The marks on the Sautin Polissoir were apparently discovered in 1868. Although there seems to be no account of its original location, it and its neighbour are said to be "exhumed" in 1897, and presumably relocated on at their current site.
The menhir is said to have its top rounded, perhaps to form the shape of an axe. Its dimensions are stated as: height 2.20 m, a base width of 1.75 m and an average thickness of 0.50 m.
In addition, on its face, and turned towards the south-west, is a horizontal groove, 1.20 m long, 0.30 m wide and 0.20 m deep, at the midway of the stone.
A legend says that the Druids, by running and dancing around this megalith in their sacred ceremonies, caused the stone to come to life. It is said that every night before midnight the stone turns on its base and begins to whoop or cry out. It is also said to do the same thing, but with more energy, on Christmas Eve.
Since being placed together, the other stone, the Sautin Polissoir, is also said to do the same.
The stone that turns, or the stone that runs as it is sometimes known, was formerly a monolith of several tons. Like so many European megaliths, a legend grew up that treasure, in the form of gold, was buried beneath it. Thus, in 1835, the stone was toppled to find the gold. No record exits of the finds, if any, but the result was a stone broken in two.
It is not clear if this was the original position of the stone, or its neighbour, the Sautin Polissoir, but it was repaired in 1920 by a stone mason of Sautin. In a forerunner to Keiller's work at Avebury, he used a concrete mix.
The menhir's dimensions are recorded as being height of 2.50 m, its width varies between 0.50 m and 1.20 m and the thickness of 0.60 m to 0.80 m. The width at its base is 1.75 m and an average thickness of 0.50 m.
The Spiennes neolithic flint mines, in the municipality of Mons, province of Hainaut, are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are described as "the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe" and UNESCO cites the level of human technological development they demonstrate as justification for their inclusion.
The mines cover some 100 hectares of downland near Mons and are interesting for showing the transition between opencast and underground mining for the flint nodules. The nodules were extracted using deer antler picks. The stones were then knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, and finally polished to achieve the final state.
The rough-outs were traded over a wide area, and were often polished at their destination. Polishing strengthens the final product, making the axe-head last longer. The axes were used initially for forest clearance during the early Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes.