THE DOLMENS MEMORY OF THE STONES

At MASSAC

Itineray type : Foot

Theme : Cultural

Descriptif détaillé :

The hike
From the stone stele onward, walk down towards the Torgan stream.
Set back slightly from the trail, a boundary stone decorated with a Maltese cross (1) used to separate the civilian territory from the religious.
A bit further on, to your left, the former Massac wine cooperative (2), built in 1950, ceased all activities at the end of the 1980s.
The stream supplied several flour mills with water. The Cioutat mill, remarkable because of its dimensions, with its basin and its canal pound, was built in the 19th century.
The Moulin de l’Ermitage (4), dating back to the 13th century, with its engraved keystone, still has its millstone and wooden rotating axis.
Nearby, below and hazardous to reach, an old water reservoir (‘aiguier’), situated next to the rocky wall, was used as water drainage system.
About-turn: leave the valley, cross the D10 close to a rose garden and walk uphill on the Arquette, a round arch-like shaped hillock.
Below the hillside, Massaguel (5), a primitive hamlet and Gallo-Roman necropolis, covered in holm oaks overlooking the Dernacueillette col.
This area, “open, shared and offered to the sun”, part of the journey of the ancient sheep farmers, is characterized by its ‘stone tables’ or dolmens, with narrow corridors, dating back to the end of the Neolithic age (2500 BC).
After the Escoumes dolmen (6), discover the ‘Table of the Dead’ (‘Table des Morts’) (7), the highest spot of this hike (577 m) reminiscent of the ancient Roman sacrifices. A bit lower on the plateau, the Tres Peyros dolmen with its chamber tomb containing funerary furnishings (9): pottery, pendants and cut and polished stones.
At the top of the Cioutat (8), an agriculturally abandoned landscape, scattered with box trees, surrounded by pechs and subject to the winds lies ahead. The former mining site of Matefagine, exploited since ancient times successively for its copper and its bauxite, lies on the edge of the Torgan valley, protected by Mont Tauch.
Cross the D1610 which goes to Laroque-de-Fa. Amidst the Austrian pines and Manna ash, you’ll discover a cylindrical oven (10) which was used for the production of hollow “canal” tiles, which were curved on the human thigh and used for the roofs of the dwellings.
The downhill section takes you to the Saint-Julien-et-Sainte-Basilice church, quoted as far back as 1177. (11) Curiosity: to protect oneself from all kinds of danger, one could slide the portal shut, as was possible in fortified constructions.
You’ll finish your hike in the narrow streets of the village. Man, by mastering the flow of the water, has managed to improve his own comfort: cistern, public baths (12) and washtub.
In Massac, stone applications of all kinds can be found!

N° d'urgence depuis un portable : 112

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