the cairn de Gavrinis :
gem of prehistoric times
The cairn of Gavrinis in Larmor-Baden is one of the most outstanding prehistoric sites in France: a monumental dry-stone funeral architecture, sheltering a dolmen.
Located on the island of Gavrinis, in the heart of the Gulf of Morbihan, it was built over 6000 years ago, and is now renowned throughout the world for the profusion of its engraved decorations.
A remarkable site, the cairn of Gavrinis, like the cairn of Petit Mont, is undergoing inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The cairn of Gavrinis encloses a 14 m long corridor dolmen, at the end of which is a quasi-square, 2.50 m wide burial chamber. In 1979, major excavations and restoration work were conducted and profoundly improved knowledge of this monument: there are animal engravings on the concealed face of the tomb chamber’s roof slab.
This 23-ton piece fits perfectly into another piece, located at the Table des Marchands in Locmariaquer, about 4 km away. Archaeologist Charles-Tanguy Le Roux has demonstrated that these fragments came from a single 14 m high stele, probably erected near the Broken Menhir of Er Grah.
This discovery is evidence of the reuse of stones and the evolution of monuments that are linked to each other. It also demonstrates the ability of the Neolithics to convey such loads over long distances and by sea.
The cairn of Gavrinis is the first fully digitized monument. With this incredible tool, the site is gradually revealing to researchers the complexity and richness of the stunning ornamental figures that cover nearly all the slabs.
Tip: get the twin ticket cairn de Petit Mont + cairn de Gavrinis !