Friday, 4 June 2010

The oldest building in the whole subdivision

   One last thing I meant to post from our trip to the sea were the few photos we managed to snap of the Tumulus des Mousseaux.  We weren't looking for it, but there it was sitting directly on the side of the road in the town of Pornic, nestled snugly in a bunch of houses.

   I would absolutely love to visit all the megalithic sites that remain in Brittany, but it seems every time I'm in that part of the world I am either with people who do not enjoy seeing that sort of thing, or I have no car and not enough time to get around by bike.  It's only by pure chance we came across this tumulus and (finally) managed to get everyone in the car to agree to pull over and have a look.  I know it's more often than not the case, but I've never understood how people could be uninterested by megalithic sites -- most of them have not even been entered as world heritage sites by UNESCO, even the biggest and most important ones (and even though many of them are well older than the pyramids in Egypt, etc..).

 A carved stone just inside one of the entrance ways.

   I have a little history with megalithic sites and roads.  A couple years back, I camped out, along with other protesters, for a few weeks on the Hill of Tara in Ireland, as part of my efforts to stop a motorway from being built.  The Hill of Tara is just one part of a huge complex of megalithic sites, the most important sites in Ireland.  If you study any historical writings and records from Ireland, you will find Tara at the centre of everything.  But I guess the road there has just opened today, going right through this complex, (which, it also happens, is for the most part, un-excavated).  There is more information here.
   This is so upsetting to me. 

   So, I'm going to struggle on to the end of this post, and no more talk about Tara.  I'll leave you instead with another photo of that tumulus in Pornic (a town which, apparently, used to have one of the biggest concentrations of neolithic sites in Brittany... many of which are behind the walls of holiday homes now).
   Let's hope it outlasts these houses by another 5 500 years.


  1. So much of our natural world gets destroyed in the name of progress by number crunching suited ones who have the arrogance to think they will go ahead with their destruction and deal with the consequences of any slap on the wrists from the likes of the UN or UNESCO, once something has been destroyed it can never be brought back. Lets hope they can prevent any developments from being built either side of the motorway.

  2. Heisann!

    Interesting, and I can not believe what I read: politicians have allowed to build a motorway through the neolithic site in Ireland. My son took an MA in World Heritage in Glasgow last year. Even in Norway there is "no" interest for this kind of science. He has not managed to get a job!
    I hope that these houses will be untouched for thousands of years!
    Have a nice weekend ;:OD)

  3. Hi Annie,

    Let's hope so! The problem with things like UNESCO is that it is the government of each country must who apply for UNESCO world heritage status... So if politicians would prefer to take bribes for big, unethical developments instead (like in Ireland, for example), that's their prerogative. The Irish government refused to apply to have UNESCO status, until after the road that is...
    And you're right, once UNESCO gets in there, they will say that the road should not have been built, but it's too late and so nothing will come of it.

    Hi Vilt og vakkert,

    That's terrible! To say there is a lack of funding is one thing, but another entirely to say there just a lack of interest. I really hope your son finds some work in his field of study... good on him for taking an interest!