There are several places around here where the map shows ‘Pierre Plantée‘ or ‘Pierre Droite‘ or ‘Peyro Dreto‘ – though there is nothing to be seen there. So I set out with low expectations, parked in a layby where the old road once ran – and wandered among the vines and the garrigue for a while before spotting this great lump of rock by the side of the new D11/D5 [the one morphs into the other for no good reason at just this point . . . ] It lies 4 km. east of Olonzac at 2. 47′ 05″ E 43.16’ 29″ N on the http://www.geoportail.fr IGN map or DD 2.784722 43.274722
Archaeology is the poor sister among the Sciences, and menhirs are the poor relatives of the megaliths – at least in this region. They occur rarely enough for one to imagine that they would be treated with more interest – or at least more respect – than this one received.
The base is a metre across – its length is 3 m. and width is 1.20 m. – a massive monolith that shows the scars of its uprooting. The absence of lichen on two facets and the base – plus the coating of close-adhering argilous soil – leads me to think that it had been knocked down some time ago. If the fate of dolmens is to be smashed and pillaged for material gain, it is the fate of menhirs to be laid low to diminish their pagan powers.
Here the stone is naturally weathered – this could have been its pointed, skyward end; the road-side face is lichened too.
Was any effort made to search around the base of the menhir? Was its position ever marked precisely, before the machines moved in? The map shows it as south of the road – now it lies to the north. French pride in its ‘patrimoine‘ or heritage here shows a failure of imagination and respect – and scientific good practice. It could easily have been set on end – once more taking its rightful place in a landscape that embodies that fourth dimension – Time – which is vital to an understanding of ourselves.