LOCATED ON A PROMONTORY ON THIS PART OF ILE AUX MOINES ISLAND, PEN HAP DOLMEN IS ONE OF A SERIES OF PASSAGE GRAVES TO BE FOUND ALONG FORMER RIVER BEDS AROUND VANNES AND AURAY.
When the sea level was 6 to 7 metres lower, the Gulf of Morbihan was a wide valley irrigated by two rivers, and the island was part of the mainland.
Neolithic people built their large megalithic graves on high ground. As a result, between Locmariaquer and Arzon there are a large number of dolmens, menhirs and mounds from that period around the edge of the gulf.
Pen Hap dolmen:
The megalithic grave at Pen Hap is set in the southern end of a long mound measuring 80 metres by 40 metres. The remains of this huge enclosure, which has been diminished through materials being removed over the centuries, are sufficient to allow us to imagine the presence of a mound of earth up to 6 or 8 metres high.
The burial chamber is oblong-shaped with an entrance facing south-east. The granite used here is similar to that in the underlying rock.
The few engraved lines feature a decoration which can be seen as depicting an axe mounted on its handle. A second symbol resembles other shapes known as “axe-ploughs”.
Examination of the type of architecture suggests that the Pen Hap dolmen is between 5500 and 6000 years old.
The excavation conducted by Dr Mauricet in 1877 led to the discovery of archaeological materials, now preserved in Vannes history and archaeology museum.
Pen Hap dolmen has been listed as a Historic Monument since 1979.