In the footsteps of prehistory in France
On a journey to France, retrace the history and daily life of our prehistoric ancestors.
The hexagon is particularly rich in its prehistoric heritage; it is only possible to consider a trip on the theme of the stone man if you discover the 4 corners.To start your journey, go to the unmissable caves of Lascaux, discovered by pure chance in 1940 by 4 teenagers looking for their dog. These cavities, 17,000 years old, are located in the Dordogne in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. Among them, 25 caves were decorated with cave paintings. You will have the opportunity to visit for 1 hour and 30 minutes by discovering the artistic remains of the Paleolithic. The original cave, having deteriorated in the first years of its discovery, is a renovated site that awaits you. The tour starts with an interactive activity at the International Center of Cave Art. You will have a glimpse of the prehistoric fauna and flora made possible by virtual reality. Then, the guide will direct you to the facsimile: the life-size reconstruction of the famous Lascaux cave. The journey through time will end with a parallel between prehistoric art and that of the 21st century.Among the must-see French sites, you will find the caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, in Burgundy. This house is the oldest original rock painting still accessible in France. These 28,000-year-old engravings present more than 180 graphic units and 60 species of animals, testifying to the surprising knowledge of the men of the Stone Age.The presence of underground lakes in the caves will make you enjoy the structural work of limestone and water, forming impressive stalactites and stalagmites.Several visits are organized: a general tour to discover the site with the family, a more specific approach focused on the details of cave painting, and an archaeological visit of 3h00 where the more adventurous will climb the walls of the caves accompanied by a guide. Workshops are offered in parallel: wood fire by percussion, drawing with charcoal and ochre.The Mediterranean basin has just as much to offer, on the megalithic site of Sartrène, in southern Corsica. This place, composed of 30 stone monuments, is the witness of the rites and beliefs of ancient populations whose origin is still unknown. You will have free access without an entrance or reservation ticket.Some historians try to see a rapprochement with the people of the Shardanes also called people of the seas and direct rivals of the Egyptians, 8000 years before Christ. Today, archaeologists consider that the site was erected between the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age. These stones, called stantare seem to represent human figures, then what we see carving belts, loincloths, arms, and hands around shapes resembling human faces. On their heads, horned helmets are erected, reinforcing the thesis of a people of hunters or conquerors.To complete your journey back in time, do not miss the town of Tautavel, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, a veritable mine of human remains. After the discovery in 1971 of the Tautavel Man, a Homo heidelbergensis, excavations continued, and it is an immense heritage that was discovered, until very recently, a 500,000-year-old human milk tooth. On the strength of these discoveries, the town built the Museum of Prehistory within it, now accessible to visitors. You will discover an exhibition of life-size sculptures representing prehistoric men and women and many tools and fossils of animals of the time. In parallel with the museum, you will have the opportunity to climb the small cavity under the tutelage of a guide to access the site's caves, which are still excavated. Activities such as flint cutting near the river Tautavel, or stones abound on the shore are also offered.