Archive for the ‘cromlech’ Tag

Memory-loss and missing megaliths   Leave a comment

Last year I lost a significant portion of my memory. Fortunately it turned up in an old briefcase last week, and I was delighted to slot it back into its USB port and review some of the dolmens and menhirs I had researched that autumn.

And since the ‘theme’ at the moment seems to be standing-stones, it would be appropriate to complete the little series of menhirs that cluster around the north-western corner of the Aude, with two reports: the Azérou stone sited 1.5 km east of Saissac, and the menhir de Picarel, 2 km. to the northwest.

The situation at both these sites is more complicated than usual: they were, or are, not single stones – but part of an alignment or cromlech.

Germain Sicard’s Essai sur les mégalithes de l’Aude of 1929 reports the finding of a number of lesser stones grouped around the one we see standing. I had read this, but not brought his account with me that day – nevertheless I managed to find some stones closeby.

Back home I discovered a much more detailed document on the site. A regional archaeologist, Jean Guilaine, had written about  ‘Le Complexe Mégalithique de l’Azérou’ – in conjunction with a book called ‘Aude des Origines’   – a synthesis of prehistoric research compiled by the leading archaeologists of our area.

On the Azérou cromlech Page I offer a partial translation and synopsis, plus my own account and photos.

On the Picarel menhir Page there’s a précis of  the work by another local archaeologist, Jean Vaquer – research which presents a new view of this site, plus other info & photos.

Midwinter solstice celebration   Leave a comment

I have just read  about the recent finds at Stonehenge and Woodhenge, on The Modern Antiquarian – the bone-middens and the winter festivals that they might represent. Meanwhile I found myself unconsciously building a kind of bonfire I’ve never done, or seen done, before. Seven logs surrounding one tall central log, with space between each for bundles of kindling. The henge or harrispil of burning wood menhirs would be pushed gradually closer to the central Standing Log – but still apart to allow a venturi-effect of air to circulate. Until things collapse. And I’m happy to say – it worked.

Three families of our village – our best friends French and English – shared the cold and the heat of fresh pizzas and mulled wine. The video was taken by my son, Daniel Williams.

Posted December 22, 2009 by Richard Williams in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , ,