The Dordogne: land of prehistoric man

A world-famous heritage

Why is the Perigord the land of Cro magnon man?

The Dordogne, and in particular the Vézère valley (known as the Valley of Man), is world-renowned for its prehistoric treasures. You'll discover the famous Lascaux cave, as well as the PIP (Pôle International de la Préhistoire) and numerous theme parks on the prehistoric period and even folklore sometimes obliges on dinosaurs.

The Dordogne: land of prehistoric man

In reality, there were certainly no more prehistoric people in the Dordogne than elsewhere. It's possible, however, that our ancestors were attracted by the favorable conditions, offering essential resources: game, fish, fruit and berries, and flint for the manufacture of the tools in which the Périgord abounds.

But the abundance of remains in Périgord can be explained on the one hand by the geological environment that allowed the conservation excellent remains in caves and rock shelters where the white limestone rock has protected them from the elements of erosion or human activity, and secondly by the abundant research and studies that have fuelled our knowledge for over 150 years.

Sometimes all you have to do is look and you'll find...

The Vézère Valley (also known as the Valley of Man), named after the river that flows through it, is home to one of the world's most impressive collections of prehistoric sites: deposits, living quarters, painted or engraved caves and troglodyte sites. Fifteen of these sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Lascaux International Center for Cave Art

The Lascaux cave is the most famous of the Palaeolithic painted caves in terms of the number and aesthetic quality of its works. It is nicknamed "the Sistine Chapel of cave art".
The paintings and engravings it contains have not been subject to precise direct dating: their age is estimated at between 18,000 and 17,000 years.

The Dordogne: land of prehistoric man

La Roque Saint christophe: an exceptional troglodyte site

A majestic site overlooking the Vézère valley, perched dozens of metres high, a long notch in the cliff that has sheltered mankind since the dawn of time.
You'll discover reconstructions of prehistoric scenes, a forge, a medieval kitchen, and equipment used to build the site through the ages.
Find out all about it, discover the detailed page of La Roque Saint Christophe

An engraved cave :: Bara bahau

The Bara-Bahau (or Bara-Bao) cave, some 100 m long, is one of the Palaeolithic caves in the Vézère valley.

It is of geological interest, notably for its eccentric concretions, and above all prehistoric, for the parietal engravings it contains. Its name comes from a local Occitan onomatopoeia meaning "badaboum", in reference to the collapsed blocks visible in the first room. Read more


Would you like to discover Prehistory in the DordogneYou'll find them in the following sections:

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