The dolmen marker is faintly visible on the hill called Trigodinnas, and the path to it is marked at the roadside, opposite a half-restored ‘four à chaux’‘ or lime-kiln. It’s a delightful walk over the stream and up several levels through the trees – its name translates from the catalan as ‘bonnes marches’, possibly good steps, or The Good Stones.
View from the foot to le chevet .
The dolmen is long, at 5 metres, and it’s 1 m. 50 wide and high. The table is leaning into the grave to the left – it measures 2 m. 20 by 1 m. 20. and is 50 cms.thick.
It’s orientation is E. S-E. at 110 degrees.
It would be just possible to make a circuit of dolmen – lou Cayla – grotto, but there isn’t a path that links them – and the garrigue is spiney and spikey. I had some difficulty finding a way up on to lou Cayla itself. So walk or drive west out of Mailhac on the D 67, and take the first laneway left. This lane leads past the Late Bronze age necropoli of Le Grand Bassin (marked by the stand of pines) and Le Moulin now covered in vines once more. The lane runs out into track beyond the lime-kiln and the path up to the dolmen, so expect to retrace your steps – unless you want to try to locate the prehistoric pottery camps on the banks of the St. Jean de Caps stream, and at Camberaud.
Co-ordinates for the dolmen are 2. 49′ 29″ E, and 43. 18′ 54″ N or 2.824722 , 43.315000 in decimal degrees.
There have been two studies of the site: in the first, grave-goods ( bronze artifacts and Campaniform, or Bell-Beaker ceramics) found here date the construction to 1500 – the beginning of the Bronze age in lower Languedoc and form an incontestable link with the Grotte de la Treille, and with the first settlement on the Lou Cayla plateau.
Martín-Granel, Henri: L’allée couverte de Boun Marcou à Mailhac (Aude)
Gallia Préhistoire, 2 : 37-56, 1959
AMBERT Paul Centre d’Anthropologie, UMR 8555 CNRS, Toulouse
Contribution à l’étude du Campaniforme du Languedoc central méridional = Contribution to the Study of the Bell Beaker culture of Central Southern Languedoc
Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française ISSN 0249-7638