The earliest mention of this site appeared in the 1926 Bulletin de la Société d’Études Scientifiques de l’Aude as part of Germain Sicard’s Essai sur les Monuments mégalithiques du département de l’Aude. Here he notes that there are several squarish stones in a triangular configuration. They are either roughly-pointed or unworked stones, of around 1 m. to 1.20m. height. The farm-owner confirmed that they were not boundary stones. Some were set around a slight, roughly circular mound, composed of granite pebbles set on edge. A narrow path made of the same stone-work linked the emplacements of missing stones, following the perimeter of the mound.
In a later survey, Docteur J. Lemoin described the site briefly thus :« … Plusieurs menhirs plus petits sont disséminés sur le plateau à l’Ouest de la ferme de l’Azérou; le plus grand a environ 2 m de haut. » ( Le Haut-Cabardès, Bonnafous, Carcassonne, 1955, p. 23)
In the light of these reports, Jean Guilaine undertook a preliminary study : Le complexe mégalithique de l’Azérou, published in Folklore: Revue d’Ethnographie Méridionale, 1964.
Guilaine’s visit had coincided with the recent clearance of the land – but before any ploughing. He was thus able to make a plan of the eight stones that remained in place, and the possible location of missing stones.
The last stone standing is No. 1, at 2.1m.
Lacking most of the information above, I limited my explorations to the marshy copse in the background. There were a number of large slabs lying flat around what appears on the map, to be a spring.
All the stones mentioned are of local granite. Guilaine found no evidence that permitted an accurate dating of any of the stones. But from previous examples he posited mid Bronze age for the main stone (no. 1) and a later dating for stones 2 – 8, which he considered to be not in direct connection to it.
It bears some similarities to the menhir at Fournes :-
while others in the ‘line-up’ bear a resemblance to the little stone I saw close to the Coupiat dolmen :-
Menhirs and dolmens are rarely positioned at the highest point in the landscape: the view below shows the stone is set in a particularly ‘anonymous’ part of the hillside – unless the spring (significant enough for the current owner to have invested in a bore-hole and extensive piping) is a relevant factor.
Sicard’s description of its location is accurate: 600 metres N-W of the farm buildings – it’s visible on Google Earth. It’s setting is very Agri-business.
A return visit, to see if any of the 8 stones still remain, is scheduled for next year.