A dolmen is a single-chamber megalithc tomb with three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), usually dating from the early Neolithic period.
[Photo: the Prunarede Dolmen in the upper Languedoc-Roussillon region, named after the nearby hamlet — a single bergerie.]
Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus (or barrow). Often the covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact.
The word "Dolmen" originates from taol maen, meaning "stone table" in Breton.
Dolmens are found around the world, including in Asia and the Middle East as well as across Europe.
Several dozen dolmens are found amongst the vast Neolithic collections of the Carnac stones in Brittany (as well as over 1,000 menhirs).
[Photo: this is one of the 3 Adrets Dolmens , near Brignoles in the department of the Var (83).
In the in the South of France, the largest collections of dolmens are probably in the Languedoc-Roussillon region [map]. There are also enough in the Provence of southeast France that you can probably find some near wherever you are.
A listing of dolmen pages online in Beyond is given on our Unusual Sites page.
Adrets Dolmen (Var, near Brignoles)
Boussière Dolmen (Dolmen de la Bouissière) (Var, near Cabasse)
Ferrussac Dolmen (Hérault)
Gastée Dolmen (Dolmen La Gastée) (Var, near Cabasse)
Prunarede Dolmen (Hérault)
Megalithic.co.uk - Megalith (dolmen, menhir) sites, on the Lazarc plateau. (English)