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Background photo by kind permission of laughingmackerel


10,000 Years BC - Gallery

A small selection of photos taken on recent visits to the Prehistoric sites of the Vézère valley and Ardèche region of France. These images and a much wider range of others form part of the resource pack given to schools after our KS2 Prehistory and Archaeology workshop sessions.

Click or tap the thumbnails below to see larger images.

 


Chauvet Cave Artist
Reconstruction of an artist at work in the Chauvet Cave, where the oldest known cave art has been discovered.

 

La Madeleine Bison
The La Madeleine Bison, thought to have been carved onto a broken spear thrower fragment during the late Palaeolithic.

Spear Thrower
The 'Faon aux l'Oiseaux' spear thrower found in southern France, carved from reindeer antler between 12,000 and 17,000 years ago.

Rock Shelter
Rock shelter overlooking the Vézère valley - other ancient shelters have been found among the cliffs in the background. Although we refer to prehistoric people as 'cave' people, they lived under rock ledges and in tents for most of the time.

 

Abri Cro Magnon
This undramatic rock niche behind a railway station is where the very first early modern human bones were discovered in 1868. The site was named 'Abri Cro Magnon' after M. Magnon, the land owner at the time.
l'Homme Primitif
The 'Primitive Man' statue designed by French sculptor Paul Dardé (1888-1963) was inaugurated in 1931. Mistakenly believed by many to represent Cro-Magnon man (who's remains were first discovered nearby), it is actually a representation of our evolutionary relative Neanderthal Man. It is situated beneath a limestone overhang typical of those occupied by prehistoric hunter-gatherers in this region. Wistfully he gazes across the centuries, and across the river valley that has since become known as 'The Valley of Man'.
Abri Pataud Ibex
One of the hardest parts of discovering cave art is recognising it. The red outline surrounds an ancient carving of an Ibex found in the ceiling of the Abri Pataud rock shelter. Its large curved horns can be seen in the upper part of the outline.

Abri Pataud Strata
Archaeological layers in the Abri Pataud Palaeolithic rock shelter site. The natural cliff face can be seen in the top right of the photo. Occasional roof collapses sealed ancient occupation debris for millennia.

 


Palaeofacts: Did you know in May 2013 a Woolly Mammoth frozen into the North Siberian permafrost was discovered in such a complete state of preservation that the carcass oozed liquid blood as it began to thaw out. Carbon-dated to around 40,000 years old, the Mammoth (nicknamed Buttercup) died at a time when our Neanderthal relatives were still walking the Earth. Scientists are hoping to recover sufficient DNA from Buttercup to be able to clone a Mammoth in the future, but intact uncontaminated DNA in such an ancient animal is extremely difficult to find.
Winter backdrop image reproduced by kind permission of laughingmackerel.
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