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"Prehistoric Painted Caves of Vézère River Valley" Suggested Travel Itinerary

1

Abri de Cap-Blanc

UNESCO Heritage List
Abri de Cap-Blanc
Abri de Cap-Blanc is a natural rock shelter that displays one of the most remarkable collections of prehistoric wall sculptures dating from the upper Paleolithic (some 15,000 to 10,000 years before present).
The sculptures that extend on 13 of the total of 15 meters length of the shelter feature carved animal forms like horses, bison, reindeer.
Abri de Cap-Blanc is listed as UNESCO site along with the other prehistoric sites on the Vézère river valley. ...

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2

Abri du Poisson

UNESCO Heritage List
Abri du Poisson
Poisson in French means fish. The name of this small cavity comes from the engraved fish - a 1 meter long salmon - that dates from around 25,000 years Before Present.
It is one of the oldest known representations of a fish.
Abri du Poisson is listed in the UNESCO's world heritage list along with the other prehistoric sites on the Vézère river valley. ...

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3

Font-de-Gaume

UNESCO Heritage List
Font-de-Gaume
The Font-de-Gaume cave located near the town of Eyzies-de-Tayac in Dordogne displays on its walls 200 engravings and polychrome paintings, dating from some 15,000 years before present. These prehistoric murals rival in beauty to the ones of Altamira or Lascaux, although they are unfortunately less well preserved.
The art work on the cave's walls was discovered just 4 days after the discovery of the nearby Combarelles cave, on the 12th of September 1901 by the same team of archeology enthusiasts: Denis Peyrony, Louis Capitan and Henri Breuil.
The engravings and the paintings on the 125 meters long, 2 to 3 meters wide and up to 8 meters high corridor like cave represent geometrical signs, anthropomorphic figures and animals - horses, reindeer, mammoths,...

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4
Grotte de Bara Bahau
The Bara-Bahau (or Bara-Bao) painted cave certainly owes its name to the collapse of the rocks at its entrance, event that was described in the local Occitan language by "baraboum"! The cave is listed as a Historic Monument by the French Ministry of Culture.
The engravings found inside the deepest part of the cave feature animal, geometric and anthropomorphic shapes dating from some 15,000 years BP. ...

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5

Grotte de Rouffignac

UNESCO Heritage List
Grotte de Rouffignac
Grotte de Rouffignac is listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage list long with the other prehistoric sites on the Vézère River valley.
The cave was already known in the 16th century and throughout the time it was referred to by different names: Caverne du Cluseau, Cro de Granville and Grotte de Miremont.
Already in the 1575 the cave was mentioned by Francois de Belleforest, a French writer, in his work "Cosmographie Universelle", where he relates that the cave's walls display animal engravings.
Most probably this long cave - at almost 8 km of length Rouffignac it is one of the longest painted cave in the world - was used as a refuge by the local population during Middle Ages.
The most exhaustive...

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6

Grotte de Saint-Cirq

UNESCO Heritage List
Grotte de Saint-Cirq
The Cave of Saint-Cirq is also known as the "Grotte du Sorcier" - the Cave of the Wizard - after the internationally renowned engraving that was found there and that represents a sorcerer.
Other engravings that adorn the walls of the cave depict animals - bison, horses and goats -, geometric signs and anthropomorphic figures and date from between 17,000 and 15,000 BP.
The cave is listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage along with the other prehistoric sites on the Vézère River valley....

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7

Lascaux Caves

UNESCO Heritage List
Lascaux Caves
Lascaux Cave was discovered in September 1940 by a mechanic apprentice called Marcel Ravidat.
He and three other youngsters from the village of Montignac descended in the cave on the 12 of September 1940 and were the first visitors of the modern times to see the paintings left by the Cro-Magnon human (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) - the anatomically modern humans - who came to Europe between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago in an age called Upper Paleolithic!
In 1950 Lascaux Cave was one of the first archaeological sites to use the new - at the time! - dating technique of Carbon 17, and its artifacts were date more precisely to around 17,000 years BC.
Due to the quantity and the quality...

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8

Prehistoric Cave of Combarelles

UNESCO Heritage List
Prehistoric Cave of Combarelles
Combarelles is a prehistoric decorated cave located on the territory of the commune of Les Eyzies de Tayac in the Dordogne department.
With over 600 engraved and drawn works, this cave is considered a major site of the Upper Paleolithic era known as Magdalenian age, dating from between 17,000 to 12,000 years ago.
The cave, itself created by the flow of an underground river, consists of two galleries. The most important one, open to visitors, is a narrow 1 meter wide, 300 meters long corridor.
Its walls' illustrations - 291 works divided into 105 sets - include horses, deer, ibex, mammoths, rhinos, bears, cats and some cattle and an exceptional set of fifty anthropomorphic figures.
The cave was discovered by Denis...

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9
Régourdou Field and Museum
This Neanderthal man habitat was discovered in 1954 by the Roger Constant who was looking for an entrance into Lascaux cave (discovered in 1940)....

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10
Roque Saint-Christophe
Roque Saint-Christophe is a kilometer long, sixty meters high limestone cliff.
It is located in the town of Peyzac-le-Moustier near the town of Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, France.
Over time the frost and the water have dug numerous rock shelters and long terraces in the calcareous sides of the Dordogne's mild cliffs - and Roque Saint-Christophe was one of them.
These natural cavities have served as shelters for the Prehistoric humans as long ago as the 55,000 before present (BP).
In the more recent centuries of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the caves were used as fortified refuges for the local population as was the case during the Hundred Years War of the 14th and the 15th century and...

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