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.
This time Garry is visiting the Sunken Secrets Museum on the Isle of Wight. He shows us various pieces of timber, flint and string that has taught us a lot about the people living here during the mesolithic era. The findings are proving to be highly important, because they show the people were way more advanced than previously thought, by as much as 2000 years.
Garry is on the Isle of Wight discussing what we find at Bouldnor Cliff. He shows us what the submerged forests look like and what we can learn about England in the mesolithic era, emphasising the importance of this site.
We are doing our best to retrieve as much as we can before it all erodes away.
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.
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.
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!
We are the Maritime Archaeology Trust, a charitable trust that researches maritime archaeology and heritage. We are forward thinking professionals and researchers who seek to utilise traditional archaeological techniques with new innovative ideas, techniques and technologies. To do this, we combine historical and archaeological studies, with state-of-the-art geoarchaeology, digital technology and 3D modelling.