The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Showing 1-50 of 956 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Morrel des Fadas (Passage Grave) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Morrel des Fadas</b>Posted by sals

Las Colombinos (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Colombinos</b>Posted by sals

Las Colombinos (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Signposted from Trilla, this looks on the map as though you could get to it from the lake but we'd driven that way, and didn't spot anything that looked un-gated and passable .....
It's quite a way by track from the village - there were may points when we wondered if it was advisable to challenge the hire car - but the dolmen signs appeared every so often, and eventually after a 90 degree bend where the fields opened out, we found the dolmen tucked in a little copse.
A breezy spot, with quality graffiti and an intriguing view towards the Pic de Bugarach - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pic_de_Bugarach

Las Apostados (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

South of the pretty village of Ansignan (with a stunning viaduct across the fields) and west of barrage sur L'Agly (lake, or reservoir) is the hilltop commune of Trilla with two dolmens. As you drive up the hill, and before the village, this is signposted off to the left along a rough track. The little hire car bumped along a way, then we came to a fork in the road with a no entry sign on the higher track, but handily a "Dolmen" sign for the lower one, and there was just enough room to park - but not much room to turn, small cars only!

Not much more than 100m along, another sign pointed up to the right and a few rough hewn steps led up to the dolmen.

It's a wide and low construction, with a capstone of maybe 1.5m by 2.5m.

Las Apostados (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Las Apostados</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Apostados</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Apostados</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Apostados</b>Posted by sals<b>Las Apostados</b>Posted by sals

Cap del Pouech Dolmen (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Cap del Pouech Dolmen</b>Posted by sals<b>Cap del Pouech Dolmen</b>Posted by sals<b>Cap del Pouech Dolmen</b>Posted by sals<b>Cap del Pouech Dolmen</b>Posted by sals<b>Cap del Pouech Dolmen</b>Posted by sals

Dolmen du Sem (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Folklore

Legend has it that Samson was playing with a friend from the village of Orus, throwing stones across the valley, and left this one behind.
Hence its alternative name - Palet de Samson. Palet = puck.

Dolmen du Sem (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

I thought it was going to be good, but this site still took my breath away (and I don't mean from the climb up to it) and made an instant jump into my "top 10" (dolmens, I can't judge site types against each other).
If you are visiting the stunning Grotte de Niaux, this is only 15 mins or so away ....

South of Niaux, head to the village of Vicdessos. Don't cross the bridge into the village itself - head straight on and up. (The village is lovely, by the way, with a town square complete with bandstand and bunting, and a couple of picnic benches along the riverside.) This road has been used as part of the Pyrenean stages of the Tour de France .... hence steep in places with switchback turns! The dolmen is sightposted from Vicdessos, and there's enough room for a couple of small cars to park at the bottom of the track that leads to it.

There are some uneven steps and potentially a bit of a scramble to get to the top - but wow. And wow again.

A substantial chunk of glacial granite, in the most stunning spot, with views over snowcapped mountains in France, Andorra and Spain.

Grotte du Mas d'Azil (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

A stunning spot! There's plenty of parking just opposite the cave, and the day we were there, there were people bungee jumping from the outcrop.
The footpath into the cave takes you to the visitors' centre, a strange contrast between hot sunshine with birdsong, into the cool with the roar of the water almost dizzy-making.
The link has details of the visit - as the cave art here is not visible to the public, we just chilled out on the grass for a while.
A great picnic spot for a day out in this area - there's plenty to see!
Oh - and the road to the town actually goes through the cave too .....

Grotte du Mas d'Azil (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Grotte du Mas d'Azil</b>Posted by sals

Grotte du Mas d'Azil (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Links

Grands Sites Ariege Midi-Pyrenees


Details of tours and opening times etc.

The Cave of Niaux (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Situated south of, and well signposted from, Tarascon-sur-Ari├Ęge, up a single track lane from the village of Niaux. Try not to meet a coach coming up on the way back down, as we did - it was a rather long reverse to get back to the car park for passing purposes!
We had pre-booked, and almost all of those who turned up "on spec" for the only English tour that day were turned away. The visitors' centre is not open all the time (shop and tickets) but the first floor had an open air exhibition of the history of the cave (boards all in French) and of cave paintings of the era across Europe. There are also public toilets hidden behind the shop.
We arrived a bit before our tour time, to take in the spectacular view, and also to do a quick change - stout walking footwear is essential, and we had be also advised to wear warm clothes.
Please note - there is no photography, or light other than the torches supplied, allowed in the cave.
Our guide explained the cave system and which bits are accessible - the tour is basically to the Salon Noir (Black Chamber) as other parts of the system are beyond underground lakes.
The caves had been known about by locals for a significant time - graffitti (rather elegant script!) has been dated back to 1602 - but their importance and age only recognised in the late 18C. There are dot-and-dash finger paintings before the Salon Noir, but the main images are all found along one side of the salon. And they are incredible! Analysis of the drawings shows that crude brushes were used for some, and the drawings were made without hesitancy - just amazing for art that has been carbon dated to 14,000 years old, that's late in the last ice age!
The majority of the images are horses, bison and ibex. The cave's unique item - a stoat - is past a lake and hence not part of the tour.
Tour time - over an hour. The cave floor is wet and slippery in places, you have to duck and negotiate a couple of narrow passages, and there's a climb up a sand dune - so for adults of reasonable mobility.
Highly recommended!

The Cave of Niaux (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>The Cave of Niaux</b>Posted by sals<b>The Cave of Niaux</b>Posted by sals<b>The Cave of Niaux</b>Posted by sals<b>The Cave of Niaux</b>Posted by sals<b>The Cave of Niaux</b>Posted by sals

The Cave of Niaux (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Links

Grands Sites Ariege Midi-Pyrenees


A newer site with up to date info on tours times and languages. We booked by email a couple of days in advance (info@grands-sites-ariege.fr) as I didn't think my French was up to an attempt at phone conversation.

Dolmen du Sem (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Dolmen du Sem</b>Posted by sals<b>Dolmen du Sem</b>Posted by sals<b>Dolmen du Sem</b>Posted by sals<b>Dolmen du Sem</b>Posted by sals

Cueva de la Pileta (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Visited 26 Sept 2012.

West of Ronda, marked on most road maps and easily located with a big sign from the road to a parking area with info boards.

A series of uneven and slippery-when-wet stone steps lead from the car park up to the cave entrance and ticket hut (which also serves drinks in season), where there is a covered waiting area. The entrance fee varies by total group size - 8 euros pp reducing to 7 if there are more than 15 people on a tour. The maximum tour size is 25.

By 4pm, a group of 20 or so had gathered and the entrance was unlocked so we could all move into a foyer area, where the guide lit and distributed battery lanterns for the visitors, and filled his paraffin lamp. I had a small head torch which came in handy, though your own torch is far from essential. The tour was mainly in Spanish with a few words of English added; one of the other visitors was leading a group of Scandinavian and German tourists, and he kindly translated a fair amount of info into multiple languages for everyone.

The tour lasts just over an hour, progressing through the cave system looking at the rock formations, explaining history and discovery, with fabulous cave paintings along the way. The end point is the painting of a huge fish .... then a faster walk back along the same route to the entrance.

There are lots of steps within the caves, so I would recommend to reasonably sure-footed visitors. On the way back, we crossed with the next tour starting .... which included family groups, one with children of around 2 and 5 years, and another with screaming baby in papoose .... the latter changed their minds and left .... it's really not a visit for little ones imo.

Please note - no photography past the entrance area, you will be asked to leave if you try to sneak a few shots. This may be to keep the light levels reasonably constant, but also repeated camera flashes would have ruined the ambience of the visit.

Cueva de la Pileta (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Cueva de la Pileta</b>Posted by sals<b>Cueva de la Pileta</b>Posted by sals<b>Cueva de la Pileta</b>Posted by sals<b>Cueva de la Pileta</b>Posted by sals<b>Cueva de la Pileta</b>Posted by sals

Palaggiu (Alignement) — Fieldnotes

258 menhirs in 7 groups, in a glorious setting. It's about 1.3km from the road to the alignment, along a wide but rutted track with a reasonably sharp climb to start. We weren't entirely sure of the location and there was a fair bit of "are you sure ..." on the way, but so glad we trusted out instincts and spent a very pleasant couple of hours exploring the stones, chilling out under the magnificent oak tree, and trying to find the 3 carved stones we'd read about.

Palaggiu (Alignement) — Images

<b>Palaggiu</b>Posted by sals<b>Palaggiu</b>Posted by sals<b>Palaggiu</b>Posted by sals
Showing 1-50 of 956 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Yorkshire based stone searcher and Cope music fan with intentions to be tidy and green, and with a fondness for baking.
Married to Beardy - at Castlerigg - and honeymooned round Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, and the Western Isles.
Recently taken to European excursions.

My TMA Content: