir of Er Grah was erected around 4700 BC, at the same time as another 18 blocks nearby, it is thought to have been broken around 4000 BC. Measuring 20.60 metres, with a weight of 280 tonnes, the stone is from a rocky outcrop located several kilometres away from Locmariaquer. The impressive dimensions of this menhir still divide specialists about the techniques used for transport and erection, but the fact that this was achieved during the Neolithic era remains remarkable.

The Table des Marchand is a large dolmen containing a number of decorations. The main capstone of the chamber includes a large carving on its underside depicting an axe, and part of a carved depiction of a plough, apparently pulled by oxen. This fragment indicates that the capstone was originally part of the broken menhir, since the design matches up with carvings on the broken remains across the breaks. Other parts were used in the tumulus and in the nearby dolmen of Gavrinis, on a nearby island. The stone at the back of the chamber contained an engraved stele with whorls and arched decorations which may represent fields of crops.

The Er-Grah tumulus is 140 metres long. It was probably originally constructed in the fifth millennium BC as a cairn, which was extended in both directions. A pavement surrounded the stepped structure. The capstone indicates that the monument was completed at around 3,300 BC.

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Details

Founded: 4700 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Prehistoric Age (France)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rod B (10 months ago)
A truly awe inspiring site.
Christian Hohmann (10 months ago)
The site gives an impressive insight into what people did around here before the pyramids were build.
Wiep Klaas Smits (12 months ago)
Interesting small site with three different types of megalithic structures. Good introductory video and small shop. View in the site from roof terrace. I formation panels in three languages.
Debbie Hodge (14 months ago)
We watched the 10 minute movie in the museum and then walked around the megaliths. The movie had earphones which could be set to a language of your choice. The site is remarkable. We went on a holiday so there was demonstrations of life by a man in period clothes and showing crafts.
Anzu Fp (2 years ago)
Wonderful reconstruction of one of the most inportant archaeological sites in whole Breizh and in France. The explanations are very useful, especially the very accurate video from the main center, which also has very interesting books in the gift shop area if you want to get deeper into the topic. The view is simply astonoshing and highly recommendable. Greetings from Asturies et trugarez vras
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