Dolmens can never really be found, because they can never really be lost. But they can be misplaced or forgotten as the memory of them fades, in the minds of villagers who are ageing and dying. And in our region where nearly all do still live in villages, and in a country whose population is ageing and dying at an increasing rate – this could mean a serious loss to our collective knowledge.
Today I found one – again. It is not on any map, nor in any book. But if I asked any old person in the village of Moux ‘Where’s the old tomb on Mont Alaric?’ – they’d all know. Roughly. The young wouldn’t, and couldn’t care less.
For the last month that ‘roughly’ has had me scouring the stoney slopes of Alaric in vain. Until today. Armed with further information – from the local vigneron who ‘first’ found it in 1956 as a lad of 16 – and whose hazy recollections had me lacerating my legs scrambling through the spiny garrigue for hours in completely the wrong area – I felt sure I was homing in on it today.
The thrill of sighting it as I leaned out over a limestone cliff, was immense. As he had warned: ‘Il n’y a pas grande gueule . . .’ – it was nothing to shout about, compared to the sophisticated architecture of the Saint-Eugène or Pépieux ‘allées couvertes‘ – being as I estimate just a slightly extended ‘dolmen simple‘ – at 4 metres it might even be a ‘dolmen à couloir’ or passage-grave : but it was enough for me. It was my first Find.
Note: More photos and the complete text on the Alaric dolmen & cave page >>