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

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

jiwi (3 years ago)
Impressive and worth a visit even without a guided tour, which we didn’t do. In the off-season months you can apparently get up right next to the monoliths without a tour guide.
Jan Luse (3 years ago)
Learned a lot and enjoyed the sites.
Andy Colledge (3 years ago)
A bit disappointing a few stones not very big. Worth a visit if in the area
Robert (3 years ago)
Nice location, lots of information on the periods and the formations, helpful staff, however it is not easy to see the site properly and one or two raised viewing platforms would make it so much better.
bls txi (3 years ago)
An excellent place to go very informative very well set up although slightly remote compared to most of the others in the area . Definitely worth a c for the broken stone that would have been 20 m plus High, excellent view point in the history for what is designed for and what it was built for as far as we can guess
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