Megalithic landscapes of Carnac and South Morbihan

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Locmariaquer

Megalith site

This megalithic site comprises three iconic monuments: the Broken Great Menhir, Merchant’s Table cairn and Er Grah tumulus. 

The excavations conducted during the 1980s and 1990s by L’Helgouac’h, Le Roux and Cassen have shed more light on this site and its complex chronology. There have been a number of successive structures on the site: a row of giant standing stones (in the middle of the fifth millennium BC) of which the Great Menhir is the only remaining feature; a large tomb with a single, closed burial chamber, Er Grah tumulus (from the second half of the fifth millennium BC); and a corridor tomb, Merchants’ Table cairn (from the beginning of the fourth millennium BC). 

One particular feature of the Locmariaquer megalith site is that traces of a row of giant standing stones have been discovered. The largest of these orthogneiss blocks, weighing up to 300 tonnes, must have been transported for tens of kilometres, travelling for part of the way on water. The monument was probably ruined by an earthquake, after which its stone blocks were used for a number of other great monuments (Gavrinis Cairn, Merchants’ Table, Mané Rutual, etc.).

The pillar at the back of the Merchants’ Table burial chamber is a remarkable example of a so-called “buckler motif”, covered here with rows of crooks. For more information, visit http://lara-polen.univ-nantes.fr/publications/autour-de-la-table/

This site belongs to and is run by Centre des Monuments Nationaux. For times and tour information, visit http://locmariaquer.monuments-nationaux.fr

For more information, visit  http://www.culture.gouv.fr/fr/arcnat/megalithes/fr/