The stone quarries
The archives report operating open air and underground quarries in Ménerbes from 1886 to 1922. Over this period, the underground quarrying area was 4000 m2. Underground quarrying was abandoned in 1905. There remain many traces of manual exploitation as well as inscriptions and drawings on the walls. Today, the old quarry covers around 3000 m², made up of three underground chambers. Operations developed using the technique of chambres and pillars abandoned in banks of apparently homogeneous limestone. In 1976 the ‘Société Provençale d’Exploitation de Carrières (SPEC)’ (local quarrying company) was created, and then in 1987 merged with another – les Carrières Réunies – to form “Pierres du Luberon” (the Stones of the Luberon). In 1997 the company was bought up by SN and renamed PROROCH.
Limestone molosse from the Burdigalian (Lower Miocene – 21.5 to 16.3m years). Intertwined stratification (layers of different sizes piled next to or on top of each other). Reefal rockface containing several fossil species characteristic of this sort of formation zone (Polyparies, calcareous skeletons secreted by certain fixed organisms of the jellyfish family ; Bryozoairians, cylindrical, branching or flaky colony-forming and generally builder animal organisms).
Alternating bank of shelly and fine Caberan 12 metres thick.