5,000 years ago, Neolithic man found a cradle for his development in the region. The most striking traces of this period, which saw the birth of agriculture and stone architecture in particular, are the dolmens and other standing stones that essentially mark the presence of burial sites.
The initial project arose from the desire to highlight the megalithic heritage (dolmens in particular) of the Pays Loudunais, a project proposed at the initiative of the Communauté de Communes du Pays Loudunais and the town of Loudun (through its Charbonneau-Lassay museum).
The 2014 European Heritage Days (at Les Trois-Moutiers), working closely with the DRAC Poitou-Charentes Regional Archaeology Department, officially launched the local project. Since then, a census of burial sites (dolmens) and Neolithic dwelling sites(through the particular collections revealed), provides a base material on which the project can be anchored.
These ongoing censuses, complemented by an abundant bibliography, reflect the formidable potential of this little-known heritage hitherto never showcased.
The welcome in 2015 of archaeologists Vincent ARD (CNRS Toulouse) and Emmanuel MENS (Archéo Atlantica) has validated the initial directions and also proposed hitherto unexplored avenues, such as the implementation of a Projet Collectif de Recherches on the theme Megaliths and Habitats in the Neolithic. These programs, run by archaeologists in conjunction with local authorities, aim to coordinate a team of researchers on a joint research project to advance knowledge and then, in line with the expectations of the local authorities involved, to support the choices made to bring these new data to the general public: site enhancement, signage, exhibitions, school visits, modern popularization tools, tourism promotion…