A series of small menhirs were destroyed during the construction site of a DIY store. The building permit issued on August 26, 2022 by the town hall of Carnac was refused for the first time in 2015.
Did the small menhirs destroyed in Carnac to build a DIY store have archaeological value? If the defenders of the heritage assure that yes, the Drac and the town hall of this commune of Morbihan remain more measured.
“The question will remain unresolved” lack of additional excavations, deplores a researcher close to the file who wishes to remain anonymous. With a height of between 50 cm and one meter, 39 small menhirs were recently destroyed during the construction site of a DIY store.
Their demolition was revealed on June 2 by an amateur archaeologist, Christian Obeltz, on his blog, arousing a great stir at a time when the alignments of menhirs in southern Morbihan are preparing to apply to enter the world heritage of Unesco. “Several brutal developments have been carried out, this winter and spring, around the alignments of menhirs of Carnac, distorting this world-famous site”, he complains. The heritage enthusiast expressed regret at the destruction of a site which, “even modest”however, illustrated “the structuring of the territory from the Neolithic period”.
In December 2014, a first application for a building permit was filed. The land, located in an “activity zone” according to the local urban plan (PLU), was then the subject of excavations by the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), which had been completed “on a contradictory observation”.
Two rows of stone blocks, inserted in two old fences covered with coppice, are unearthed. To reveal them, eight trenches three meters wide had been dug on this land partially cluttered with various waste, rubble and thickets. “Only additional observations on the monoliths, or even an excavation, would make it possible to certify the Neolithic origin of this set”detailed the archaeological body in its report published in April 2015.
Complaint against X
The Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (Drac) of Brittany told AFP on Thursday that it had at the time “issued an excavation prescription to the promoter” that this one “has not implemented”. Reacting to the emotion aroused by this destruction, the Drac also underlined in a press release the “still uncertain and in any case not major character of the remains” found during the preventive excavations of 2015. “The damage to a site of archaeological value has not been established”defended the Drac, adding that it “is also not listed among the areas of archaeological presumption, that is to say the areas which justify an opinion from the regional archaeological service”. The mayor, Olivier Lepick, attests for his part to having “full compliance with the law” and invoke him too “low archaeological value” objects found.
Contacted, the management of the DIY sign “sincerely regret this situation” and adds that “the Departmental Commission for Commercial Development (Cdac) of Morbihan gave its agreement for commercial exploitation in January 2022”. An association for the defense of heritage, Koun Breizh (“Breton memory”, in Breton), announced that it had filed a complaint against X.
Difficult to date
Amateur archaeologist Christian Obeltz assures him that “the small menhirs of the Chemin de Montauban undoubtedly constituted one of the oldest sets of stelae in the commune of Carnac”. According to him, these menhirs could date from the same period as the remains of a neighboring site whose carbon 14 dating obtained in 2010 goes back to “5480-5320 BC, the highest dating obtained for a menhir in western France”.
On this dating, Philippe Gouézin, doctor in archeology and archaeometry at the University of Rennes, is cautious. “It is difficult to date elements and it all depends on what can be found: carbon 14, bones, hazelnuts or berries trapped in particular conditions, all well buried in the ground”, he deciphers for AFP. And this dating would have required a scientific analysis beyond the preventive diagnosis which consists of “surveys or surveys”explains the expert.
Source: France TV Info