Near the village of Saint-Samson-sur-Rance, in Brittany, France, we find this interesting Neolithic piece of stone.
The menhir stands alone at 6 meters in length, leaning at just over 45 degrees. It is a large block of granite and quartz, with a relatively polished, flat look.
Most of the time that is all it seems to be. However, when the sun hits it just right, beautiful markings and carvings appear. Carvings of crosses, leaves, axes, waves and various animals.
There are several legends surrounding this monument. One legend says it is one of three stones closing the entrance to hell. This belief gave it the name “Bonde de l’Enfer,” loosely meaning “Leap From Hell.”
Another legend says that a young girl who wants to get married should climb on top of the menhir and slide down in her “birth pants.” Subsequently, she will be wed within a year.
A final legend tells a story of Samson of Dol who faced the temptations of the Devil nearby, and when the Devil failed, it whipped the stone, creating some of the marks we can see today.
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We have been in France researching La Roche Longue, which is a megalith (menhir) located southeast of Quintin, France. We have worked on developing a 3D model of this stone and its surrounding landscape. The model is derived from UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), commonly known as drone, images, and constructed using photogrammetry. Using a drone allows us to capture detailed images of these large stones which would otherwise be difficult to get from the ground.
La Roche Longue, Quintin, Brittany
by Maritime Archaeology
A second 3D model we have been working on is of Allée couverte de Mein-Gouarec à Plaudren. It is a passage grave located near the village of Plaudren in France. Dated around 4,500-4,300 BP, it is a late neolithic piece around 6 meters in length. The tomb features engravings representing the Mother Goddess, including carved out breasts on the back wall. This site was recorded in January this year, using Nikon D200 and D7000 cameras.
Allée couverte de Mein-Gouarec à Plaudren
by Maritime Archaeology
The images are all collected as part of the Common Cultural Connections project. The CCC project is a collaboration between MAT in the UK, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France and University of Cantabria in Spain. The aim of the project is to enhance the understanding of the shared cultural heritage through an innovative mobile exhibition. Read more about the project here
Common Cultural Connections
Stay tuned for more about the exciting life of the Maritime Archaeology Trust!