Kercado tumulus is the oldest monument here, dated at 5,000 'avant J.C'. Seven thousand years old. It was very cool. It's privately owned so visitors have to pay but there was no one in the booth so we just walked right in. Situated at the highest point around, now surrounded by mature woodland full of big pink jays flying around above our heads, this small mound is like nothing I've seen before. It's a mound, (like the one at Arbor Low) with a menhir on top, a stone circle embracing it and a very nice passage and large chamber inside.
We spent some time inside considering the eight great wall slabs and giant capstone with is supported not by the wall slabs, but by corbelling built above the wall slabs. This gives the impression of the capstone floating. Amazing. I loved it here. I'd like to have spent longer but Mark had another seventeen sites to show us yet…
Untill recently the Tumulus de Kercado was the oldest dated megalithic site in Europe, conservative carbon dating putting it at around 4800BCE. The single chamber is reached through a low passage which is clearly distinguishable from the chamber itself. This layout points to the tumulus being very early in the Breton passage graves sequence.
About 2000 years after its construction a stone circle was added surrounding the original tumulus, as if to preserve its importance in the, then, modern age. This reverence, and the fact that the tumulus sits at the highest point in the area (hence the huge water tower next door) leads one the believe that the Tumulus de Kercado was possible the most important site in Carnac for many centuries. The water tower is a useul reference, sticking up above the more recent trees. It shows that in Neolthic times and beyond the tumulus would have been clearly visible from all over the Carnac region.
The tumulus is in the grounds of manor house and in private care. A small child or an honestly box will charge you about a euro for the pleasure of entrance but if you visit in the early morning you will almost certainly have the place pretty much to yourself, even in high season. However if you visit in the afternoon you will have the advantage of being able to pop into the creperie to pancake yourself up for the next site.