I thought I was the only person out there: up on les Causses, in the garrigue, searching for lost dolmens.
All the others – the local historians and retired archaeologists and ‘local experts’ have long since stopped taking any interest in the prehistory of their commune. They think it has all been discovered and described. They think they know where every megalithic monument lies.
They don’t. Most of them rely on inventories that go back to 1929. The most recent was in 1979. They are both incomplete and inadequate descriptions of current findings.
I would be very surprised if there was any region in the world where ‘new’ megaliths were being marked afresh on a map that previously had no knowledge of their existence – let alone their actual location. This is the work that we are engaged on : together, two amateurs have geo-located over a dozen megalithic sites that have either been ‘lost’ from the record, or never previously sited.
Thanks to the extra-ordinary researches made by a fellow amateur researcher, from Carcassonne, Joel – many previously long-lost megaliths have been located. Parallel to mine – his research has taken up hundreds of hours of hillwalking.
What is astonishing about Joel’s research is that he did it without access to the region’s archaeological archives. It was map-work, and foot-work, and eye-work.
In the middle of a mess of garrigue, he saw this:
It’s a shark-fin alert in a sea of scrub: but it wouldn’t mean anything to an ignorant walker. That ignorant walker would have to be already about 1 km off-shore before they walked past this stone.
This is how it looks when cleared a little :
More on the dolmen du Causse de St Julien on its Page, left.