Dry stone huts not used by shepherds, nor Gauls...

Dry-stone huts expert Jean-Marc Caron standing in front of Cabane du Mazut
Dry stone huts expert Jean-Marc Caron in front of Cabane du Mazut, a Monument Historique

Architecture of France... Dry-stone wall huts

Take a drive into the French countryside and, in many areas, you will see small dry stone wall huts.

They are found in locations where the local stone is on or very close to the surface and breaks off in layers thus making it easy to build with. You will find huts, abandoned and in ruins, for example, in Burgundy, Provence, Languedoc, the Lot, the Dordogne, Brittany and the Alps.

They are typically thought of as small and round but actually come in a huge range of styles. Common explanations are that they are shepherd’s shelters and ancient constructions called bories.

But a group of professional and amateur ethnologists and archaeologists has uncovered the truth behind these buildings - and debunked many myths surrounding them.

The Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur l’Architecture Vernaculaire (CERAV) was formed in 1978 to study the vernacular ...

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