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Experience an ancient burial...

Experience an ancient burial...

Saturday 27 April 2019

Experience an ancient burial...

Islanders are being invited to step back in time at dolmens around the island and experience an ancient burial ritual, featuring recreated graveside goods and a skeleton.

The recreations come as part of a drive to encourage more awareness of Jersey’s rich Megalithic heritage.

To celebrate this year’s European Day of Megalithic Culture, some of Jersey’s most knowledgeable experts will be based at each of the dolmen sites giving talks and demonstrations about the island’s ancient heritage.

Express caught up with Rosalind Le Quesne, a Human Osteologist who works in the Archaeology Section of the Société Jersiaise, who will be stationed at Grantez tomorrow (Sunday 28 April) to celebrate the international day...

Rosalind explained that Jersey has been marking the last Sunday in the month of April every year since 2017 when the island applied via the Société to be a part of the European Route of Megalithic Culture. 


Pictured: Some of the Société's Archaeology team at Faldouet dolmen (Facebook/Société Jersiaise Archaeology).

This, the Osteologist explained, “is a way of joining up European countries that have a shared cultural heritage”, and every year the Société teams up with Jersey Heritage along with all the other member countries to celebrate sites and culture from the Megalithic era.

In keeping with the theme ‘volunteers’, the Day of Megalithic Culture in Jersey is going to be marked at Faldouet, Grantez and Le Couperon dolmens where there will be volunteers on hand to teach visitors about Neolithic handicrafts such as bead-making from salt dough, stars made from twigs and pebble painting.

In addition to this, each dolmen will be accompanied by archaeological and historical experts who will be on-hand to share their expertise about this era of history. 

Pictured: Osteologist Rosalind Le Quesne hard at work.

The talks, crafts and demonstrations will take place on Sunday between 11:00 and 16:00.

Curator of Archaeology at Jersey Heritage Olga Finch will be based at Faldouet dolmen giving talks about Neolithic finds from around the island. At Grantez, Rosalind will be joined by local historian Sinclair Forrest.

With a specialty in osteology, Rosalind will be bringing a skeleton to the dolmen where she will recreate a Neolithic burial ritual.

She told Express: “I’m trying to keep it authentic, I’m trying to replicate some of the grave goods… that originally were there. There were eight burials in Grantez – there are seven adults and one child and they all had with them a deposit of limpets and some pebbles and a quantity of pottery and other bits.”


Pictured: The day seeks to garner more enthusiasm and understanding about Jersey's megalithic heritage.

At Le Couperon in St. Martin will be Jersey Heritage guide Philippa Kergozou and Marc Yates from ‘History Alive!’. 

There is also a quiz prize for those who can answer questions relating to all three dolmens. Visitors can enter the draw at any of the sites and the winner will be picked at random from the correct answers.

When asked about what this day means for the island’s historical offering, Rosalind said: “It’s really important. The more we can engage people with our history, the better. We do have this amazing heritage of megalithic culture and in Jersey as well there’s so many structures in such a small area.  

“In other countries they tend to be more spaced out and more difficult to get to, but in Jersey they’re so easy… It’s really important for people to appreciate and understand we’ve got this amazing heritage.”

Lead picture: Le Couperon dolmen. (Archaeology Section, Société Jersiaise)

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