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      1864 Megalithic Survey of France:

In 1864 M. Bertrand published a map of France, showing the distribution of 'dolmens' as then known.


It was observed that there appeared to be an association between the frequency of dolmens in areas with names containing the 'ac' determination. i.e. 'Carn-ac' (Cairn-ac)





The table below is a reproduction of part of his statistics as provided in Fergusson's 'Rude Stone Monuments'.


   Fergusson's Results:

The table below is a reproduction of part of his statistics as provided in Fergusson's 'Rude Stone Monuments'.

County Name Dolmens Terminations in 'Ac'
Lot 500 71
Finistre 500 3
Mobihan 250 26
Ardeche 155 16
Aveyron 125 35
Dordogne 100 75
Vienne (Haute et Basse) 82 41
Cotes du Nord 56 8
Maine-et-Loire 53 -
Eure-et-Loire 40 -
Gard 32 16
Aube 28 1
Indre-et-Loire 28 -
Charente 26 50
Creuse 26 6
Charente-Inferieure 24 21
Lozere 19 16
Correze 17 42
Vendee 17 -
Loire-Inferieure 16 11
Sarthe 15 -
Ille-et-Vilaine 15 18
Deux-Sevres 15 -
Orne 14 -
Indre 13 3
Manche 13 -
Pyrenees-Orientales 12 2
Puy-de-Dome 10 3
Oise 9 -
Cantal 8 37
Tarne-et-Garonne 7 16


Fergusson himself admitted that 'The information in this table must be received with great limitation. In the first place, What is a dolmen?'...The value of the 'ac' distinction does not come out clearly: first because of the imperfect mode in which it has been contained, but more because it does not make it clear that there are in France twenty-nine departments in which there are no dolmens, and no ac-terminations; in fact, the negative evidence, which does not appear here is stronger than the positive'. (1)

Fergusson continues 'Referring to the table...we find that thirty departments contain more than ten monuments. Thirty others, according to M. Bertrand, contain from one to eight or nine; and the remaining twenty-nine either contain none at all or these are so insignificant as hardly to deserve attention'. (1)

Note - Fergusson mentions that although the termination 'ac' occurs in 'that part of Cornwall south of Redruth and west of Falmouth' (at least 38 times, always spelt with an additional k)...'it is not found anywhere else in Great Britain or Ireland. Nor is it found in the Channel Islands, though dolmens abound there'. He forgets to include those Irish, Welsh and Scottish place names that have terminations of 'ach' etc.


(Prehistoric French Sites)





1). Fergusson. Rude Stone Monuments. 1872. John Murray.


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