Idea #602 – Making the tour of the biggest Cairn of Europe in Barnenez in Brittany
The cairn of Barnenez (Kerdi Bras in Breton) is a megalithic monument of the Neolithic, in the municipality of Plouezoc’h, on the north coast of Finistère, in Brittany. 75 meters in length, he is established in reality by two stone cairns dry attached, which recover eleven dolmens with corridor. This set is the biggest megalithic mausoleum after that of Newgrange and, with the cairn III of Guennoc, the oldest monument of Europe. The construction of the primary cairn begins towards 4700 BC, that is about 2 100 years before the oldest pyramid of Egypt and approximately 7 000 years after the beginning of the domestic architecture, which were observed in the Middle East. The construction of the secondary cairn, the enlargement, begins towards 4300 before J.C., is after the fall of the Big menhir, to end towards 4200.
In 1807, the heap of stones and earth appeared on the napoleonic land registry, then it was quoted in 1850, during a scientific meeting; but these efforts were not enough to protect the monument. In 1955, an entrepreneur opens a career and begins to destroy the big cairn, disemboweling the rooms A, B, C and D. The writer and the journalist Francis Gourvil alerted the prehistorian Pierre-Roland Giot, who managed previous year the first series of excavations of the cairn of the island Carn. Giot intervened with the authorities, which made stop the works. Rescue excavations began and owed until 1968. As a matter of urgency, the cairn was the object of a classification in conformance with historic monuments in 1956.
Originally, the monument could have a 8 meter height and measured approximately 95 meters long for 30 in 35 meters wide. Completely built stone dry, he sheltered 11 funeral rooms, served by a corridor. Several of these rooms reveal symbolic engravings, and it seems, rests of paints. For these motives, only 2 corridors are opened to the visit, and 1onto to rooms disemboweled by the works of career of the unscrupulous entrepreneur. According to the archaeologists, the sun penetrates into death chambers to the winter solstice, like in Newgrange.
Where is it ?
Cairn of Barnenez, Plouezoc’h, Bretagne, France.