Online Encyclopedia

CAUSSES (from Lat. calx through local...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 558 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CAUSSES (from Lat. calx through local Fr. caous, meaning " lime "), the name given to the table-lands lying to the south of the central plateau of France and sloping westward from the Cevennes. They form parts of the departments of Lozere, Aveyron, Gard, Herault, Lot and Tarn-et-Garonne. They are of limestone formation, dry, sterile and treeless. These characteristics are most marked in the east of the region, where the Causse de Sauveterre, the Causse Mejan, the Causse Noir and the Larzac flank the Cevennes. Here the Causse Mejan, the most deserted and arid of all, reaches an altitude of nearly 4200 ft. Towards the west the lesser causses of Rouergue and Quercy attain respectively 2950 ft. and 1470 ft. Once an uninterrupted table-land, the causses are now isolated from one another by deep rifts through which run the Tarn, the Dourbie, the jonte and other rivers. The summits are destitute of running water, since the rain as it falls either sinks through the permeable CAUSTIC surface soil or runs into the fissures and chasms, some of great depth, which are peculiar to the region. The inhabitants (Caussenards) of the higher causses cultivate hollows in the ground which are protected from the violent winds, and the scanty herbage permits of the raising of sheep, from the milk of which Roquefort cheeses are made. In the west, where the rigours of the weather are less severe, agriculture is more easily carried on.
End of Article: CAUSSES (from Lat. calx through local Fr. caous, meaning " lime ")
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