Grotte du Pech Merle - Cabrerets (Lot), France
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 44° 30.465 E 001° 38.661
31T E 392242 N 4929163
Quick Description: [FR] La grotte du Pech Merle une grotte ornée préhistorique. [EN] Pech Merle is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France that remain open to the general public.
Location: Occitanie, France
Date Posted: 11/1/2020 6:28:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM13BGV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 2

Long Description:
[FR] Elle s'ouvre dans une colline (pech en occitan) dominant les vallées de la Sagne et du Célé, dans le Quercy.

La grotte comporte 700 motifs peints ou gravés, dont 69 figurations animales, 13 figurations humaines ou para-humaines et 595 signes. Les figurations animales sont constituées de 25 mammouths, 13 bisons, 9 chevaux, 7 aurochs, 4 cervidés dont 1 mégacéros, 2 bouquetins, 2 poissons (dont 1 douteux), 1 félin, 1 ours et 5 animaux imaginaires. Les figurations humaines sont soit réalistes (3 femmes et 1 homme) ou schématiques (9 "femmes-bisons" selon la terminologie de Leroi-Gourhan). S'y ajoutent des mains négatives réalisées selon la technique du pochoir et des "mains essuyées". La très grande majorité des motifs sont de simples signes (543 ponctuations rouges ou noires soufflées ou imprimées du bout des doigts), des motifs géométriques variés, des bâtonnets et des motifs indéterminés (appelés abusivement motifs hiéroglyphiques). L'ensemble compose plusieurs panneaux baptisés selon les principaux motifs qui y sont représentés.

[EN] Extending over 2 kilometres over two levels, of which only 1,200 m (3,900 ft) are open to the public,[1] are caverns, wells and sloping tunnels, the walls of which are painted with dramatic murals dating from the Gravettian culture (some 25,000 years BC). Some of the paintings and engravings, however, may date from the later Magdalenian era (16,000 years BC).

The walls of seven of the chambers at Pech Merle have fresh, lifelike images of woolly mammoth, spotted horses, single colour horses, bovids, reindeer, handprints, and some humans. Footprints of children, preserved in what was once clay, have been found more than 800 m (2,600 ft) underground. In 2013 the Tracking in Caves-project tested experience based reading of prehistoric footprints by specialised trackers of Ju/'hoansi San with great success. Within a 10 km (6.2 mi) 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.
Type of Pictograph: Rock Painting

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