Dolmen of Martignes

The Dolmen of Martignes and the Dolmen of Cloup de Coutze are among the 12 dolmens listed in the municipality of Beduer.

Dolmen de Martignes in Beduer - Lot
Leaning cover slab

This traditional Quercy village developed along the Via Podensis, a section of St. James Way, and was a stopover for the pilgrims arriving from the nearby abbaye of of Figeac.

The dolmen de Martignes stands 4kms from Beduer, in a clearing by a crossroads, 300m from the road that links Figeac to the bastide of Cajarc.

The east-facing dolmen (as most are) still has its two supporting slabs, as well as its closing and cover slabs; however, the latter slightly leans, as the supporting slabs partially collapsed over time.

Dolmen du Cloup de Coutze

Ancient folks erected this small dolmen on the slope of a sinkhole (cloup in Occitan) that was shaped like a squash (coutzo).

Dolmen de Martignes in Beduer - Lot
One of the support slabs partially collapsed

The round tumulus was built with coarse rocks and therefore deteriorated rapidly over time. Vegetation then found its way inside and damaged its internal structure.

The sepulchral chamber is trapezoidal (the entrance is narrower than the back).

Archaeologists are not sure that this dolmen ever had a cover slab, as not only has it long gone, but no vestiges can be seen.

The two support slabs, which still exist and are embedded in small channels, paired with the observations recorded above, led them to think that this dolmen could have been a passage grave.

Sadly, it was looted in the past (as were so many before they were protected!), but the excavations of 1968 still uncovered the (badly preserved bones) of a dozen individuals.

The funerary furniture included offerings of animal bones, 51 ring beads, 2 cylindrical calcite beads, a shiny black lignite stone and shards of coarse ceramics.

Department of Lot – Martignes
Coordinates: Lat 44.569461 – Long 1.908482

Credit photos – Flickr album©

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