Fournès dolmen   Leave a comment

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Viewed from most angles, this looks like a semi-recumbent standing-stone.

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But not when you get up close to it. Exposed on a windy hill-brow, this set of stones would seem to have weathered-down from someting more substantial.

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The table or capstone is a massive 3 metres from base to pointed tip, and one metre wide, and 60 cms. thick. The orientation through this gap, is SE.

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A third stone can be seen to the right – upright, buried – but is it an orthostat from the burial mound?

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In the foreground is a mine – possibly ancient, maybe just an 18th century chancer. The area, and the entire Minervois range of hills – Les Montagnes Noires – is riddled with caves, grottoes, avens, wells, pits and shafts from the Chalcolithic period of copper smelting to the present-day Salsigne mining-strip, Europe’s largest goldmine.

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This sign is right by the road-side : the dolmen can be seen just behind.

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It’s orientation could be seen as SW – the direction I’m facing here.

The co-ordinates on the infallible IGN-based GeoPortail.fr site are 2. 24′ 19″ E and 43. 21′ 20″ N.  or in Decimal Degrees 43.355600 N. and 2.405300 E  It’s a two-minute walk from the roadside, after a ten-minute hair-raising drive up from Lastours (which is a whole other trip if you want four mediaeval fortress-ruins perched above a gorge).

Posted November 16, 2008 by Richard Williams

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