St Julien, dolmen   6 comments

Thanks to Joel B. of Carcassonne, I was able go directly to see this long-lost burial site. His extraordinary searches  have filled in one more gap in our knowledge of the people that inhabited these limestone slopes above La Liviniere and Siran.

Naming a dolmen that has never been studied by official archaeologists, and that has only ever appeared as an approximate symbol on a small hand-drawn sketch, is difficult. It is made more difficult by the lack of any distinctive feature in the landscape, or any clear paths. Joel has named it from the nearest hamlet, St Julien des Moulieres. There are possibly 3 more dolmens like this on the Causse – they have no names and no location.

I rediscovered the dolmen de Peyro-Rousso after many days of searching. Joel discovered the dolmen du Causse de St Julien after similar efforts. It lies only 400 metres the south-east, but it might have been located on another planet. The garrigue here is a trackless waste, a jumbled chaos of shattered limestone karst. The burial mounds are reduced to a slight swell of stones, about 8 metres across, but barely perceptible. The sharp westside upright is a blade of white stone against the invasive garrigue.

There are similarities between the two tombs: the long and large RH or western orthostat. Here it is 2 m. long by 90cm. high. The length of the tomb overall is hard to measure : there does not seem to be any passage, or entry-way, and thus it seems to be ‘un dolmen simple’.  The width is 80 cm. It’s orientation is N-S.

About 500 m. to the south are the three Mousse dolmens. Almost 900 m. due east is the Grand dolmen de l’Auriol.

I have cleared the tomb of overhanging growth. I would like others to come after me, with gloves and saws. I would like a simple path kept clear, for others to visit our oldest burials.

The ‘free-standing’ extra orthostat is unusual. It stands on the west side, but seems to serve no function.

This ‘doubling’ of stones has occurred in other dolmens, but more usually on the left or east side. The tomb is filled with broken stones: were they once the fragile limestone capstone? Replaced in some semblance of respect, by the grave-robbers/early archaeologists of the 19th. c.?

Posted September 6, 2011 by Richard Williams

6 responses to “St Julien, dolmen

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  1. Hi Richard, im a passionate of dolmens like you since im 7 years old. Today im 26 and im always still fond of finding tombs all over the garrigue. I came across Minervois many times trying to find dolmens and i would be really happy to know where to find this one in St Julien. I ve seen many dolmens all over Herault and Aude and im sure that we can share our discovers. Congratulations for the st julien’s dolmen, ive been searching this one for hours!

    You can contact me on my mail : garyduchez@wanadoo.fr

    Bye

  2. Hello Gary
    Thanks for your message – I will pass your ‘congratulations’ on to Joel, since it was he that ‘re-found’ it. How did you know of it – did you read about it somewhere?
    Richard

  3. Yep, i saw the map on your site and i was thinking about new dolmens to found around. Can we manage to talk anyday about dolmens in that causse ? please use my mail box : garyduchez@wanadoo.fr

    Gary

    • Gary – I understand, from a Google search, that you are a keen megalithic researcher, in Ardeche. I also note that you have collaborated with Bruno Marc, who used your researches for a commercial enterprise, a guidebook.
      I am sure that both of you would like to know where this dolmen is located. But you will have to join S.E.S.A. (la Societé d’ Etudes Scientifiques de l’Aude) first, and then wait until next year when I present my ‘Inventaire des Mégalithes de l’Aude’ to the general membership. Together they & I will decide how best to publish the information.
      My aim is to present an up-to-date list of all the sites in the Aude, with – for the first time ever – precise GPS coordinates. Joel Bouakaz and I will add a significant number of sites (dolmens, menhirs, hillforts and dwellings) to the lists that have previously been regarded as definitive.
      At some point in the future the academic community and the general public will renew its interest in our prehistory. My inventory (with GPS marks backed up by IGN coordinates, and supported by physical ‘on-the-ground’ walking plans) will enable future researchers to re-find these megalithic sites.
      My longer-term plan is that each commune will ‘adopt’ their own megaliths and undertake a programme of clearance and way-marking.
      This blog has been accused of being a friend of ‘the metal-detectors’ http://albas11.free.fr/archeologie.htm#carla – and so to protect myself from further ridiculous claims, I stopped publishing map coordinates. Joel & I have discussed this problem – and he too would rather not publish the location of sites. He has ‘re-discovered’ a number of sites that do not seem to be in the official archaeological record. Some may never have been professionally searched.
      As a member of SESA, and as a responsible and respectful resident of the Aude – it’s my duty to report these sites to them first, before handing out coordinates to anyone.

  4. I understand your point of view. Now let me explain mine.

    Sure i made a guidebook of dolmens in Ardeche but i was 15 years old, when i was 15 i had a personal inventory of more than 600 different dolmens in Ardeche. I gave a hand to Bruno Marc to make a nice guidebook with very well known sites. Now im 26 and i m nearly reaching 900.
    Today i’m still looking for dolmens everywhere in Languedoc and Ardeche also. Im also still fond of megaliths, fond of walking through nature and looking at every standing stone i can come across. My aim, just like you, is to protect these witnesses of past history.

    My point of view to make a complete inventory, like yours about Aude, is to meet passionate people and sharing positions of new sites. I wish you a good luck in your inventory.

    Gary

  5. Thanks for your sensitive reply. Your achievement, over all these years, is really astonishing. You should be considered ‘ a National Treasure’ !
    One day soon we will meet up.

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