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Two Great Dolmens of Central France

  • Boyle Somerville

The visitor to Tours, having exhausted himself, as is soon and easily possible, in ‘doing’ the chateaux of the Loire, may find refreshment for his jaded brain by passing from history to prehistory, and turning back the pages from 1500 A.D. to 2000 B.C. or thereabouts, which he may do in the course of two short journeys from his hotel.

There are many prehistoric remains in the departement d'Indre et Loire, and in the arrondissement of Tours alone there are g dolmens. The first of the two described in this paper is situated 10 kilometres from Tours by road. The other, though not in the same departement is within easy rail distance from Tours, and adjoins the town of Saumur.

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There is an excellent scale model of this dolmen (La Grotte des Fées) to be seen at the Musée at Tours, originally made for the National Exhibition of Tours, held in 1892.

A description, with measurements (no plans or photographs) will be found at p. 41 of Les Monuments megalithiques de la Touraine by Louis Bourez, 1894. This states that there are no existing accounts of excavation having been undertaken in the (earthen)floor of the chamber of the dolmen, nor any record of articles ever having been found in it. It is also stated that traces of the tumulus which formerly covered the dolmen are still visible (1894). It is possible that the grove of trees now surrounding the dolmen marks the extent and boundary of the mound ; but no other real indications were visible in 1923.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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