The oldest form of parietal art ever discovered in France
The discovery was made just a few kilometers from the Lascaux caves at the Abri-Castanet site, considered to be of great importance in terms of Aurignacian culture.
In South West France, anthropologists have uncovered a block of limestone decorated with motifs dating back to the Aurignacian Period. 37,000 years old, these drawings are the oldest known form of wall art to date.
Famous for the production of the foie gras and walnuts that delight the palates of fine diners, the Perigord region is also the place to explore the many traces of prehistory. Located in South West France, the region is home to the Vézère valley, site of the famous Lascaux caves and 17,000 year-old paintings, and the Combarelles, Laugerie-Haute and La Ferrassie caves. These are UNESCO World Heritage prehistoric sites .
Drawings dating back 37,000 years
In May 2012, a study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA revealed that, in 2007, an international team of researchers uncovered a block of limestone decorated with drawings dating back 37,000 years. Dating from the Aurignacian Period (- 40,000 to - 28,000 years), these motifs in the form of geometric figures and animals are the oldest known form of parietal art known to date.
An amazing discovery
The discovery was made just a few kilometers from the Lascaux caves at the Abri-Castanet site, considered to be of great importance in terms of Aurignacian culture. Research indicates that the block of limestone weighing 1.5 tonnes is part of a collapsed chamber that once rose 2m above the ground. The motifs provide further evidence of the importance of artistic expression for our distant Homo Sapiens relatives.