Early Modern Man and the Gouffre de Proumeyssac

cliffs

We are in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, a little town in the Vezere valley, which has become the de facto prehistoric capital of the region. The town is built under dramatic overhanging limestone cliffs, undercut over the millennia by the flow of water which also hollowed out numerous caves, many of which were inhabited over the last 40,000 years or so.

cromaghotel

In 1886 the geologist Lartet found 5 ‘Cro-Magnon’ skeletons in a rock shelter here. Whilst still in common use, the term is now being replaced by ‘early modern Man’, because they were our own species, as opposed to earlier varieties such as Neanderthal man.

museum

Museum of Prehistory

bison

We walked through the museum of Prehistory, saw some much earlier stuff….a cast of the skeleton of Lucy from 1.3 million years ago (How did they know her name?…clever these archaeologists) and loads of other interesting stuff, including a skeleton of this old bison.. We watched a video about how to make a flint knife and then cook with it….that’ll come in handy one day.

niaehm2

ehm

There is a great viewing gallery on the roof of the museum, complete with Early Modern Man, surveying his Kingdom.

fortchurch

pillar

This is the 12th century fortified church in Les Eyzies, complete with marble pillars scavenged from an earlier roman building.

gouffre

gouffre2

The next day we walked through the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, a large limestone cavern filled with stalactites and other large calcific concretions, formed by the calcium rich water pouring through over the centuries. The water is now being directed over porcelain ducks and other objets d’art, so as to calcify them before being offered for sale on the way out. Not sure they improve on the overall effect within the cavern…

nia

Cycling back for a very good meal in the campsites restaurant….Camping La Riviere…highly recommended. The French for a brilliant meal by the way is “Cosmique!”.

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Rambling about Europe with the Kray Twins (Colin and Penny).

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Posted in - France, 2013 Autumn, Aquitaine, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

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Places Visited
Dordogne Guide
Our Guide to Bordeaux, the Médoc and the Dordogne

Our Dordogne Guide Book is now available. See motorhomefrance.com

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