Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Landes de Cojoux: neolithic treasurehouse

Brittany is rich in neolithic remains, and on Monday I visited an area second only to Carnac in importance. The Cojoux moor above the village of Saint Just is liberally scattered with stone age monuments. Not only their quantity but also their variety impress the visitor: in a few miles' walk, you can see menhirs, dolmens, alignments, tumuli, circles and gallery graves. Some even have later Bronze Age monuments superimposed onto them. Thanks to a 7km (4 mile) walk and a series of information boards, exploring is easy with something of interest at every turn.

Some of the monuments were clearly graves, but the function of others is more open to speculation. However, later legends have sprung up to account for them: thus the two white demoiselle menhirs are supposed to be young women who went dancing instead of attending mass, and were literally petrified as a result.

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