“What on earth is a dolmen?” I can hear some people say 🙂 In a nutshell, dolmen are megalithic tombs, consisting of upright stones supporting a large flat stone. Most dolmen were built during the early Neolithic period, 4000 to 3000 BC. You can read a very detailed description here.
I recently visited the largest dolmen in the Midi, which is located between the villages of Cesseras and Siran. This dolmen is commonly known as the Dolmen de las Fadas or Dolmen des Fees, the Fairy’s Dolmen.
This dolmen was excavated by archaeologists several times, the last time between 1997 and 1998, when the dolmen was extensively restored to save it for future generations.
The dolmen des fees is around 24 metres long, and would have been covered by a mound of earth of about 35 metres in length. There are three distinct parts to this dolmen: a corridor, an antechamber, and the funeral chamber. In the picture above you can see the corridor formed by megaliths and dry stone walls. The megaliths would have supported stone slabs which formed a roof.
Following on from the corridor is the antechamber, which still has one of the roof slabs in place! In the picture below you can see the remains of the porthole shaped entrance to the antechamber. The stone slab on the antechamber is estimated to weigh between 9 and 10 tons!!
This is a view down into the antechamber. You can see how the stone slab covers pretty much all of it!
Behind the antechamber is the cella or funeral chamber, where the burials would have taken place. Access to the cella appears to have been by a similar porthole shaped door as to the antechamber.
Some people believe that wherever dolmen are built, a crossing of energy lines (ley lines) can be found. I found one article about this dolmen (in French), in which it was suggested that the funeral chamber at this dolmen could be the portal to another plane!!
Whatever anyone believes today, a dolmen was a site of spiritual importance for neolithic people. The reasons as to who built the dolmen or why will probably remain shrouded in mystery.
When I recently visited the Dolmen des Fees, I found an installation right next to it! Colourful fabrics had been wrapped around tree trunks and other bits of fabric were fluttering in the breeze.
A little farther along a kind of stone circle had been created, with some of the stones wrapped in shiny foil. The opening of the circle seemed to point towards the dolmen. I’ve not been able to ascertain exactly what it is – I leave it to your imagination!!
If you are in the area, do visit the dolmen. It is located just off the D168 between Siran and Cesseras, on the right about 1.5km after you leave Siran.