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Pech Merle

Pech Merle is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France which remain open to the general public. Extending for more than a mile from the entrance are caverns the walls of which are painted with dramatic murals dating from the Gravettian culture (some 25 000 years BP) Some of the paintings and engravings, however, could date from the later Magdalenian era (16 000 years BP). This area once had a great river flowing through it, cutting underground channels which were later used by humans for shelter and eventually for mural painting. The walls of seven of the chambers at Pech Merle have fresh, lifelike images of a woolly mammoth, spotted horses, bovids, reindeer, handprints, and some human figures. Footprints of children, preserved in what was once clay, have been found more than a kilometre underground. Within a ten kilometre radius of the site are ten other caves with prehistoric art of the Upper Palaeolithic period, but none of these are open to the public. During the Ice Age the caves were very probably used as places of refuge by prehistoric peoples when the area had an Arctic climate, very cold temperatures, and native animal species very different from those of the present day. It is supposed that, at some point in the past, mudslides covered the cave entrances providing an airtight seal until the 20th century. The cave at Pech Merle has been open to the public since 1926. Visiting groups are limited in size and number so as not to destroy the delicate artwork with the excessive humidity, heat and carbon dioxide produced by breathing.

Text above from Wikipedia.

Pech Merle google earth image

Peche Merle site and the nearby village of Cabrerets.

Photo: Google Earth

pech merle aerial
Cabrerets and the Pech Merle site. Note the white limestone evident throughout the area.

Pech Merle is a cave in the south of France in the Department called Lot. (Quercy is the pre-Napoleonic name of the province, still in popular use. Pech means hill, and Pech Merle is the highest hill in its local region) It is at an elevation of 280m on the eastern side of the hill called Pech Merle.

Pech Merle was discovered in 1922 by two teenagers, André David and Henri Dutertre, when they were 16 and 15 years old respectively. The examination of the paintings and engravings was immediately begun by Father Amédée Lemozi, the priest of Cabrerets. The galleries of the cave are on average 10 m wide and the height of the ceilings is about 5 to 10 m. There are two levels of the cave, but there are only paintings on the first level. 300 m of the walls are painted.

Photo: http://www.quercy.net/pechmerle/english/introduction.html




Pech Merle Plan



Plan of Pech Merle

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




pech merle discoverer



One of the two discoverers of the cave, André David.

Photo: http://www.pechmerle.com/english/introduction.html




Why is it called 'Pech Merle'? In the lower third of France is a southern Latin culture called langue d'oc or occitan. Pech is the french writing of the occitan word puèg which means a hill. We pronounce it as in "fresh". It appears in the name of many localities, written pech, puech, pioch, pey, and you can read it on the signs of the regional roads. In old french, the word is puy, as in "Puy de Dome". Merle is sometimes translated as blackbird, so we can think of the name as Blackbird Hill.
Text above: http://www.quercy.net/pechmerle/english/introduction.html

pech merle plan

Photo of the surface of the site with superimposed plan of the cave.

Photo: http://vm.kemsu.ru/en/palaeolith/pesh-merl.html




pech merle plan





Pech Merle plan

1. Possible site of the entrance at the time of the earliest decorations
2,3,4 Le Combel chamber with figures in the earliest style
5 Main decorated chamber of the early sanctuary with a frieze of horses surrounded by hand signs
6 Ossuary
7 Large black fresco most often referred to as the chapel of mammoths
8 Area with scraped ceiling
9 Figures just outside the chamber
10 Chamber with the woman/bison panel
11 Side chamber with the wounded man and Placard (or brace) sign
12 Narrow gallery with engraving of a bear and other signs

Photo: Leroi-Gourhan, in Champion et al. (2009)




In total, there are about 576 separate images at Pech-Merle. Exceptionally - and unlike Chauvet, Lascaux and Altamira, there is more abstract geometric art here, than animal pictures. Only about 60 animal images have been identified: 21 mammoth, 12 horses, 7 bison, 6 aurochs, 6 reindeer, 2 ibex 1 lion, 1 bear and 3 indecipherable ones. However, again unlike other famous cave murals of Paleolithic times, there are 12 images of humans - 8 relatively naturalistic, and 4 schematic.
Text above from http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric/pech-merle-cave-paintings.htm






Panneau des Chevaux ponctués - Panel of the Spotted Horses

horse horse

Painted horses, Peche Merle

In 1995 Michel Lorblanchet studied some samples of black colour from the "dotted horses" painting of the Pech Merle cave in the paper Lorblanchet (1996)

They found a mixture made mostly with manganese and barium oxides. Some very scarce samples contained a little bit of charcoal. Amongst about 20 samples, only one (in the area indicated by the red dot) contained enough charcoal to be able to be dated to about 25 000 BP (radiocarbon dating by Mme Hélène Valladas, CNRS laboratory in Gif sur Yvette, Essone, close to Paris).

Photo: http://www.slideshare.net/extremecraft/01-paleolithic






Pech Merle Bison Pech Merle Bison

The famous spotted horses from Pech Merle.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Bison Pech Merle Bison

Spotted horses.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Bison

This photograph shows how thin is the support on which the horses are painted.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




horse

Spotted horse on the right surrounded by black dots and handprints. The pigments of the chest of the horse have been dated to 24 640 ± 390 BP

Photo: © SRA Midi-Pyrénées et Lorblanchet 1995
Source: Jaubert (2008)




horse

Painting of horses and hands from the Pech Merle cave. Gravettien. Replica in the Brno museum Anthropos.

Photo: HTO

Permission: 22 May 2009 - Public domain




horse

Pech Merle horse.

Photo: http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0205790917.pdf




Pech Merle Bison Pech Merle Bison
This hand is to the left of the spotted horses. It is not obvious what technique was used for this negative hand imprint, so that dots were left around the hand. Either the dots were applied later, which seems unlikely, or some sort of circular stencil was used at the time the hand was created, or perhaps circular dobs of grease or oil were added beforehand so that the black Manganese Dioxide did not stick to the wall.

Perhaps it was the latter, since the dots are not as clearly defined in outline as the hand.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panel of the Spotted Horses

The hand above the rump of the right hand spotted horse.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Bison Pech Merle Bison

The hand above the dorsal line of the right hand spotted horse.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Bison

Outline of a male Bison, with a rectangular shape similar to a leather strap on its midsection.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Pech Merle horses really were spotted, scientists say

The horses in the Pech Merle cave in southern France, painted during the Earth's last Ice Age around 25,000 BCE, have long had a special fascination for anthropologists, mainly because of their mysterious spots. The black markings, which some scientists believe were painted using a spitting technique, cover the entire flank and neck of one of the two horses, while fainter spots can be seen on the other. Until now, scientists only had DNA evidence of monochrome horses - mainly bay and black - living in Europe in that period, and had therefore assumed that the spots had a shamanistic or spiritual significance – or were simply the artistic license of an imaginative caveman.

But new DNA evidence gathered and analyzed by an international team of researchers has found that spotted horses did indeed exist in Europe in what is known as the Upper Paleolithic period, 50 000 to 10 000 years ago. According to the findings published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ancient artists were simply drawing what they saw around them.

The team - which included scientists from Britain, Germany, Mexico, the United States, Spain and Russia - was led by Melanie Pruvost of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and the Department of Natural Sciences at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. 'We had a project on the domestication of the horse, and were looking at this particular color variation in pre-domesticated horses,' Arne Ludwig, one of the German researchers, told Deutsche Welle. 'Then an American scientist came up to me at a conference in Leipzig and said, 'Do you know that we have identified the genetic mutation for spotted horses?' So, since we knew about the Pech Merle paintings, we looked for evidence of that mutation from that time.'

By analyzing bones and teeth of 31 horses in Siberia and Europe dating back as many as 35 000 years, researchers found that six shared a gene associated with a type of leopard spotting seen in some modern horses. Archeologists believe that horses were only domesticated about 6 000 years ago, which means that the horses depicted in Pech Merle were hunted, not bred. 'We assume that the people who did these cave paintings were horse-hunters,' said Ludwig. 'They needed to be able to observe their environment very precisely. Their whole culture was practically based on hunting horses, because horses were the most common large mammals at the time.'

Patrick Skinner, archeologist at Cambridge University, says the findings reinforce current theories of how humans interacted and perceived animals at the time. 'The characteristics of the animals were very important for how the Upper Paleolithic people interacted with them,' he told Deutsche Welle. 'So the new evidence reinforces the idea that they aren't just painting animals for the sake of painting animals. It's their idiosyncratic behaviors that make them important.' It is difficult to judge how common the spotted horses were, based on the handful of samples tested, but Ludwig thinks the percentages suggest they were 'not rare.' This is also a new insight, since many researchers had considered a spotted coat unlikely for Paleolithic horses.

The ability to genotype Stone Age animals is a relatively new tool for archeologists, and the team behind the discovery are confident that, as more and more genetic codes are identified, we will soon know much more about the appearance of these animals. French archeologist Jean Clottes, president of the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations, is convinced that the new discovery does nothing to damage the spiritual dimension of the cave art, or the creative reputation of the Stone Age artist. He points out that spots depicted on the Pech Merle horses also appear above and below the animals, not just on them - so, he argues, they must have had another meaning too. 'This does not change our perceptions at all,' he told Deutsche Welle. 'It's interesting, because it shows that the Pech Merle horses were not a figment of the imagination. Fine, but this works for those two horses, and that's it. We've known for a hundred years and more that these people painted animals which existed.' Ludwig agrees. 'There's no way you could rule out that these spots generally have a ritual, shamanistic or religious value for the people in those days,' he says. 'But that's just speculation. All we can say now as geneticists is that these horses existed then.' 'The discovery doesn't prove anything for or against any interpretation,' adds Clottes. 'There are hundreds of cave paintings and the majority of the animals represented are naturalistic, and this is another example. So what? But there are also what we call composite animals - for example, a head of a horse with horns. These are fantastical.'

But Ludwig also notes that it is striking how the proportions of tan and spotted horses match the numbers depicted in cave art. 'The types of horse that were painted the most – the brown ones – were also the genomes we found most often,' he said. 'Even if it's a small sample, it does fit.'

Text: Ben Knight
Editor: Cyrus Farivar
Source: http://www.dw.de/pech-merle-horses-really-were-spotted-scientists-say/a-15517588







The Black Frieze - Chapelle des Mammoths



photo montage

Photomontage of the black frieze at Pech Merle, showing mammoths, bison, aurochs, horse and red dots.

Probably Solutrean. Total size 7 metres by 2.5 metres.

Photo: Bahn and Vertut (1997)




aurochs

Aurochs drawn in black.

Photo: Errede (2013)




Pech Merle Aurochs Pech Merle Aurochs

Aurochs drawn stylistically with a thick outline, and another similar, drawn vertically head down.

Part of the painting is obscured by a large rock in the foreground.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs Pech Merle Aurochs





The two Aurochs above are shown in the right hand image, as well as a nearby stylised Mammoth with long hair.

The rear of an aurochs on the right can be seen overlapping the mammoth.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs

This is the Aurochs which overlaps the mammoth. All the aurochs are in the same style, probably by the same artist.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs





Close up of the head of the Mammoth. The trunk is realistically depicted, in contrast to the stylised way the rest of the Mammoth has been drawn.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs





The lines above the Aurochs and Mammoth are hard to interpret, but may be the outlines of two other Mammoths.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




mammoth aurochs

Painting of a mammoth and aurochs in black. An attempt has been made to indicate the mammoth's characteristic long heavy coat, and the domed head is clearly shown. The original is about 31.5 inches long.

Photo: Errede (2013)
Text: Man before history by John Waechter




Pech Merle Aurochs

Below the Mammoth/Aurochs panel is the outline of a mammoth, with red haematite dots covering much of its body.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs

The outline only of an Aurochs and the back of a horse.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs

The horse is complete. Facing to the left are two stylised Bison, and below can be seen the dorsal outline of a Mammoth.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs Pech Merle Aurochs

The head of the horse appears to have been drawn strangely, perhaps in two versions.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Horse

Another closeup of the head.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Bison Pech Merle Bison

A male Bison drawn with greatly exaggerated head and forequarters, and a closeup of the legs and front feet.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Mammoth Pech Merle Mammoth





The panel includes two Mammoths below, and another somewhat obscured above. The Mammoth above has the rear feet shown, as well as abdominal hair, but the back and head are barely suggested, although the arched tail of the Bison provides an outline of the neck, as well as the front of the front leg.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Mammoth Pech Merle Mammoth

These images show closeups of the Mammoth on the right. It is notable for the long hair the artist has given it, which serves to give the image its character.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Mammoth





This flowstone evokes the same image of a Mammoth as that shown above, with long 'hair' providing much of the outline of the animal.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Mammoth Pech Merle Mammoth





This is a somewhat smudged and faded image, but the tusks and main outline are shown well.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs

Although this is just the outline of the head, trunk, and upper back of a mammoth, it has been superbly done, and evokes the animal with a minimum of brush strokes. The smudging of the head and back, whether deliberate or accidental, does not detract from the worth of the image, but adds to its power.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Galerie Vierge



Pech Merle Mammoth





Galerie Vierge, a section of the cave where there is no art.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Homme-blessé - Gallery of the Wounded Man

Pech Merle Mammoth

Entrance to the Gallery of the Wounded Man.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Grotte du Placard - Pech Merle

"Placard Sign" and speared man in the cave of Pech Merle.

Photo: Bahn and Vertut (1997)




Grotte du Placard - Pech Merle

Placard Sign from Pech Merle redrawn. Note the bird like shape of this sign. These signs occur in eleven painted forms at Cougnac, three times at Pech Merle, and as seven engraved forms at Grotte du Placard. They are possibly Solutrean - Bahn and Vertut (1997)

Photo: Redrawn by Don Hitchcock after Bahn and Vertut (1997)




Pech Merle placard type sign and speared man

Type Placard sign and a man wounded by several spears, in red ochre. Height 75 cm, from Grotte du Pech-Merle, Lot. Probably from the Solutrean.

Photo: Michel Lorblanchet, via http://ma.prehistoire.free.fr/signe_au_pm.htm




Pech Merle placard type sign and speared man

Type Placard sign and a man wounded by several spears, in red ochre. Height 75 cm, from Grotte du Pech-Merle, Lot. Probably from the Solutrean, showing the outline of the "le Placard" sign and the man wounded with spears.

Photo: Redrawn by Don Hitchcock after Michel Lorblanchet, via http://ma.prehistoire.free.fr/signe_au_pm.htm




Pech Merle wounded man Pech Merle wounded man

The Wounded Man figure has been pierced by a number of spears. It is not certain what this is meant to represent - the result of a fight between neighbouring tribes, the ritual killing of a wrong doer from the tribe? No one knows.

To the left of this image is another enigmatic figure, variously called a bird figure, an Aviform, or a Placard figure, after the Placard Cave where this symbol also occurs.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Homme-blessé

There appears to be another aviform or Placard figure to the left of the one beside the Wounded Man, different in form and more bird-like, but of the same general type.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Aurochs

A magnificent Aurochs, completed using red ochre.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle ceiling

The ceiling of this part of the cave is made up of these fascinating wave forms, created when the passage was completely full of water, during the creation of the cave complex.

Some of the 'waves' have lines in red/brown ochre on them.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Panneau des Femmes-Bisons, Salle des Peintures

The panel of women - bison, in the Salle des Peintures

André Leroi- Gourhan saw bison and aurochs as feminine symbols. He relied in particular on a panel at Pech- Merle where red silhouettes evoked, according to him, the schematic progressive passage from women to bison, as one theme to another.

'The permutation of forms of the vertical lines on the rumps of the bison become forelimbs of an inclined figure' so that 'the close association of the two symbols representing the female results in an illustration that could not be more meaningful'

Michel Lorblanchet considered the 'femmes-bisons' as stylised women. Other authors have considered the 'femmes-bisons' as 'femmes-mammouths' or as an illustration of an ancient myth of the 'femme-cygne' where the bison replaces the swan.

Text above translated from the French Wikipedia.

Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Les femmes-bisons de Pech-Merle

Note that the bison on the left apparently comes from elsewhere in the cave, and the female on the right is in the same chamber of the cave as the femmes-bison, but is actually on the ceiling called Plafond des Hiéroglyphes. Only the middle two actually come from the Panneau des Femmes-Bisons.

Photo: Leroi-Gourhan (1992)




d'Huy (2011) writes:

In this spirit, let us return to the 'Women-bison' of Pech-Merle. We know they have been interpreted as representing a progressive transformation of women to bison (or vice versa).

In addition, a brook disappears into a hole just below the panel where they were represented. As noted by Michel Lorblanchet, 'Women-bison' are placed so that they look at the brook disappearing underground a metre below them.

This close association with the point of absorption of the water from the cavity is reminiscent of the pattern of the animal-woman, who always takes off her fur to bathe, and constitutes additional evidence in favour of our interpretive hypothesis.

Some authors have proposed to identify the 'women-bison' as "women-mammoths" This does not go against our hypothesis, since the association of women and mammoth is shown at Pech-Merle, including the ceiling hieroglyphics where 'each of the three single women drawn outline was covered by a mammoth double line' According to Michel Lorblanchet this interpretation 'suggests perhaps a 'coupling' and it would have been a way to emphasise the sexual and fecund nature of the mammoth.

Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons, general view.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons, closeup of one of the the main panels.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - hand stencil and 13 dots.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




hand

A hand stencil on the wall at Pech Merle

Photo: Man before history by John Waechter


hand





Another version of the hand stencil above on the wall at Pech Merle

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.


red dots

These red dots on the Panneau des Femmes-Bisons are accompanied by other drawings of Femmes-Bisons in a darker red.

Photo: Errede (2013)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - red ochre dots, and some of the Femmes-Bisons.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - some of the Femmes-Bisons.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - some of the Femmes-Bisons.

Note in particular the outline of a mammoth, and a female/animal Femme-Bison below it.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - some of the Femmes-Bisons.

These two images show clearly the dual animal/human nature of these figures.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Panneau des Femmes-Bisons

Panneau des Femmes-Bisons - one of the Femmes-Bisons, with the body of a bison to the left, and the front arms of a human as two parallel straight lines forming the right hand part of the image.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Plafond des Hiéroglyphes - Hieroglyphic Ceiling

Pech Merle

Pech Merle - Finger tracings and female figures on the Ceiling of Hieroglyphics in the Salle des Peintures. Note in particular the woman at the right bottom, and the one at the right top.

Photo: Leroi-Gourhan (1992)




Pech Merle

Pech Merle - Finger tracings and a female figure on the Ceiling of Hieroglyphics. Here we can see the lower female, as in the drawing above, on the ceiling of the Salle des Peintures.

Photo: http://www.pechmerle.com/visite.html




Pech Merle heiroglyph ceiling

Drawing of finger tracings on the Ceiling of Hieroglyphics.

Three mammoths A, B, C, drawn on top of three women a, b, c.

D: Dorsal profile of a simplified mammoth.

Photo and text: Lorblanchet (1992)




Pech Merle

Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

The images were traced with fingers in the clay of the ceiling. The artists reached up to the ceiling while standing on blocks fallen from the walls and roof a considerable time before.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

Here we can see a woman with pendulous breasts, possibly meant to be shown swinging with movement.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

A stylised mammoth can be made out in this image.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

A mammoth head sketched in just a few lines.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

Plafond des Hiéroglyphes

The photographer, Heinrich Wendel.

No one charged with recording any of the caves of Europe has done as well as this man, a volunteer, has done. His photographs are the largest single resource for the painted caves of Europe. He or his heirs donated his beautifully made images to the Neanderthal Museum, who generously made them available to all.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Salle des Disques

foot print

(So far as I can tell, these are the discs referred to when talking about the Salle des Disques. In the photo, one is shown almost edge on, the other almost flat on to the observer - Don )

Each disc is composed of two calcite plates separated by a very small gap. They were formed at a hairline crack in the rock. Water, laden with calcium carbonate, came up through capillary action and deposited the calcite on the rim. The calcite crystallised in concentric circles.

Photo and text: http://www.pechmerle.com/english/visite.html




foot print

Footprint of a child, Pech Merle, Salle des Disques, 17 000 BP.

Photo: © David Jaggard
Source: http://www.paris-update.com/fr/hot-topics/cest-ironique/21454-beyond-the-peripherique-art-appreciation-10001-bc-in-the-caves-of-southwestern-france




foot print

Child's footprint.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Salle des Disques

One of the walls of a narrow gallery has been engraved with a bear’s head, ca 13 000 BP

The artist who carved it used the concave shape of the rock to create the perspective and outlines of the animal’s head.

Originally it was only possible to view the engraving by crawling through a narrow passage. The floor level was lowered for visitors and the resulting rubble piled up on either side.

Photo and text: http://www.pechmerle.com/english/visite.html




Pech Merle Salle des Disques Pech Merle Salle des Disques

Salle des Disques

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Salle des Disques Pech Merle Salle des Disques

Salle des Disques

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Salle des Disques

Salle des Disques

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)









Le Combel

Pech Merle ceiling

Passage in Le Combel.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle ceiling

This panel seems to have been polished, or covered with pigment.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




At this point, we should look at the description by one of the discoverers of le Combel, A. Lemozi, Lemozi (1952):

Behind a compact curtain of stalagmites, there is a small lateral niche, very well hidden, 2 metres long, 1 metre wide and 120 cm high. It was only possible to enter by crawling, through a small opening which M. André David had to enlarge with a pick.

In this corner, on a gently undulating limestone wall, 40 cm above the ground, are painted in red (except some sections of blackish lines), a lion and three horses, surmounted or surrounded by 17 dots of the same colour.

Here, for lack of space, the designer who wishes to make a copy of this great scene, measuring 160 cm by 80 cm, must work alone, bringing his own light, and lie down in the wet and muddy bed of a temporary stream, the water of which bathes the lower part of the wall. It is in this position that we had to work long hours interpreting and recording the images ...


Le Combel horse and cave lion

Horse on the right, a cave lion on the left.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Le Combel horse and cave lion Le Combel horse and cave lion

The cave lion has the characteristic short muzzle of its kind.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Le Combel horse and cave lion Le Combel horse and cave lion
The horse has the conventional small head and stylised body of those depicted at Pech Merle.

Note the many dots on the painting, probably put there before the horses were drawn, since they are fainter, and seem to have no relation to the horses.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Le Combel horse and cave lion

Below that horse is another, with the dorsal outline of a third between these two.

Judging by the brown mark on the wall, it seems that there was at one time a higher water level in the cave, which either occurred before the painting was completed or more likely occurred afterwards, but did little damage to the painting.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




At this point, we should look at the description by one of the discoverers of le Combel, A. Lemozi, Lemozi (1952):

The Chapel of Antelopes

The Chapel of Antelopes is a little smaller than 205 cm long and 85 cm high. It has been made accessible through a small opening made ​​through the stalagmites, made with care by M. André David.

The scene, painted behind a barrage of large columns reaches 120 cm long and 80 cm wide. This is the most mysterious and most complex drawing of le Combel, if we except the dots, which we try to explain in our complete report to follow soon.

The paintings in question include five main components, shown in black, except for a small section of a red line. To the left, the hindquarters of a rhinoceros, facing northwest. Above the rhinoceros, a head, neck, and right foreleg of an antelope, very finely represented.

The scene continues with a second antelope in the same style, then a feline whose body is seen in profile with the head facing the viewer, and finally a third antelope, whose features whose feature partially merge, as seen in the previous image, with the lines that make up the feline.

The antelope scene is framed on the left by two red dots, and on the right by one dot of the same color. This is where we noticed a section of the wall to be very much rubbed, and this polishing is well defined and intentional.

Facing this grand scene is the representation of a female human, in the composition of which occur 2 large red dots, 2 stalagmite columns, partially polished, and a prominent triangular notch.

On the ceiling are suspended forty calcite nipples or breasts, of which ten have been intentionally painted black in their lower part.

Le Combel pillars Le Combel pillars

These massive pillars, consisting of stalactites and stalagmites that have joined, were in place at the time the artworks were produced, and have been dry ever since, as evidenced by the huge spots of red ochre painted on them.

Some sense of scale may be obtained by referring to the rocks on the floor of the cave.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Le Combel pillars

I speculate that the spots were not done all at once, but were part of a ceremony where more ochre was added at intervals as part of a ritual. It is hard to think of a reason for their large size, thickness of ochre and fuzziness of outline otherwise.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Le Combel Megaloceros Le Combel Megaloceros
This image is very hard to interpret. It was originally thought to be of antelopes. The most likely interpretation is, however of two (or perhaps three) stylised female (or males that had shed their antlers) Megaloceros

Starting from the left, we have what appears to be the rump of an animal, with a strange shape that may be a tail.

This morphs into the body and front legs of an animal with a very small head.

The second animal, also facing right, has a strange spiky protuberance that is possibly the dark hump of a Megaloceros, followed by a neck with again an unnaturally small head.

Overlying all the images are some vertical lines, in groups of three or four, in a format usually associated with coat hair in this cave.

Altogether this is a very strange panel.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Le Combel
Drawing of this panel.

Photo: Lorblanchet (2010) in Lawson (2012)




Le Combel Megaloceros



This is a closeup of the hump and head of the megaloceros on the right.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Megaloceros



Megaloceros (listed on the display as Mégacéros) were important herbivores in Eurasia during the Ice Ages. The largest species, M. giganteus, vernacularly known as the "Irish Elk" or "Giant elk", is also the best known.

Most members of the genus were extremely large animals that favored meadows or open woodlands, with most species averaging slightly below 2 metres at the withers. This specimen is of a male, the female did not have these huge antlers.

Text: Adapted from Wikipedia
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac




Pech Merle Le Combel dots





A series of dots, arranged in size in a spiral on the right from small to large in an anticlockwise direction, and below and to the left as roughly all the same size dots, but in a hockey stick pattern.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Le Combel dots Pech Merle Le Combel dots

A roughly rectangular set of dots arranged from top to bottom as lines of 6, 5, 5, and 3 dots.

Behind this, and to the right on the roof of the cave, may be seen the anticlockwise spiral of dots as in the image above.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Le Combel dots Pech Merle Le Combel dots

This set of dots can be thought of as 11 dots arranged in an arc above three vertical lines of 11, 8, and 5 dots, with a horizontal group of three dots to one side.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Pech Merle Le Combel dots Pech Merle Le Combel dots

The symbols above in context in the cave.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




pech merle dots

Dots on the ceiling at Pech Merle.

Photo: Errede (2013)




Pech Merle Le Combel dots


A single red ochre dot, high on the arch of the roof of the cave.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)







Le Combel de Pech-Merle, commune de Cabrerets (Lot) et ses nouvelles galeries


Lemozi (1952)

A prehistoric cave, former haunt of the cave bear and cave lion

by A. Lemozi
Correspondant du Ministère de l'Education nationale

Translated by Don Hitchcock



Preliminary sondage, a pit dug in 1949 - Ancient collapse of the roof of the cave - fossil bones - bear wallows - Palaeolithic painted and engraved paintings of male and female figures - felines, bears, horses , antelopes , rhinos - hands, breasts and many dots - many peculiar signs - beautiful concretions - curious columns of subterranean vegetation, an exciting continuation of the cave - Temple of Pech Merle - probable symbols of the mother-goddess, etc...

This paper is a brief summary of a much more detailed and beautiful report, which will be released soon with many illustrations.

Foreword

Pech-Merle is a wild hill, steep and cavernous, well known for nearly 30 years by tourists, entomologists and prehistorians has not yet been completely investigated.

In fact, a new secret has been torn from Pech Merle. I am convinced that it contains others that will be revealed gradually, through patient investigation by researchers.

According to an old belief, widespread among nearby residents, the bushy 'great hill', is hollow like a sponge. Witness the many natural vents that open here and there on the slopes of the hill, complicated wells and mazes, haunts of badgers, foxes, wild rabbits, and where hunters lose their ferrets down holes.

These details make it reasonable to assume that Pech-Merle still holds discoveries for cavers and prehistorians alike. It was called by Abbé Breuil the 'limestone Sistine Chapel of Lot', after the discoveries of 1922.

The story of prehistory is far from being exhausted in our neighbourhood, and it would be a foolhardy researcher who presents to the public a complete inventory accumulated by man or nature from the mysterious treasures of the 'mountain'.

In any case, here is a new chapter about the site which is quite exciting, to add to what has already been published on Pech-Merle. Le Combel is a valuable complement to the discoveries of 1922 and brings to them new meaning and significance. The coming book will include discoveries in the large cave since 1929.



Location and discovery

Le Combel (or the trough) is located in the hill of Pech-Merle, at 515 metres altitude, on the right bank of the little valley of the Sagne. Around 1922, after the discovery of the painted galleries of Pech-Merle, for a quarter-century, thanks to the generous assistance of Mr. Jean Lebaudy and Mlle de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, we became sure that the prehistoric painters, in their paths to the rooms and passages decorated by them, had never used the daunting trenches, often clogged and with absolutely no evidence of human use, which we explored for 2 years, when we made the map, study, and development of the sinkholes and other methods of access to the cave.

The first traces of Palaeolithic man seemed to us to appear abruptly at the entry to the Room of the Archer, (the Chamber of the Wounded Man - Don ) which we followed until the middle of the 'gallery of the bear' and to the 'boneyard' and noted the busiest points, which were in the immediate vicinity of the 'ceiling hieroglyphics' is all we could say about the comings and goings of our quaternary ancestors in the basement of Pech Merle. But the traces appeared suddenly, so that we had no idea how the painters had got there, so deep in the galleries, without leaving any trace of their entry.

Where did these first painters come from? Where was the entrance they had long used? Mystery!

However, a cone of debris, consisting of limestone gravel , in which we collected, in 1923, a Helix vermiculata certainly came from the outside. We had always assumed that there was in these parts, a chimney, or some more or less wide opening, that once, before being completely obstructed, served as an entrance for the Aurignacian people who painted the cave.

helix

Eobania vermiculata, also known as Helix vermiculata, common name the 'chocolate-band snail', is a species of large, air-breathing, land snails, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Helicidae, the true snails or typical snails.

Photo: tato grasso
Permission: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Text: Wikipedia




Behind this mound, the gallery of Pech Merle could, in addition, continue with the same surprise and the same interest.

Such were the assumptions we have made ​​many times since 1922, when, in November 1949, André David, the owner since shortly after he first discovered Le Combel, expressed the desire to put in a sondage, to dig a hole near the galleries already known. Its purpose was twofold: to find the depth of the soil once cultivated here, and if possible identify new galleries.

At once attentive and intrigued, I established a regular routine of digging starting in early November. Here is the result.

On the surface, thin topsoil surmounting a sterile level of red earth. At 130 cm deep, a layer with a thickness of 80 cm, containing much iron ore slag, with pottery shards that suggested a fairly large foundry of the Iron Age, probably from the time of la Tène, as there are others in the area, at Valadié and Ferrières, commune de Lentillac.

(The la Tène culture was an eastern European late Iron Age culture which developed and flourished from 450 BC to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC - Don )

The objects found Combel in the aforementioned layer, belong to an open air site. At the time of la Tène, the entry to the Combel galleries were here, clogged undoubtedly for a long time by scree which gradually become very compact.

In fact, since the occupation by the men of la Tène, that is to say from about 2200 years ago, the narrow pipe filled with about 130 cm of debris, while the roof of the galleries of Pech Merle which were discovered in 1922 were about ten metres below the surface.

At a depth of 550 cm, limestone boulders, gravel, limestone and the appearance of a wall forming an abri, which although broken and rough on the top, was smooth below and similar to the roof of the galleries found in 1922.

Encouraged by this analogy, André David, instead of continuing the excavation deeper, set about clearing away the material along a horizontal line. As he advanced the gravel became less resistant, indicating almost certainly that he had reached the edge of the alluvial fan. After digging an area 3 metres long, on Friday, December 2, 1949, around noon, his crowbar suddenly met no resistance. He had punctured a gallery of the Pech Merle complex.

There was the same exhilaration as at Pech-Merle, during that night of 1922, when the scene of horses and hands came to light after thousands of years!

The hole was expanded, just enough for the passage of a man, and soon, André and his companion, in silent admiration, were able to make a stunning walk in front of large columns formed by the roots of oak, in the midst of fossil bones in several beautiful galleries, painted and engraved, remaining inviolate, no doubt, for many centuries, as seems to be shown by the complete absence of traces of metals, ceramics, etc, in other words the history of man...

That same evening, I visited the new underground in the company of MM. André David, Abel Bessac, Albert Colonge, Roger Vinel, and Roger Theron, Mayor of Cabrerets.

Eight days later, M. Séverin Blanc, Director of District Prehistoric Antiquities, who I had made ​​aware of the good news, who had traveled in turn, the labyrinths of Combe and was happy to see firsthand the importance the recent discovery.

I spent long months in a survey of the new paintings and engravings, making a complete record concerning the new Combel galleries, which includes more than 200 handwritten pages, large format, and hundreds of illustrations. Here are some excerpts.

Description of the new galleries

The room of roots


At 18 metres from the entrance to le Combel there is a curious phenomenon of underground vegetation. It consists of a nine metres high vertical column, fairly rounded, with a mean diameter of 30 cm, consisting of hundreds of small oak roots, although alive, and entangled throughout their length. They sink into the clay and produce around their base, small offspring, which remain white and can not flourish in the absence of light. This graceful, most unusual pillar contains no rigid support and movesat the slightest shock, as would a huge ponytail, tossed by the wind.

oak tree





This is the oak tree whose roots have forced their way through the roof of Le Combel.

Photo: http://www.travelfranceonline.com/pech-merle-cave-negative-hands-quercy/




In the light of the lamps, all of it seemed hairy, sparkling like grass or cobwebs in the morning, at sunrise, when they are covered with frost or dew.

These tiny tentacles, the size of a human hair, had gone through limestone ten metres thick, to which must be added the 9 metres between the arch area of the cave, making a total of 19 meters, not counting their penetration into the wet floor of the cave.

This plant column, placed like an ornament in the middle of a large room, a little bare, 12 metres wide, constituted a spectacle as graceful as it was rare.

Fossils, wallows, concretions.

At 38 metres from the entrance, in the 'hall of lions', there are fifteen beds (wallows or holes) dug by cave bears or cave lions, in which can be found bones (including several jaws) next to a reindeer antlers and a limestone block, very polished by friction.

In the salle du carrefour, the crossroads, located about 22 metres from the last wallow, there is a beautiful and lush forest of stalactites and stalagmites. There are a multitude of pendants, sometimes tapered and curved, sometimes spindle shaped or breast shaped.

  There are corals, infinitely nuanced polyps, 'pearls' scattered here and there, sometimes grouped in profusion in a bowl filled with clear water.

The decor is magnificent, giving the impression of a beautiful fairy room or a prestigious snowy landscape, as we see in a beautiful dream.

Under these immense vaults, which appear so solid as to have no fear of collapse, there are huge supports created and sustained by the patient infiltration of lime laden water, and which easily evoke memories of some mysterious tomb of ancient Egypt, or even that of a majestic temple, loved and frequented by prehistoric hunters.

Towards the east, the end room dubbed 'the Chimney', with a cone of talus, hiding perhaps other galleries, such as the the original entry to le Combel. Then comes a section which we might label 'freaks of nature', of which there are may kinds in le Combel, including stalagmite nipples painted by man, and the bent tail of a cat.

Description of the paintings and engravings.

The 'Lion Cage'


Behind a compact curtain of stalagmites, there is a small lateral niche, very well hidden, 2 metres long, 1 metre wide and 120 cm high. It was only possible to enter by crawling, through a small opening which M. André David had to enlarge with a pick.

In this corner, on a gently undulating limestone wall, 40 cm above the ground, are painted in red (except some sections of blackish lines), a lion and three horses, surmounted or surrounded by 17 dots of the same colour.

Here, for lack of space, the designer who wishes to make a copy of this great scene, measuring 160 cm by 80 cm, must work alone, bringing his own light, and lie down in the wet and muddy bed of a temporary stream, the water of which bathes the lower part of the wall. It is in this position that we had to work long hours interpreting and recording the images ...

Various signs around the 'Lion Cage'

Signs of horizontal dots, line made by fingers, triangular signs and dotted signs, all in a red colour. These signs are extensively studied in our report.

The Room of the Magician

Masked human figures, engraved and complicated with a pecked cupule, beside a conical, pointed stalagmite, which has received the same artificial pecking. These will require detailed and comparative study.

The Chapel of Antelopes

The Chapel of Antelopes is a little smaller than 205 cm long and 85 cm high. It has been made accessible through a small opening made ​​through the stalagmites, made with care by M. André David.

The scene, painted behind a barrage of large columns reaches 120 cm long and 80 cm wide. This is the most mysterious and most complex drawing of le Combel, if we except the dots, which we try to explain in our complete report to follow soon.

The paintings in question include five main components, shown in black, except for a small section of a red line. To the left, the hindquarters of a rhinoceros, facing northwest. Above the rhinoceros, a head, neck, and right foreleg of an antelope, very finely represented.

The scene continues with a second antelope in the same style, then a feline whose body is seen in profile with the head facing the viewer, and finally a third antelope, whose features whose feature partially merge, as seen in the previous image, with the lines that make up the feline.

The antelope scene is framed on the left by two red dots, and on the right by one dot of the same color. This is where we noticed a section of the wall to be very much rubbed, and this polishing is well defined and intentional.

Facing this grand scene is the representation of a female human, in the composition of which occur 2 large red dots, 2 stalagmite columns, partially polished, and a prominent triangular notch.

On the ceiling are suspended forty calcite nipples or breasts, of which ten have been intentionally painted black in their lower part.

The Dots

We count about 150 dots. They are painted red, and quite variable in form and disposition. We made a detailed comparative study of these punctuations in our report on le Combel. A chapter of the full report is devoted to the authenticity of the drawings. Several observations are in favour of it, among others the complete isolation of the newly discovered galleries before the dig of 1949, a flowstone, obliterating a portion of a related rhinoceros, the absence of any trace of man, the history etc.

(a summary of the chapter headings of the forthcoming book follows, as well as a general discussion of le Combel which the reader can see at  Lemozi (1952) - Don )








The Ossuary - the Boneyard



Text below from http://www.pechmerle.com/english/secrets_4.html



The Ossuary is the name of a small chamber in the Pech Merle cave. It is decorated with paintings and finger-drawings (animals, dots, signs). The floor is a bed of clay, crammed with animals bones. There are plenty of bears' scratch marks.This room was fitted up for visitors in 1926. As it is rather small (34 metres by 22 metres) and the dome is rather low (about 1 or 2 metres high), a path was made by digging some trenches in the clay. So one can see 18 piles of bones and 3 heaps of clay close to the trenches.

When the Combel galleries were discovered (in 1950), the chamber was sealed off to visitors.

In 1998, Jean Claude Faurie, a guide at the Pech Merle cave, began to renovate the Ossuary room, with permission for excavations. The old rusted wire netting, iron stakes, were taken away and the floor was overlaid with sand and gravel. He took a sample of bones (580 pieces). 118 of these have been marked, studied and drawn.

The bones are from bears, cervidae, reindeers, horses, hyenas, lions, aurochs, bison (study : Dominique Armand, from the Prehistory and Geology Institute in Bordeaux).

A piece of bone is engraved with regular man-made notches.

An aurochs' or bison's vertebra has been sawn and it is engraved with a cervidae drawing.

It is the fist time that a decorated artefact has been found in a deep painted cave in the Quercy region.



Ossuary column





Stalagmite/stalactite column in the Ossuary.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Ossuary engravings Ossuary engravings

This looks more like a school blackboard / chalkboard than anything else.

The surface has been used again and again for engravings, vertical, horizontal and diagonal, as well as some dots.

On the left is a cartoon like figure of a deer or reindeer.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)




Ossuary engravings

Closeup of the central part of the panel.

Photo: Heinrich Wendel (© The Wendel Collection, Neanderthal Museum)











Other caves close by, but not open to the public include:

Le Cuzoul des Brasconies, La grotte Carriot, La grotte Christian, La grotte des Faux-Monnayeurs, La grotte du Cantal, Le Cuzoul de Mélaniev, La grotte Marcenac, La grotte de Sainte Eulalie, La grotte du Papetier, La grotte du Moulin, La grotte de la Bigourdane, La grotte de Pergouset.

See: http://www.quercy.net/pechmerle/lot_cele_fr.html

Placard CaveLa grotte du Placard is a decorated cave in the commune of Vilhonneur in Charante, 30 km east of Angoulême. It has been extensively researched and has levels dating from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, especially the Magdalenian and Solutrean. A dozen aviform signs identical to those discovered in the caves of Pech Merle and Cougnac. Similar signs were found in the Cosquer Cave near Marseille, 500 km away. The figures date back about 20 000 years to the Solutrean. The signs are known as Placard type signs. The cave is not accessible to the public.




Cougnac CaveThe Grottes de Cougnac caves are near Gourdon, Lot, about 40 km from Pech Merle. The site consists of two caves separated by 200 metres. The first contains many concretions, some very fine, called soda straws. The second is a decorated cave from the Paleolithic. The cave has many prehistoric paintings gadted to the upper Paleolithic. Depictions include deer, megaceros, the ibex, and mammoths as well as various schematic human figures. The paintings corresponded to at least two clearly distinct phases: one around 25 000 BP, the other about 14 000 years before the present.


References

  1. Bahn P., Vertut J., 1997: Journey through the ice age University of California Press
  2. Champion T., Gamble C., Shennan S., Whittle A., 2009: Prehistoric Europe Left Coast Press, 15/08/2009 - Social Science - 370 pages
  3. d'Huy J., 2011: Le motif de la femme-bison - Essai d'interprétation d'un mythe préhistoriqueMythologie Française n °242, Mars 2011
  4. Errede D., 2013: Pre-Historic Music and Art in Palæolithic Caves Acoustical Physics of Music/Physics of Musical Instruments UIUC Physics 193/406
  5. Jaubert, J., 2008: L'art pariétal gravettien en France : éléments pour un bilan chronologique, Paléo, 20 | 2008, 439-474.
  6. Lawson, A., 2012: Painted Caves: Palaeolithic Rock Art in Western Europe, Oxford University Press, 24/05/2012 - Art - 446 pages
  7. Leroi-Gourhan, A., 1992: , L'Art pariétal: Langage de la Préhistoire, Grenoble, Jérôme Million
  8. Lemozi, A., 1952: Le Combel de Pech-Merle, commune de Cabrerets (Lot) et ses nouvelles galeries, Bulletin de la Société préhistorique de France, tome 49, N. 7. pp. 320-326.
  9. Lorblanchet M., 1992: Le triomphe du naturalisme dans l'art paléolithique, in Bilan scientifique 1995 (SRA DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), p.152-155.
  10. Lorblanchet M., 1996: Quercy, pigments des grottes ornées, Bilan scientifique 1995 (SRA DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), p.152-155.
  11. Lorblanchet M., 2010: Grottes ornées du Quercy Eds Du Rouergue 15/09/2010.





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