La Clape Necropolis   2 comments

If I had followed Bruno’s directions carefully, we could have driven straight to it – or at least walked the kilometer of lane-way. Somehow I overshot the track he describes, and drove on around numerous tight bends until we found a parking spot on a sharp bend with a little bridge. Here was a footpath up the wooded valley to a meadow. All very delightful – but bearing no relationship to his directions, or my map . . . Relying on the compass though, we pressed on across this wonderful upland pasture – until someone spotted a rocky hillock with a ruined stone dwelling at the foot. And the farm-track we could have driven up . . .

The coordinates are: 2.34’31” E, 42.58’57” N or 2.575277, 42.982500 DD And on the IGN map, and GeoPortail.fr the ruins are shown just beneath the ‘La’ of La Pierre Droite.

Above are two views of one of the better-preserved dolmens. This and two others nearby are aligned N-S. The others are W-SW at about 240.

These two photos above are views of another N-S aligned tomb, located towards the bottom of the hillock, on a steep slope. They all are about three metres long, and have no ‘table’ remaining.

These two views above show one of the W-SW dolmens, closer to the summit.

Jessi – student of French & Politics, and now Dolmens.

The last of the N-S tombs, it’s only 60cm. wide by 3 m.

Peering around for the last two dolmens – which remained hidden. According to Bruno Marc, there is a ‘P’ shaped dolmen where the bones of 24 people were found – nine of them were aged 10 or older and only one of them being a male.

La Nécropole mégalithique de La Clape (Laroque-de-Fa, Aude) / Jean Guilaine ; avec la collab. de Henri Duday et Jean Lavergne . – Carcassonne : Laboratoire de préhistoire et de palethnologie , 1972. Etude anthropologique par Henri Duday / Etude odontologique par Jean Lavergne.

Early Purple orchids were scattered everywhere around La Clape – also some Sombre Bee orchids. Jonquils, miniature daffodils, hollow-stemmed asphodel, hellebore and ranunculus – all in abundance.

Note: I may be cartographically challenged, but I can do maths – I’ve shown only 4 of the 6 dolmens we found, because the other two were really only heaps of stones, amongst many other heaps. I hope to return soon – look for the others, and La Pierre Droite , plus the dolmen of Coume Jonquieres, nearby. Out-of-bounds, according to Bruno, and very difficult to find. I now have to persuade my ‘team’ to come and help me out again.

Posted April 6, 2008 by Richard Williams

2 responses to “La Clape Necropolis

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  1. Oh it looks lovely – I couldn’t find the map to see these – are they the ones just outside laroque de fa direction massac – or are they further up the road on the top of the hill there??? Bravo – super site – some friends of mine fell upon it in southampton….

  2. The dolmen of Coume Jonquière is today approachable because a trackway suitable for motor vehicles allows to pass not far from this dolmen. In the same area, I found an inedite and massive stone planted, massive aspect, 2 metres tall and which would be perhaps one menhir. Stones of wedging are always in position. But it’s also perhaps a natural rock. To verify ?

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