The story in the stone

A specific feature of the Pic de Vissou slopes is the abundance of stones in various sizes and types.  These stones have been used in their natural state in various ways.  The purpose of the low wall that you are looking at now, is to create a terrace in order to increase the arable surface available.

The use of terraces in agriculture involves the creation of arable land arranged in tiers with flat surfaces, supported by low rock walls or earth levées.  The most fequently used method of building these low walls is the 'drystone wall' method, which consists of stacking stones without using binder or mortar.
The terraces are built in areas where the land is sloped, areas that are not naturally very conducive to cultivation.  Their purpose is to increase the available arable surface area in sloping environments, and to better retain water.  Undertaking the construction of these walls requires a lot of effort as does the constant maintenance, due to the steep nature of the land.

In general terraces are not isolated ; on the contrary, series of similar structures are grouped together in a tiered formation on a slope.  Although very few vestiges now remain, there were many more cultivated plots on the slopes of the Vissou in the past than there are today.