Cairn de Barnenez

( Barnenez )

The Cairn of Barnenez (also: Barnenez Tumulus, Barnenez Mound; in Breton Karn Barnenez; in French: Cairn de Barnenez or Tumulus de Barnenez) is a Neolithic monument located near Plouezoc'h, on the Kernéléhen peninsula in northern Finistère, Brittany (France). It dates to the early Neolithic, about 4800 BC. Along with the Tumulus of Bougon and Locmariaquer megaliths, also located in Great West France, it is one of the earliest megalithic monuments in Europe and one of the oldest man-made structures in the world. It is also remarkable for the presence of megalithic art.

 One of the chambers, exposed by 20th century quarrying Artistic reconstruction of the cairn, c. 4000 BCDates

Radiocarbon dates indicate that the first phase of the monument was erected between 4850 and 4250 BC, and the second phase between 4450 and 4000 BC.[1]

Secondary use

Pottery found in and around the monument indicates that it underwent a period of reuse in the Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BC.

Recognition as an ancient monument

The cairn was first mapped in 1807, in the context of the Napoleonic cadaster. Its first scientific recognition took place in the context of an academic congress in Morlaix in 1850, when it was classified as a tumulus.

Quarry damage

Privately owned until the 1950s, the cairn was used as a quarry for paving stones. This activity, which threatened to destroy the monument, was only halted after the discovery of several of its chambers in the 1950s. The local community then took control of the site.[1]

Restoration and excavation

The cairn was restored between 1954 and 1968. At the same time, vegetation was removed from the mound and systematic excavation took place in and around the monument.[2][3]

^ a b Hoskin, Michael. "Orientations of Neolithic Monuments of Brittany: (1) Context". Journal for the History of Astronomy. 34 (4): 401–420. doi:10.1177/002182860303400403. ISSN 0021-8286. ^ "Restauratie van megalithische monumenten". ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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