Le dolmen de la Gastée

The La Gastée dolmen stands in the centre of a 16m-diameter burial mound beneath oak and pine trees in the forest of la Bouissière. Restored by Georges Bérard, it is one of the most beautiful burial sites of the region's Neolithic peoples.

The dolmen consists of a roofing slab, four vertical slabs and a low dry-stone wall. One third of the roofing slab has been lost; it must originally have weighed over 5 tonnes. The imposing chevet stone on the east side serves as the main pillar. A small vertical slab runs from north to south through through the centre of the square burial chamber or cella.
As is typical of the ‘Var’ group of dolmens, the cella is situated below ground level. The entrance consists of a corridor with walls of vertical slabs. It points west, towards the setting sun and, according to tradition, towards death.
Materials used to build the dolmen have been recovered from the surrounding area, and excavations have uncovered 30kg of human bones and 1,600 teeth, corresponding to about 80 individuals.
The La Gastée dolmen dates from the Chalcolitic period, beween 2100 and 2000 BC.