La Causéga’s herd pen (Céva)

La Causéga’s pens are on the northern slope of a small plateau between Céva and Mérim valleys.

Typology Converted site

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

On a small alpine plateau at the top of Céva Valley, at an altitude of 1700 m, one can observe a vast structure made up of 27 grouped pens, made up of dry stonewalls. The ensemble covers an area of ​​approximately 200 mx 400 m (8 ha).

The largest pen measures approximately 75m x 40m (nearly 3000m ²), and the smallest one measures approximately 32m x 20m (a little more than 600m ²).

Pens have irregular shapes, presumably generated by adaptation to the terrain, its slope, and the location of available rocks and irremovable rocks. We can observe, at the pen’s and ensemble’s scale, that the walls were preferably built following lines either close to the horizontal, or perpendicular to the slope.

Several remains of rectangular dry stone huts are visible on the outskirts as in the center of the group of pens.

It is assumed that these pens were parks for the separation of herds, under the supervision of shepherds sheltering in the huts in and around the pens.

The origin of these pens is not documented, but it is tempting to bring them closer to the many representations of meshes, called “topographical”, appearing among the proto-historic rock engravings of the valley of the Wonders (Vallée des Merveilles) and Fontanalba.

Similar but less well-preserved and smaller organizations are found in the region.

Conditions of visit

Take RD 42 road from RD 6204 road north of the village of Fontan. After many laces, Céva track (SUV necessary) until Les Celles. Roadside parking. The hiking trail from marker 229 leads to the pens.
Limited access due to the nature of the hardly car suitable track and hiking trails. The site is snowy in winter. Visits from June to October (dates depending on the weather).
Permanent opening to the public.


Additional information


  • Geist Henri, Les enclos de la cime de Causéga, Magazine Le Haut-Pays, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya n°43, 1998.