The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

Dolmen of Fontanaccia, Plain of Cauria, Corsica, (France)

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Dolmen of Fontanaccia, Corsica, by Cardioceras (Commons Wikimedia)

Latitude: 41.529559N. Longitude: 8.918266E. On the Plain of Cauria (Plateau de Cauria), 15 kms to the southwest of  Sartè (Sartène) on the Island of Corsica, (France), stands the most famous Corsican Megalithic structure: the Dolmen of Fontanaccia, Funtanaccia Dolmen, or ‘Stazzona  del Diavolu’ (the Devil’s Forge), which dates from the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age. This very important prehistoric burial chamber (table tomb) is located in the Dept: Corse-du-Sud, near the end of the D48A road, southwest of Sartène, and near Tizzano on the southwestern coast. From Sartène follow the D21, D48 and D48A roads going southwest to the megalithic monument. The Dolmen of Fontanaccia with its huge, flat capstone-table and six massive stone supports, is thought to be up to 4,000 years old (the 2nd -1st millennia BC). About ½ km to the northeast of the domen is ‘The Alignment de Stantari’, a group of fifteen menhir statues, while 1 km to the south of those another prehistoric site composed of forty-six standing stones known as ‘The Rinaghju Alignment’.

Olivier Jehasse (1992) says of this prehistoric site that: “Between Sartè and the sea, left of the valley which arrives as far as the port of Tizza (Tizzano), extends the high plain of Cauria, an old place of the prehistoric period. This place overhung by a granite mass is above all famous for the Dolmen of Fontanaccia, that the popular tradition transmitted in the last century by P. Merimee, calls ‘”A Stazzona d’U Diavulu”‘ (the forge of the devil). This beautiful monument, well conserved, is composed of 6 slabs which support a table 3.40 meters long and 2.60 meters wide. The room sitting approximately 40 centimeters deep in the earth measures 2.60 meters long, 1.60 meters wide and 1.8 meters high. These funereal buildings, of which a dozen examples are known in Corsica and scattered in all of the western world, are slightly older than the Casteddi which are characteristic of the island’s prehistoric era.  If their roles in the rural communities of the 2nd and 1st millennia B.C. are difficult to understand, the presence of such monuments, in the middle of the plains, or in the hills or at a peak’s edge, bear witness to the presence of social structures on the island, magnified by these collective tombs, dating to late antiquity.”

Jehasse (1992) adds more with regard to the Bronze Age in Corsica, saying that: “Starting from 2200 B.C., the Bronze Age makes a turning point for architectural invention. This island is covered with castles, fortified complexes, and huts grouped around circular or rectangular buildings having various functions. Very well preserved in the south and in the regions of Porti Vecchju, Livia, and Taravu, these complexes are also to be found in Balagne, in the Golu Valley near Ponte Leccia, in the Niolu region and in the hills overlooking the Aleria hinterland. The appearance of these complexes, moreover, is a sign of the transformation of this island society, where human groups differentiate themselves one from another. This evolution is still more clear cut in the area of religion. Collective funerary monuments Stazzoni or dolmens were built. Southern Corsica is once again the region richest in vestiges of these monuments: Stazzona of Funtanaccia and Cardiccia near Sartè, the Stazzona at Taravu and Stazzona of Appiettu near Alacciu. They are also to be found in the northwest in the Agriate region near the village of Santu Pietru of Tenda and in the Niolu region near the village of Albertaccia. This presence of death in monumental form on the peaks and in the highlands is one of the hallmarks of this epoch.”  

About 1 kilometer to the northeast of the dolmen, at the center of the Caurian plain, is another prehistoric site called: ‘The Alignment de Stantari’, a group of fifteen granite menhir statues. These strange carved stones were probably erected some-where between the 13th and 7th centuries BC? Stantari meaning “man on his feet” in the island’s language. The stones measure between 2.78 and 2.91 in height. And another 1 kilometer to the south of these statues is yet another prehistoric site: ‘The Rinaghju Alignment’, which is composed of forty-six granite standing stones in two parallel rows. The tallest stone being 1.50 meters high, according to Olivier Jehasse in her work of 1992.

Sources and related websites:

Jehasse, Olivier, Corsica – Island of beauty, (English Translation: Ilene Steingut), Edition: Plurigraf, Narni – Terni, Italy, 1992.

Photo of Dolmen of Fontanaccia by Cardioceras at:-  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=The+Dolmen+of+Fontanaccia+in+Corsica+(Wikimedia)&dcr=1&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=ASbisxkJrL1XIM%253A%252CpTPng18DJJg4KM%252C_&usg=__vaeUDHgVv13_Xpkjoa7G0YoN3Co%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiig_T_qq7aAhVIPBQKHb9kCckQ9QEIQzAE#imgrc=ASbisxkJrL1XIM:

https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolmen_de_Fontanaccia&prev=search

http://www2.culture.gouv.fr/public/mistral/merimee_fr?ACTION=CHERCHER&FIELD_1=REF&VALUE_1=PA00099114

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=9501

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=9519

© Ray Spencer, The Journal Of Antiquities, 2018.

 

Author: sunbright57

I am interested in holy wells, standing stones and ancient crosses; also anything old, prehistoric, or unusual.

One thought on “Dolmen of Fontanaccia, Plain of Cauria, Corsica, (France)

  1. Pingback: Megalithkultur in Korsika | Die Goldene Landschaft

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