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This page provides access to all the pages on my site. Most searches for subjects covered in Don's Maps can be accomplished by searching on this page for the subject you are after, using your browser's search bar.



Lake Mungo
Archaeological / Archeological Sites - Some sites of interest in the study of the Palaeolithic / Paleolithic era.



hobbits flores
Hominins before Homo sapiens



The Venus of Willendorf
Venus figures from the Stone Age - The Venus of Willendorf as well as those from or known as: Dolni Vestonice, Galgenberg, Kostenki, Brassempouy, Impudique, Lespugue, Abri Pataud, Monpazier, Tursac, Die Lowenfrau, Savignano, Femme a la Corne, Berekhat Ram, Gagarino and others.



  Cave paintings and sculptures
Cave paintings, engravings and sculptures.



modern reindeer people
Animals, Plants, People and Geology Ice Age Animals, The bear and cavebear in fact, myth and legend, Australian Aboriginal trade routes and fish traps, The Tungus - reindeer herders of the Siberian far north, The Sacred Root, Golden Thread, Frozen Mammoth discovery, Geology for Earth Children fans.



axe
Tools and Decorative Objects of the Stone Age - Tools and other items used in the Stone age, including spear straighteners, firestones, adzes, beads, and needle cases, as well as the physics of a spear thrower and how stone tools are made.



photography
There are a lot of things to learn about photography in museums, the problems are like no other area of photography. Here I try to explain the basics, and the pitfalls involved, and give an indication of what I think is an ideal camera for the situation.



La Marche
I often need to clean up line drawings of artefacts and sketches - the originals are typically from pdf files, and of poor quality. This method using Photoshop allows me to make much better images than the originals, especially when combined with first making the drawings a lot larger.



gosford glyph

Archeological / Archaeological Forgeries, Hoaxes and Curiosities



Propulseur

Archeology for Jean Auel fans - the sites and sculptures and places mentioned in Jean Auel's series on life in the ice age.



cotcb  map Maps of the Earth's Children Series - Maps include the true extent of the ice in the last ice age, as well as maps of The Territory of the Zelandonii, Journeys in Clan of the Cave Bear, local area around the cave in Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, Iron Gates map, local map of the Sharamudoi, local map of The Mammoth Hunters Lion Camp, map of The Ukraine, map of The Plains of Passage, Clickable map of the Plains of Passage, Donau Mouth to First Snow from the Plains of Passage, The Encounter with the S'Armunai, Wurm and Riss Glaciation in the headwaters of the Donau (Danube), How I draw the maps.



Hitchcock Family photos In 1865, Charles William Hitchcock and his wife Emma (nee Fuller) came out to Australia in the ship 'Royal Dane'. William Henry, my grandfather, was born on the ship on the 24th July 1865 while the ship was anchored in Keppel Bay. This is the index page for a number of family photographs and some of the early family history.



lotr shire  map
Map of Gondor, Rohan, and Mordor from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.


lotr shire  map

Maps of the journeys undertaken by Frodo in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.



lotr shire  map
Map of a Part of the Shire from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock, showing Frodo's journey to the Old Forest. The map shows the route taken from Frodo's former home in Hobbiton across the water via a plank bridge, the crossing of the East Road, striking the Stock Road, the first camp in the dry pine forest, the appearance of the Black Rider and the Elves, the second night at the Elven Hall, crossing the Stockbrook, Maggot's Farm, the meeting with Merry, the path taken to Crickhollow, and the entry to the Old Forest, from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.


lotr map through old forest
Map of Frodo's Journey from Maggot's Farm through the Old Forest to the Bree Road from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock. The map shows the route taken from Maggot's Farm, the meeting with Merry, the path taken to Crickhollow, the entry to the Old Forest, the Bonfire Glade, the Green Hill, Old Man Willow, Tom Bombadil's House, the Flat Topped Hill, the Standing Stones, the Great Barrow, the Northern Gap, and the arrival at the East Road, from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.


lotr map from Bree to Rivendell
Map of Frodo's Journey from Bree along the East Road, turning aside into the Chetwood, the crossing of the Midgewater, the path to Weathertop, the route taken to the Last Bridge, through the Trollshaws, the meeting with the Elf Lord Glorfindel, the appearance of the Black Riders, and the arrival at Rivendell, from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.


lotr map from   Rivendell to Lothlorien
Map of Frodo's Journey from Rivendell to the Pass of Redhorn Gate, the Mines of Moria, and Lothlorien, from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, redrawn by Don Hitchcock.


lotr map of the arrival at the Gates of Moria
Map of Frodo's Journey, showing the path up the dry stream of the Sirannon, around the dammed lake, to the Gates of Moria, drawn by Don Hitchcock from the description in the text of the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Middle Earth Map
Map of Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien.
This is the best quality map of Middle Earth I have seen. It appears to be from an old edition of LOTR.


Tools
A bicycle trip down the Danube from the source of the Danube to Budapest.



Per
Per's Plains of Passage trip from the Donau mouth to its source at Donaueschingen by motorcycle in 1998. Most photos on the clickable map of the Plains of Passage are by courtesy of Per.



dinosaurs
Dinosaurs and other ancient animals. Dinosaurs, or Terrible Lizards, were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years.



rock walls
Building good looking stone walls, using concrete foundations, mortar, and formwork, a method even beginners can tackle sucessfully.



bushwalking
Bushwalking - This is an overview of a wonderful part of the world - the gorge country east of Armidale in northern NSW Australia, in which I spend as much time as I can exploring and walking.



Gibraltar Range - Washpool walk A one hundred kilometre network of walking tracks forms the Gibraltar - Washpool World Heritage Walk. The route links the Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks in rugged mountainous country, high above the Clarence Valley on the edge of the Northern Tablelands. Dry eucalypt sclerophyll forests, set amidst a broken collection of ridges and granite tors, surround a mosaic of sub-alpine swamps. In more dense country, lush rainforests safeguard the largest area of coachwood in the world. Within these ancient pockets of wilderness, waterfalls plummet from a lacework of streams and wild rivers.

Mt Kosciuszko walk

A walk from the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift to Mount Kosciuszko, then to Lake Albina and return.


bushwalking

Bushwalking, Hiking and Tramping in New Zealand


Lightweight Bushwalking / Hiking Gear

Lightweight Bushwalking / Hiking Gear


Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge lies within the spectacular and rugged ranges of Queensland's central highlands. Lined with vegetation and fed by the waters of numerous side gorges, Carnarvon Creek winds between towering sandstone cliffs. The gorge is a cool and moist oasis within the dry environment of central Queensland.


Beach Walks

Beach Walks - a wonderful way to explore Australia's coastline by easy stages


Mount Grattai and Gins Mountain

Mount Grattai and Gins Mountain


Mount Grattai and Gins Mountain

Mount Yarrowyck


Wollomombi and Chandler Falls
Wollomombi and Chandler Falls walking and climbing. The rock climbing here is very challenging, although the walk on the well maintained track around the tops of the falls may be attempted by most walkers.


bushwalking

The Chandler River, a challenging area for experienced bushwalkers, and a wonderful part of the world.


bushwalking

The Lower Chandler River from the Long Point shelter shed ridge to the Macleay


bushwalking

Thunderbolt's Lookout is a short easy walk in the Torrington area.


bushwalking
From the mountains to the sea - this is a classic walk from the escarpment of the New England National Park down Grass Tree ridge, along the upper Bellinger River, then kayaking from Bellingen to Urunga along the lower Bellinger River.


bushwalking
Dangars Falls and Salisbury Waters - this is one of the easiest ways into the gorge country, catering for all levels of fitness and interest.


bushwalking
Mihi Gorge - this short gorge with the Mihi Falls at its head is the first named tributary of Salisbury Waters.


bushwalking
Access to Mihi Gorge and the Salisbury Waters Gorge


bushwalking
Sarum Lookout, Salisbury Waters and McDirtys Lookout - this is an interesting daywalk for those willing to go off the track.


bushwalking
Dangars Falls Gorge - a route for rockclimbers rather than bushwalkers.


bushwalking
The Apsley River and Green Gully Creek - a classic river walk, starting from Budds Mare.


Cycling
Cycling - Cycling for 500 to 700 km over one or two weeks on fully supported rides is a great way to see Australia.



jeanauel.jpg
An evening with Jean Auel - Various interviews with Jean Auel, talks by her, memories of talks by Jean, inconsistencies in the EC books.



Saint Acheul The Acheulian is named after the eponymous site of Saint Acheul. There are a series of sites in the lower Somme valley of Pleistocene deposits containing the distinctive large hand axes of the period. These artefacts were in terraces which resulted from alternating cycles of stream deposition and down-cutting allied to changes in climate and sea level that accompanied the alternating glacial and interglacial stages of Pleistocene times. These deposits attracted early researchers, who found not just the hand axes, but also the bones of what were identified as elephants and rhinoceroses.


Afontova Gora Afontova Gora - –ź—Ą–ĺ–Ĺ—ā–ĺ–≤–į –ď–ĺ—Ä–į is an important site which has cultural ties with Mal'ta and Buret', hundreds of kilometres to the south east. It is on a north flowing river, the Yenisei, –ē–Ĺ–ł—Ā–Ķ—Ź. The settlement is dated to 20 000 - 18 000 BP, a very cold part of the last ice age, and the northern ice sheet can not have been far away.


Altamira Cave and paintings Altamira Cave is 270 metres long and consists of a series of twisting passages and chambers, and is decorated with ice age paintings. The artists used charcoal and ochre or haematite to create the images. They also exploited the natural contours in the cave walls to give their subjects a three-dimensional effect. The Polychrome Ceiling is the most impressive feature of the cave, depicting a herd of extinct Steppe Bison in different poses, two horses, a large doe, and possibly a wild boar. Around 13 000 years ago a rockfall sealed the cave's entrance, preserving its contents until its eventual discovery.


La Grotte d'Aurignac and the Aurignacian La Grotte d'Aurignac and the Aurignacian - La Grotte d'Aurignac is a cave located in the commune of Aurignac , in Haute-Garonne (Midi-Pyrenees , France). Occupied during the Upper Palaeolithic, it gave its name to the Aurignacian , a prehistoric culture of the beginning of that period.


 Lake Mungo

Australian Archeology / Archeology sites


Yam Camp
The rock art of Guardian Place, Yam Camp, Shepherd Creek Secret Place, and Easy Dreaming Galleries consists of paintings of Quinkan figures, spirit figures, humans, paintings based on yams, a wallaroo and fruit bats, as well as cupules and other engravings in the sandstone.


Pine Tree  Creek
The rock art of Pine Tree Creek, Tied Up Wrist and Wallaroo Galleries consists of paintings of kangaroos and wallabies, eels, people dancing, and Quinkan figures, and hand stencils of two hands at each end of a wrist.


Tent Shelter
The rock art of Quinkan Corner, the Rock Wallaby Gallery, and Tent Shelter Gallery, consists of Quinkan figures, animal figures of many kinds, but including birds, kangaroos, platypus, and dingoes, as well as human and ancestor figures. It is of great importance in the study of the art of Northern Queensland.


Sandy Creek
The rock art of the Sandy Creek rock shelter near Laura is part of the huge group of Australian Aboriginal Rock Art known as Quinkan. The pigments used include haematite, and various shades of ochre ranging from red to brown to yellow to white. Subjects include humans, animals, and members of the spirit world.


Laura Bridge
The rock art near Laura Bridge consists of engravings in the sandstone. Subjects include animal tracks, yams, and humanoid figures.


Brady Creek
The rock art near Brady Creek consists of both paintings and an important engraving. A painting of a man and woman copulating is repeated in an engraving on a large smooth boulder in the bed of Brady Creek. In addition there are paintings of humans, yam figures, fruit bats roosting, a crocodile, a marsupial, negative hand prints, and spirit figures.


fossilised human footprints
Fossilised Human Footprints in Australia - These appear to be fossilised human footprints on the foreshore of a beach, found by a fisherman. He came across many of them in the one spot, ranging from child to adult size, as well as some animal prints.


Mount Grattai and Gins Mountain

Aboriginal art site on the Northern Tablelands of NSW Australia, including a lizard, a snake, and hand stencils. It appears to be regularly maintained and cared for by local aboriginal people as part of a continuing tradition.


  Aboriginal Art of the Kimberleys
Aboriginal Art of the Kimberleys
This is a record of part of a bushwalking trip from the Berkeley River to the King George River and then to the Drysdale River in the Kimberley region of northern West Australia.


 Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge - an Aboriginal Rock Stencil Art site, with engravings of vulvas, emu and kangaroo tracks.
Carnarvon Gorge lies within the spectacular and rugged ranges of Queensland's central highlands. The fragile aboriginal art on the gorge's sandstone walls reflects a rich culture. Ochre stencils of tools, weapons, ornaments and ceremonial objects, as well as engravings and grooves where tools were sharpened provide an insight into the lives of the gorge's first people.


 Naracoorte Caves
Naracoorte Caves
These caves are in an area of limestone in which ground water has dissolved some of the limestone, creating the caves. Holes in the roof opened up creating traps for the unwary. Mammals and other land creatures have fallen into the sink holes and have become fossilised.


 Lake Mungo
Lake Mungo
Lake Mungo is a dry lake in south-western New South Wales, Australia. Many important archaeological findings have been made at the lake, most significantly the discovery of the remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains found in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest human remains in the world to be ritually cremated.


 Lake Mungo hominins
Mungo Hominins


 Lake Mungo
The Footprints of Mungo


 burin
Tools from Lake Mungo in Australia. The raw material for most of the Lake Mungo toolkit is silcrete. Silcretes are very hard layers of silica-enriched materials formed beneath the surface in soils, unconsolidated sediments, and permeable rocks.


 jawbone
Mungo Fossils


Mungo
Mungo - The Walls of China


Bettong
Mungo Animals


plants
Mungo Plants


 Mt Yarrowyck The Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve near the junction of the Armidale Road and Thunderbolts Way protects an Aboriginal cave painting site and much of the natural environment of Mount Yarrowyck. The paintings are probably several hundreds of years old. The tracks, circles, short lines and dots may remind you of birds' feet, people, lizards and even birds' eggs. However an Aboriginal elder, the late Victor Shepherd, was sure that the paintings were of a bird that fed on the ground. Ground birds were represented by their feet alone. He said the toes look too short and thick to be an emu. The paintings must be of the Plains Turkey, the Bustard.


avdeevo

Avdeevo - a Paleolithic site with strong links to Kostenki


Bara Bahau Ice Age Cave Art La Grotte de Bara Bahau is an Historic Monument containing Ice Age Cave Art. It is 100 metres long, 12 metres wide, and up to six metres high. There are many scratches on the walls from the Cave Bears which once inhabited this limestone cave. Magdalenian hunters left engravings of horses, bison, deer, aurochs, human hands, a phallus, and bears, as well as signs whose meaning we can only guess at. The cave itself was well known for many years, but the engravings were discovered in April 1951 when the famous caver Norbert Casteret in company with his son Raoul and his daughter explored the cave thoroughly and discovered the Magdalenian engravings. These were authenticated by Henri Breuil in August of that year. Later, in 1955 Father Glory made a thorough examination of the cave, and in 1997 Brigitte and Gilles Delluc published a monograph on the cave.


laugerie basse The Badegoulian culture spans the Solutrean and the early Magdalenian, and has been dated to between 19 000 and 17 000 BP. The lithic industry includes laurel leaf points and shouldered points, as well as the small scrapers known as raclettes. Shells for jewellery were obtained from fossil sites, as well as from both Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches. The site of Badegoule is at the base and the extremity of a limestone cliff facing south, on the left bank of a tributary of Le Cern brook. The site may have been a huge living place, covering a large surface on the slope of the present relief, at least 50 m long and 20 m deep.


Batavia - the ship Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It was built in Amsterdam in 1628, and armed with 24 cast-iron cannons and a number of bronze guns. Batavia was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage, and was made famous by the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors. A twentieth-century replica of the ship, also called the Batavia can be visited in Lelystad, Netherlands.


Grotte de BédeilhacGrotte de Bédeilhac has a huge entrance and was a good shelter for Magdalenian hunters. There are two horizons with human remains. Important finds include clay sculptures, bone polishers, baguettes demi-ronde, perforated horse teeth and many paintings and engravings on the walls.


Grotte de Bernifal Grotte de Bernifal is a cave decorated with over 100 engravings and paintings. It includes engravings of horses, bison, mammoths and ibex as well as the enigmatic tectiform (roof shaped) drawings seen in many other caves of the same period. It has changed very little in more than twelve thousand years, and has not been vandalised, since the original entrance was blocked with rubble when the last artists left.


Blombos Cave, South Africa Blombos Cave is on the south coast of South Africa. About 20 square metres of the Middle Stone Age has been excavated to a depth of about 2 metres below the original surface. Dating by the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and thermoluminescence (TL) methods has provided occupation dates for each phase: these are about 73 000 BP for the M1 phase, about 80 000 BP for the M2 phase, and between 100 000 and 140 000 BP for the M3 phase. The evidence indicates periods of relatively brief occupation separated by long periods of non-occupation, including a separation between occupation during the Late Stone Age (LSA) and the Middle Stone Age. Bone tools, marine shell beads, and engraved ochre were found in the M1 phase, bone tools in the Upper M2 phase, and considerable quantities of ochre and associated ochre working tools in the M3 phase.


  The Venus of Abri Pataud
Monte Buciero has around 20 caves and small abris or rock shelters. Human occupation is known in at least seven of these caves. Engravings have been found in two of them - Pe√Īa del Perro and Cueva de San Carlos, also known as Cueva del Fort√≠n.


El Buxu CaveEl Buxu Cave was discovered by chance in December 1916 by Ces√°reo Cardin, an habitual collaborator in the archaeological digs of Hugo Obermaier and Conde de la Vega del Sella. The entrance is formed by an outer vestibule six metres wide and five metres deep, facing south-west. The original rock-shelter, however, was much larger, as is shown by the presence of numerous blocks of limestone which have collapsed from the roof, and the remains of a former floor, partially eroded away. This former rock-shelter would have faced south, situated 300 metres above present-day sea level, and 25 metres above the valley floor.




Cantabria Caves and Rock Shelters on the North coast of Spain, including Cantabria and the caves and rock shelters of Mount Buciero, Covalanas Cave, and El Mirón.


 Monte Buciero
Monte Buciero has around 20 caves and small abris or rock shelters. Human occupation is known in at least seven of these caves. Engravings have been found in two of them - Pe√Īa del Perro and Cueva de San Carlos, also known as Cueva del Fort√≠n.


El Buxu CaveEl Buxu Cave was discovered by chance in December 1916 by Ces√°reo Cardin, an habitual collaborator in the archaeological digs of Hugo Obermaier and Conde de la Vega del Sella. The entrance is formed by an outer vestibule six metres wide and five metres deep, facing south-west. The original rock-shelter, however, was much larger, as is shown by the presence of numerous blocks of limestone which have collapsed from the roof, and the remains of a former floor, partially eroded away. This former rock-shelter would have faced south, situated 300 metres above present-day sea level, and 25 metres above the valley floor.


covalanas caveCovalanas cave in Cantabria, Spain, was first discovered to have art work in 1903. It is situated on the South-Western hillside of Pando mountain, near the cave of el M√≠ron. Although the entrance is not huge, access is easy. From the entrance two galleries continue, though only one of them has palaeolithic decoration. In a deep zone of the gallery, and in a space less than 12 metres in length, the largest group of art in the cave is located. It has 22 figures, of which 18 are hinds , a characteristic animal in the Cantabrian decorated caves, as well as a horse, a reindeer and an aurochs. The paintings are between 20 000 and 14 400 years old.


El Miron cave The archaeological cave site of El Mirón is located in the Rio Asón valley of eastern Cantabria, Spain. The cave opening is about 260 metres above sea level, and the cave opening is about 13 metres high, 8-16 metres wide, and 120 metres deep. El Mirón is remarkable for its long occupation history and thus for its long unbroken sequence of history and prehistory of Cantabria, Spain. The site includes human occupations between the Middle Paleolithic (ca 41 000 years ago) to AD 1400, including Mousterian, Early Upper Paleolithic, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age deposits.


cap blanc L'Abri du Cap Blanc - Over 15 000 years ago, Ice Age hunters carved horses, bison and reindeer, some of which are over two metres long, straight into the Limestone cliffs at Cap Blanc. The abri, which was discovered in 1909, is today the only frieze of prehistoric sculptures in the world to be shown to the public.


 Carnarvon Gorge Carnarvon Gorge - an Aboriginal Rock Stencil Art site, with engravings of vulvas, emu and kangaroo tracks.
Carnarvon Gorge lies within the spectacular and rugged ranges of Queensland's central highlands. The fragile aboriginal art on the gorge's sandstone walls reflects a rich culture. Ochre stencils of tools, weapons, ornaments and ceremonial objects, as well as engravings and grooves where tools were sharpened provide an insight into the lives of the gorge's first people.


Castel-MerleThe site of Castel-Merle is also known as Vallon des Roches, and is located near the town of Sergeac on the V√©zère River between Lascaux and the shelter of Moustier, near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac . This prehistoric site has the distinction of having its own museum where there are many artefacts from the various excavations of rock shelters, with six necklaces dating from the Aurignacian and Magdalenian (among the oldest in Europe). the Vallon des Roches has a unique geological formation. It consists of high parallel cliffs closer than 100 metres and comprising six shelters spread over 400 metres, giving one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric settlements of Aquitaine. The overhanging parts of these shelters have collapsed, mainly towards the end of the last glaciation, and thus ensured very good protection for the archaeological layers.




El Castillo Cave The Cueva de El Castillo, or the Cave of the Castle, is an archaeological site within the complex of the Caves of Monte Castillo, and is located in Puente Viesgo, in the province of Cantabria, Spain. This cave was discovered in 1903 by Hermilio Alcalde del Río, the Spanish archaeologist, who was one of the pioneers in the study of the earliest cave paintings of Cantabria. In the time of the cave painters, the entrance to the cave was not as large as it is today, because it was enlarged by the excavations in the front of the caves. By way of the entrance one can access the different rooms in which Alcalde del Río found an extensive sequence of images. The paintings and other markings span from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age, and even into the Middle Ages. There are over 150 figures already catalogued, including engravings of deer, complete with shadowing.


fort de tayacThe Roc de Cazelle has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the 25 000 year old Venus of Sereuil was found close by. It has been occupied almost continuously since. In the Middle Ages many of the caves were deepened and turned into strongholds during the wars of that time. In recent times the lower caverns were used as dwellings for farm owners and their staff, and the whole area has now been turned into displays for tourists to see how their ancestors lived.


St C√©saire St Césaire Neanderthal Skeleton


La Chapelle aux Saints The Neandertal skeleton from La Chapelle-aux-Saints


chatelperronianThe Ch√Ętelperronian is a proposed industry of the Upper Palaeolithic, the existence of which is debated. It derives its name from the site of la Grotte des F√©es, in Ch√Ętelperron, Allier, France. It is preceded by the Mousterian industry, and lasted from circa 45 000 to circa 40 000 BP. The industry produced denticulate stone tools and also a distinctive flint knife with a single cutting edge and a blunt, curved back. It is followed by the Aurignacian industry. Scholars who question its existence claim that it is an archaeological mix of Mousterian and Aurignacian layers.


chauvetcaveChauvet Cave in the valley of the Ard√®che River in France is filled with paintings, engravings and drawings created more than 30 000 years ago, of cave lions, mammoths, rhinos, bison, cave bears and horses. It contains the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is situated on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ard√®che River. The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25 000 to 27 000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that the cave had been untouched until discovered in 1994. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately


Chinese Skull

80 000 to 100 000 years old hominin skull found in China


Coa Valley

The C√īa Valley in Portugal


Coliboaia Cave
The oldest cave paintings in Central Europe, estimated at between 23 000 and 35 000 BP, have been discovered by a team of Romanian speleologists at the Coliboaia Cave, Romania.


Les CombarellesLes Combarelles in the Dordogne, with more than 600 images on its walls, most of them engraved, is considered to be one of the major sanctuaries of Magdalenian culture. This extraordinary site was discovered in 1901. Beyond the entrance of the cave two galleries diverge. The largest one, now open to the public, is a narrow and winding passage, following a zig zag pattern for more than 240 metres. The animals represented are finely engraved. A diverse fauna is represented, including horses, reindeer, ibex, mammoths, rhinoceros, bears, lions and a few bisons and aurochs.


Combe-Capelle, a Neanderthal site in Southern France

Combe-Capelle, a Neanderthal site in Southern France


Combe Grenal

Combe Grenal - a Neanderthal (and earlier) site in the Dordogne valley, France


Combe Sauniere The site of Combe Sauni√®re consists of an ensemble of caves, the principal one containing a long sequence of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic deposits. The cave is situated in an open environment with small valleys and a few low cliffs with habitable caves dispersed along the river edges. The Solutrean levels are dated to approximately 19 000 BP. The oldest known propulseur or spear thrower, dating from the upper Solutrean, was discovered in layer 4 of Combe-Sauni√®re.


La Cotte de St Brelade La Cotte de St Brelade is a Neandertal site in St Brelade, Jersey. Neanderthals lived there from around 238 000 years ago until between 100 000 and 40 000 years ago - making it the earliest known the occupation of the Channel Islands by a hominin species, and also possibly one of the last Neanderthal sites in northwestern Europe. At that time, with sea levels below those at present, Jersey was part of Normandy, a peninsula jutting out from the coast. After the last Ice Age the sea rose again, separating Jersey from the mainland.


Cougnac CaveThe Grottes de Cougnac caves are near Gourdon, Lot. The site consists of two caves separated by 200 metres. The first contains many concretions, some very fine, called soda straws. The second is a decorated cave from the Paleolithic. The cave has many prehistoric paintings dated to the upper Paleolithic. Depictions include deer, megaceros, the ibex, and mammoths as well as various schematic human figures. The paintings corresponded to at least two clearly distinct phases: one around 25 000 BP, the other about 14 000 years before the present.


covalanas caveCovalanas cave in Cantabria, Spain, was first discovered to have art work in 1903. It is situated on the South-Western hillside of Pando mountain, near the cave of el M√≠ron. Although the entrance is not huge, access is easy. From the entrance two galleries continue, though only one of them has palaeolithic decoration. In a deep zone of the gallery, and in a space less than 12 metres in length, the largest group of art in the cave is located. It has 22 figures, of which 18 are hinds , a characteristic animal in the Cantabrian decorated caves, as well as a horse, a reindeer and an aurochs. The paintings are between 20 000 and 14 400 years old.


  Cro Magnon shelter
The Cro-Magnon Shelter


Cussac CaveThe Grotte de Cussac contains over 150 Paleolithic artworks as well as several human remains. It was discovered on September 30, 2000 by amateur speleologist Marc Delluc. It is closed to the public. The cave's artworks are almost exclusively engravings, often very large, made with stone tools on the walls, or with fingers on clay. At least five people, four adults and a teenager, were deposited in the cavities, with bones dated by Carbon 14 measurements to approximately 25 000 years in age.


Burial Mounds
Burial Mounds in Denmark


  Homo Erectus Sites
The Homo Erectus site at Dmanisi


tripleburial200x100 Dolni Vestonice is an ice age mammoth hunters site in the Czech Republic near the town of Brno, in Sudmären - Southern Moravia. Dolni Vestonice I is the original site, where a kiln and pottery figures were found. Dolni Vestonice II is the site where a triple burial of three teenagers was discovered. Dolni Vestonice III is between these two, and has yielded so far tools and bone fragments.


fire
The Dordogne - scene for Book 5, Shelters of Stone. Scenes from the Dordogne, cooking Clan style - preparation of ptarmigan, and using a firestone to make a fire. Photos courtesy Sharon Rogers/walkhound


Egypt Ancient Egyptian culture from its beginnings through the dynasties to the Ptolemaic period and its eventual decline as a Roman Province, told through reference to its mummies, statues, burial practices and artefacts.


Egyptian early history
The early beginnings of Ancient Egyptian culture to just before the First Dynasty.


Egyptian classic history
Ancient Egyptian culture from the unification of Egypt under King Narmer at the beginning of the first Dynasty, to the end of the 10th Dynasty, at a time of administrative chaos.


Egyptian classic history
Ancient Egyptian culture from the 11th Dynasty, with strong leaders who worked to reunify Egypt, to the end of the 20th Dynasty, the New Kingdom, in 1077 BC, at the end of the reign of Ramesses XI.


Egyptian Ptolemaic history
Ancient Egyptian culture from the start of the 21st Dynasty with Smendes (Nesbanebdjed I) in 1077 BC to just before the start of the Ptolemaic period, in 305 BC.


Egyptian Ptolemaic history
Ancient Egyptian culture from the Ptolemaic period, starting in 305 BC, to its decline as a Roman Province.


coptic textilesCoptic textiles, whose production began in the third and fourth centuries AD in Egypt, were hand woven with unbleached linen warps and dyed wool wefts and frequently featured woollen tapestry decoration. Men's garments were done in sedate colours with monochrome interlace motifs while women favoured floral and figural decorations.

Last updated Sunday 02 September 2018


bison propulseur La Grotte d'Enlène, 200 metres long, is the longest known Volp cave, and was the subject of numerous excavations during the second half of the nineteenth century until the Second World War. However, it has long been ignored because the main findings of movable art that were made there have always been attributed to lesTrois Frères, with which it communicates by a narrow passage. However, one of the major interests of Enlène is that it is a cave-habitat with a high occupancy rate during the Magdalenian IV, while Les Trois-Frères was a cave-shrine and has never been used as a habitat, at least in the long term and delivered little movable art remains.


  Homo Erectus Sites
Homo erectus (Beijing Man, Peking Man) sites


La Ferrassie
La Ferrassie rock shelter yielded skeletons from eight Neanderthal individuals, including adults, children, infants, and two fetuses. Today the skeleton of La Ferrassie 1 is considered the classic example of Neanderthal anatomy. It was unearthed on 17th September 1909 by R. Capitan and D. Peyrony


  hobbits flores Homo floresiensis was a one metre tall, human-like creature living and using tools in Indonesia just 18 000 years ago and was a distinct species, not just a malformed modern human. The so-called hobbit had wrist bones almost identical to those found in early hominins and modern chimpanzees, and so must have diverged from the human lineage well before modern humans and Neanderthals arose.


La Chapelle aux SaintsSeveral teeth from an adult and children, and the fossilised mandible of a diminutive species of early human that lived 700 000 years ago have been discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. It is thought to be the direct ancestor of the Hobbit of Flores, the 1.1 metre tall human species that lived around 50 000 years ago.


font de gaumeFont-de-Gaume is a cave near Les Eyzies. The cave contains prehistoric polychrome cave paintings and engravings. The paintings were discovered by Denis Peyrony, a local schoolmaster, on 12 September 1901. The cave had been known to the general public before this, but the significance of the paintings had not been recognised. The paintings in the cave at Font-de-Gaume were the first to be discovered in the P√©rigord province. Prehistoric people living in the Dordogne Valley first settled in the mouth of Font-de-Gaume around 25 000 BC. The cave mouth was inhabited at least sporadically for the next several thousand years. The paintings date from around 17 000 BC, during the Magdalenian period. Many of the cave's paintings have been discovered in recent decades. The cave's most famous painting, a frieze of five bison was discovered accidentally in 1966 while scientists were cleaning the cave.


Fourneau du Diable Fourneau du Diable is a prominent cliff face on the road leading to the east from the village of Bourdeilles, beside the river Dronne. It was once a settlement in the late Solutrean, and lithic and bone industries from that time were excavated there, but the most important discovery was of a large limestone block with several well executed sculptures of aurochs carved on its face.


Grotte de Vic

French and Spanish Caves and Rock Shelters


Grotte de Vic
Grottes et Abris-sous-Roche Français et Espagnols


Roc de Marcamps and grotte des Fées La grotte des Fées is located in the Moron valley near the cave of Pair-non-Pair. It is a small cave that has its opening at the top of a limestone cliff. F. Daleau undertook extensive excavations there and collected a handsome middle and upper Magdalenian lithic industry as well as faunal remains. The Roc de Marcamps was discovered just below the prehistoric cave of la grotte des Fées. It is a Magdalenien archaeological site. Both these sites are very close to the cave of Pair-non-Pair.


foret The small Grotte de la Forêt lies between Moustier and Tursac. It is at the junction of the valley of Fontpeyrine and the Vézère, between the cliffs of Reignac upstream and Lespinasse downstream. It houses a magnificently engraved reindeer, with its head erect, the antlers thrown backwards, the limbs in vertical extension. Details abound: eye underlined with a curved line, lower lip slightly turned down, nostrils, punctuated flank, as well as an abundant mane shown by parallel streaks, attributes of a male subject.


Gabillou The 200 engravings of the narrow Grotte de Gabillou , discovered in 1941, indicate a Magdalenian age. It is located in the valley of l'Isle, near Mussidan, France. The cave is in a sandy Maastrichtian limestone. Its northwestern end, once expanded by man and used as a storeroom, is obscured by a building. It was discovered in 1941 by M. Charmarty and M. Truffier.


Grotte de Gargas
The cave art of Grotte de Gargas constitutes one of the most moving revelations today of the life and thoughts of our prehistoric ancestors. It is made up of two very important elements - painted hands, many apparently mutilated, as well as important animal engravings and paintings.


Geissenkl√∂sterle, Hohle FelsThe Site of Geissenkl√∂sterle, Hohle Fels, and Middle Paleolithic sites in the Swabian Alb near the city of Ulm - important areas of ice age art occurred near Ulm (Germany), in the Schwaebische Alb, in the valleys of the Ach and Blau river near Blaubeuren, where the famous lion/human figure was found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave. A number of world-wide famous caves, such as the Geissenkl√∂sterle, Brillenh√∂hle ('spectacle cave'), Grosse Grotte (great cave), Sirgenstein and Hohle Fels cave, can be reached from Blaubeuren on a labelled hiking path and are easily accessible from the important Museum f√ľr Ur-und Fr√ľhgeschichte which displays the earliest known flutes.


Gontsy Gontsy was the first Upper Palaeolithic site to be found on the central Russian Plain, in 1871, and is the site of a series of mammoth bone huts. Gontsy is located on the right (southern) promontory formed by the second terrace of the Uda√Į River. The promontory faces north and is bordered today, as it was at the time of occupation, by ravines and the floodplain. It has been extremely well researched by Lyudmila Iakovleva and Fran√ßois Djindjian, who have not only described the site in a professional manner, they have done excellent work in teasing out exactly why and how the phenomenon of mammoth bone huts in the Dniepr plain occurred. Their paper entitled L'habitat √† cabanes en os de mammouths de Gontsy (Ukraine) is a masterpiece.


Grotte du Grand Roc
Grotte du Grand Roc is a cave of calcite concretions, with no history of being used by prehistoric people. It is between Laugerie Basse and the Gorge d'Enfer. In 1922, Jean Maury, who was then an archaeologist at Laugerie Basse, noticed a small natural terrace halfway up the great cliff of the Grand Roc. He quickly climbed up to discover a small crack from which came a small spring. Unaware of the origin of this flow, his inquiring mind rapidly imagined that a hidden cavity might reveal the source. After two years of hard work and a last mining foray on April 29, 1924, Jean Maury, his sister and daughter, entered the untouched cave.


boats
Gobustan on the Caspian Sea



Gonnersdorf settlement The open-air site of Gönnersdorf was discovered in 1968, during the construction of a cellar for a private house. After digging through the pumice, bones and stone slabs appeared and it became clear that it was a location of the late ice age. A wonderful inventory of ice age life was unearthed: pulverised red hematite, a fireplace, evidence of habitation constructions, a lithic industry, statuettes of ivory and antler, engraved slate plaquettes, jet beads, perforated animal teeth and a well preserved faunal record. Based on these finds it was evident that Gönnersdorf was a site of huge importance.


gorge d'enfer
The Gorge d'Enfer is on the right bank of the Vézère River near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, and contains L'Abri Poisson. The shelter was discovered in 1892 by Paul Girod, and dates from the Aurignacian. In 1912 Jean Marsan identified the fish carved in the ceiling of a small abri that made the site famous.


La Gravette, the type site for the Gravettian
La Gravette, the type site for the Gravettian - The Gravettian toolmaking culture is named after the type site of La Gravette in the Dordogne region of France where its characteristic tools were first found and studied. It dates from between 28 000 and 22 000 years ago. Artistic achievements of the Gravettian cultural stage include the hundreds of Venus figurines, which are widely distributed in Europe.


Hamburgian Reindeer Hunters Maarten Perdeck has collected more than 8 000 pieces of worked flint and 300 retouched tools on a Hamburgian site in the Netherlands, an upper palaeolithic reindeer hunter site from the end of the Weichselien. The tools reflect the type of the site, a camp for reindeer hunters, and consist mostly of scrapers, chisels, and drilling tools. The artefacts have been superbly photographed by Christophe Brochard. These superb specimens are mute testimony to the lives of the reindeer hunters who used the site many thousands of years ago, at a time when the ice caps were not far away from the Netherlands, where these pieces were were found in a ploughed field over a period of twenty years.


Heidenschmiede Heidenschmiede - below the castle in Heidenheim, the rock face 35 metres above the valley floor forms a small overhang just large enough to create an 8 square metre abri, or rock shelter. In spite of its small size, this rock shelter was a place our ancestors went to time and again. This may have been because of the splendid view across the wide, open valley of the Brenz River, which provided an excellent hunting ground.


Gruta The recently found oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal marks an important contribution to the knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals. This cranium of Homo heidelbergensis represents the westernmost human fossil ever found in Europe during the middle Pleistocene epoch and one of the earliest on this continent to be associated with the Acheulean stone tool industry.


Ice Age Hunters
Ice age hunters of Northern Europe, hunting reindeer and elk as well as utilising other food and shelter resources, moved into the periglacial tundras after the last Glacial Maximum, ca 20 000 BP.


End of the last Ice AgeIce Age maps: The Causes of the end of the last Ice Age: The last great ice age began around 120 000 years ago. One massive ice sheet, more than 3 kilometres thick in places, grew in fits and starts until it covered almost all of Canada and stretched down as far as Manhattan. Then, 20 000 years ago, a great thaw began. Over the following 10 000 years, the average global temperature rose by 3.5¬į C and most of the ice melted. Rising seas swallowed up low-lying areas such as the English Channel and North Sea, forcing our ancestors to abandon many settlements.


ice maps
Ice Age maps: Go to the maps of the extent of the ice in the last ice age. A set of maps illustrate how the last British ice sheet shrunk during the Ice Age. The unique maps record the pattern and speed of shrinkage of the large ice sheet that covered the British Isles during the last Ice Age, approximately 20 000 years ago. The sheet, which subsumed most of Britain, Ireland and the North Sea, had an ice volume sufficient to raise global sea level by around 2.5 metres when it melted.


wurm glaciation

Ice Age maps: Go to the map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation deposits in the Rhone valley.
Carte dressée par P. Mandier L.A 260 CNRS Lyon


wurm glaciation

Ice Age maps: Go to the map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation in the headwaters of the Donau (Danube)


  The original Sharamudoi site - in the Iron Gates region of the Donau

The Iron Gates Gorge, a very important series of mesolithic sites on the Danube


Iron Gates contour map Go to the Iron Gates contour maps


overview Overview of the Iron Gates area


pers irongates Per's Iron Gates photos


Cuina Turcului Go to the Cuina Turcului site - the only rock shelter site in the region


Lepenski Vir Proto Lepenski Vir and Lepenski Vir Ia- a mesolithic site on the Donau. Lepenski Vir is the name of the great whirlpool in the middle of Djerdap, the Iron Gates Gorge, and the nearby horseshoe shaped shelf between the right bank of the Danube and the steep cliffs of the KorŇ°o hills. Lepenski Vir is a Mesolithic site - that means middle stone age, in this case 8 000 years before the present, after the ice had begun to melt from the glaciers which covered so much of the Northern Hemisphere. It is an open air site, not a rock shelter. It is noted for the trapezoidal houses which had one of the first types of concrete as their foundations. They inhabitants ate fish, aurochs, deer and water birds. Professor Dragoslav Srejovińá excavated the site of Lepenski Vir. The prehistoric settlement was built on the sunny right bank of the Danube, between the steep slopes of the KorŇ°o hills and the spring high water mark on the low porphyritic rocks which stretch down to the river.


Lepenski Vir Lepenski Vir Ib-e, II, III - a mesolithic site on the Donau. Lepenski Vir is the name of the great whirlpool in the middle of Djerdap, the Iron Gates Gorge, and the nearby horseshoe shaped shelf between the right bank of the Danube and the steep cliffs of the KorŇ°o hills. Lepenski Vir is a Mesolithic site - that means middle stone age, in this case 8 000 years before the present, after the ice had begun to melt from the glaciers which covered so much of the Northern Hemisphere. It is an open air site, not a rock shelter. It is noted for the trapezoidal houses which had one of the first types of concrete as their foundations. They inhabitants ate fish, aurochs, deer and water birds. Professor Dragoslav Srejovińá excavated the site of Lepenski Vir. The prehistoric settlement was built on the sunny right bank of the Danube, between the steep slopes of the KorŇ°o hills and the spring high water mark on the low porphyritic rocks which stretch down to the river.


schela cladovei Schela Cladovei


padina.html Padina


vlasac.html Vlasac


hajducka Hajducka Vodenica


Gaura Chindiei - a limestone cave at the first Iron Gate Gaura Chindiei - a limestone cave at the first Iron Gate


baile herculane Baile Herculane - a limestone cave area with Paleolithic cave deposits


golubac.html Golubac - a 13th Century castle guarding the Iron Gates entrance


flora and fauna Animals of the Iron Gates


old engravings Old engravings of the Iron Gates


Isturitz art and tools Les Grottes d'Isturitz et d'Oxocelhaya- The Caves of Isturitz and Oxocelhaya date back to the Mousterian, about 80 000 BC, and there is evidence of Neanderthals living there, but occupation extended to almost the end of the ice age in 10 000 BC. It is in the Atlantic Pyrennees region. The network consists of three caves, the upper Isturitz Cave, then 20 metres below, Oxocelhaya Cave with calcite concretions and finally the Erberua cave where the Arberoue river now runs. Isturitz is famous for the discovery of a series of important prehistoric flutes dating from the Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian to the Magdalenian), about 35 000 to 10 000 BC.


Kapova Cave Kapova Cave is a famous Russian Palaeolithic cave. It has painted mammoths, rhinos, horses and a bison on its walls. The cave has two levels, the paintings are mainly in the upper level at some distance from the entrance. The charcoal was dated with the 14C method to be 14 680 ¬Ī150 years old. Among the animal bones were cave bear bones. Kapova Cave is a complex natural monument with multiple grottos and halls connected by passages on various levels. The walls of the cave are rich in calcite deposits of all kinds of forms and sizes. An underground river flows out of the cave and forms the Blue Lake at its entrance.


Kebara in Israel The neanderthal skeleton from Kebara in Israel




Ice Age Infants - discovered at the Krems-Wachtberg Pavlovian site in Austria on the Danube


les Jamblancs Les Jamblancs is an upper Solutrean / Magdalenian site in the Bayac-Bourniquel area. It is notable for its stone engravings and tool kit. The site consists mainly of the deposits at abris below a cliff, and is important for the study of the old Magdalenian, or Badegoulian. However much of the material remains unpublished.


 Mammoth site

The Krems-Wachtberg Pavlovian mammoth site in Austria on the Danube


  The Lagar Velho Hybrid Child from PortugalThe Lagar Velho Hybrid Child from Portugal - The Lagar Velho site is a rock-shelter in the Lapedo valley, a limestone canyon ca. 140 km north of Lisbon, Portugal. In 1998, the discovery of an early Upper Paleolithic human burial in this site has provided evidence of early modern humans from southern Iberia. The remains, the largely complete skeleton of an approximately 4 year old child buried with pierced shells and red ochre, is dated to ca. 24 500 years B.P. The cranium, mandible, dentition, and postcrania appear to present a mosaic of European early modern human and Neanderthal features.


  Lascaux CaveLascaux Cave is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The paintings are estimated to be 17 300 years old. They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. The cave was discovered on September 12, 1940 by four teenagers. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. Rooms in the cave include The Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines. Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls ‚ÄĒ the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery ‚ÄĒ was opened in 1983, 200 metres from the original.


laugerie haute
Laugerie Haute


laugerie basse
Laugerie Basse


Lene Hara CaveLene Hara Cave has provided evidence that Timor has been occupied by humans for 35 000 years BP. In May 2009, carved faces were found high in the cave, and have since been dated to 10 000 years. Paintings in the caves of Ile K√©re K√©re, of which Lene Hara is a part, are believed to be 2 000 to 6 000 years old.


Lepenski Vir
Proto Lepenski Vir and Lepenski Vir Ia - a mesolithic site on the Donau


Lepenski Vir
Lepenski Vir Ib-e, II, III - a mesolithic site on the Donau


  Liujiang site

Liujiang - ancient modern human skull


mapsites

Location Maps and Themes of Cave Paintings


Mainz Venus The Linsenberg - Mainz archaeological site occupies a height overlooking the city of Mainz. It is an open air site, and is buried in loess, the archaeological layer lying just above a bed of clay. Around 1920 E. Neeb and O. Schmidtgen collected two fragments of statues made of greenish sandstone, which are kept at the Archaeological Museum in Mainz. The first, with a height of 36 mm, includes only the lower limbs, with feet represented by a blunt point, and part of the pelvis, with the pubic triangle.


Lonetal Sites Lonetal Sites, including Neanderthal and Middle Paleolithic sites in the Swabian Alb near the city of Ulm, were important areas of ice age art. The sites occur in the Schwaebische Alb (Swabian Alb), in the valleys of the Ach and Blau river near Blaubeuren, where the famous lion/human figure was found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave.


lucyLucy, Australopithecus afarensis, is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. Australopithecus afarensis was slenderly built, like the younger Australopithecus africanus. It is thought that Australopithecus afarensis was more closely related to the genus Homo (which includes the modern human species Homo sapiens ), whether as a direct ancestor or a close relative of an unknown ancestor, than any other known primate from the same time.


lucy's baby

Lucy's baby, Australopithecus afarensis


La Madeleine
La Madeleine is a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, in the Dordogne, France. In 1926 the skeleton of a three year old child was discovered, with exquisite shell jewellery, dating from the end of the Magdalenian period. It is a treasure house of art and knowledge about the people of the Magdalenian. Much of this art is on display at the Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


Mal'ta Venuses The Mal'ta - Buret' venuses and culture in Siberia - the site of Mal'ta, is composed of a series of subterranean houses made of large animal bones and reindeer antler which had likely been covered with animal skins and sod to protect inhabitants from the severe, prevailing northerly winds. Among the artistic accomplishments evident at Mal'ta are the remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects. Figurines of birds and human females are the most commonly found items.


Kurya

Mamontovaya Kurya - –ú–į–ľ–ĺ–Ĺ—ā–ĺ–≤–ĺ–Ļ –ö—É—Ä—Ć–ł - Human presence in the European Arctic nearly 40 000 years ago


Maori ToolsThe Maori of New Zealand have a rich culture, and this is carried through to their skilfully made and decorated tools. The East Polynesian ancestors of the MńĀori were hunters, fishers, and gardeners. After arriving in New Zealand, MńĀori had to rapidly adapt their material culture and agricultural practices to suit the climate of their new land - cold and harsh in comparison to tropical island Polynesia. Great ingenuity was required to grow the tropical plants they had brought with them from Polynesia, including taro, kumara, tńę pore, gourds, and yams; this was especially difficult in the chillier southern parts of the country. The harakeke (flax plant) served as a replacement for coconut fronds and hibiscus fibre in the manufacture of mats, baskets, rope, fishing nets and clothing.


Castel-Merle The cave of La Marche (Municipality of Lussac-les-Ch√Ęteaux) can be considered as one of the most important archaeological sites for stone engravings. When French scientist L√©on P√©ricard excavated La Marche between 1937 and 1942, he catalogued more than 1 500 slabs of limestone that had been placed carefully on the floor. Many of these have been engraved with human figures. Some can only be seen after careful study, and the painstaking removal of extraneous lines on the drawings made.


Manis MastodonThe Manis Mastodon - A newly analysed mastodon rib bone shows that Native Americans were using bone-pointed weapons to take down big game nearly a thousand years earlier than thought, according to a new study. Images of the rib show a broken bone projectile point still stuck where a hunter drove it in 13 800 years ago. The rib was found near the town of Sequim on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, in the late 1970s. Radiocarbon analysis, DNA samples, genetics work, and other modern techniques recently revealed its true age.


Moli del Salt An engraved object recently found at the site of Molí del Salt in Spain and dated to the end of the Upper Paleolithic, about 13 800 BP, may show a hunter-gatherer campsite. The site location is privileged so far as mobility and resource distribution are concerned. On the one hand, the Francolí valley is a natural passage linking the Ebro basin and the coastal Mediterranean regions. On the other hand, it is an ecotone between the plain of the Ebro basin and the mountain domain of the Prades Mountains, 4 km south of the site. In addition, good-quality flint outcrops are common in the region.


The original Neanderthal from the Neander Valley In 1914 stone quarry workers in Bonn-Oberkassel discovered two human skeletons, bones from a dog, and two works of art made of bones and antlers. The combination of a double burial for humans and art and one of the oldest domestic dogs in the world, unique in Central Europe of around 14 000 years ago, makes this ensemble of findings one of the most important sources for the late Ice Age.


Salisbury axe quarry The Salisbury axe quarry is in the Armidale/Uralla area of northern NSW Australia, and consists of an outcrop of vitrified (welded) tuff which has been used as a quarry for the blanks for ground axe heads by the local indigenous population for ten thousand years, since the end of the last ice age. The method of quarrying was thermal shock using fire to spall off large blanks which were subsequently worked into rough axe heads by knapping techniques, and then ground to a final shape and edge.


sorcerer The Cave of Trois-Fr√®res is a cave 427 metres long in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings. One of these, called 'The Sorcerer' is as familiar as any art in the more famous cave of Lascaux. The cave is part of a single cave-complex with the Tuc d'Audoubert, both galleries formed by the Volp River. The cave art appears to date to approximately 15 000 BP. The cave is named for the three sons of Comte B√©gouen who discovered it in 1914. The drawings of the cave were made famous in the publications of the Abb√© Henri Breuil.


clay bison Tuc d'Audoubert, 640 metres long, may only be accessed via the stream, the Volp, which includes two impassable siphons. The cave of Tuc Audoubert was discovered by the sons of Count Henri three B√©gou√ęn i 1912. Having been to Mas d'Azil, during the summer holidays of 1912, July 20, they decided to explore the resurgence of Volp using a raft they made, and thus discovered the cave of Tuc d'Audoubert and the first engravings. A prehistorian, Emile Cartailhac, a family friend, was called immediately and authenticated the drawings. On 10 October, through a narrow gap which became known as the catflap, with the help of their friend Fran√ßois Camel, they penetrated the upper galleries at the bottom of which awaited the clay bisons!


Villepin l'abri Villepin lies just downstream of the important site of l'abri de la Madeleine, itself just downstream of the Medieval village of La Madeleine. L'abri Villepin serves as the reference site for the definition of the end of the Magdalenian, and includes both Magdalenian and Azilian deposits and artefacts, including double barbed harpoon heads, double bevelled spear points, and works of art engraved on pebbles.


ice maps
Maps of the extent of the ice in the last ice age in northern Europe and Eurasia. As well there is a set of maps illustrate how the last British ice sheet shrunk as the Ice Age ended. These unique maps record the pattern and speed of shrinkage of the large ice sheet that covered most of the British Isles during the last Ice Age, reaching its peak approximately 20 000 years ago. The sheet, which subsumed most of Britain, Ireland and the North Sea, had an ice volume sufficient to raise global sea level by around 2.5 metres when it melted.


wurm glaciation

Map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation deposits in the Rhone valley.
Carte dressée par P. Mandier L.A 260 CNRS Lyon


wurm glaciation

Map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation in the headwaters of the Donau (Danube)


abri marseilles

L'Abri des Marseilles, near Laugerie Haute and Laugerie Basse, contains many important deposits from the Magdalenian.


MarsoulasMarsoulas - La Grotte de Marsoulas, near Salies (Haute-Garonne), is formed by layers of limestone raised vertically against other layers which then buttress each other. It is the result of a fault. Around 1885, the Abbé Cau-Durban, archaeologist from Ariege, found the floor consisting of carbonaceous ash, animal bones, and worked flint. Patiently he collected many artefacts, the remains of an ice age site. The type of industry and the absence of barbed harpoons led him to believe its relative great age. The cave has since been explored thoroughly, and has revealed paintings and engravings of bison and horses on the walls, as well as artefacts from the ice age, and a huge Triton bailer shell from the sea 300 km away.


Le Mas d'AzilThe cave of Mas-d'Azil is a large, 500 metre long tunnel dug by the Arize River through a wall of the Massif Plantaurelin, part of the Ariege Pyrenees. Secondary caves leading off the main tunnel were occupied at various prehistoric and historic times during a period of 20 000 years, and the objects found there gave the name of the cave to a prehistoric culture, the Azilian. It was excavated by Edouard Piette in the 19th century, who interpreted the halter-like marks on animal heads as being evidence of the domestication of reindeer and horses.


Meadowcroft Rockshelter Meadowcroft Rockshelter, a pre-Clovis site. It has been continually inhabited for 16 000 years. It is an archaeological site on the north bank of Cross Creek, located near Avella in Washington County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, United States. The site, a rock shelter in a bluff overlooking Cross Creek (a tributary of the Ohio River) is located about 36 miles west-southwest of Pittsburgh. The artifacts from the site show the area has been continually inhabited for 16 000 years, since Paleo-Indian times. Meadowcroft Rockshelter was one of the first archaeological sites in the United States to contain evidence of pre-Clovis populations.


mezhirich200x100.jpgAt Mezhirich in 1965, a farmer dug up the lower jawbone of a mammoth while in the process of expanding his cellar. Further excavations revealed the presence of four huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, dating back some 15 000 years, were determined to have been some of the oldest shelters known to have been constructed by prehistoric man. Mezhirich or Mezhyrich or –ú–Ķ–∂–ł—Ä—Ė—á, is a village in central Ukraine near the point where the Rosava River flows into the Ros.


mezin200x100.jpg

Mezin


La Micoque La Micoque open air Neanderthal site


El Miron cave The archaeological cave site of El Mirón is located in the Rio Asón valley of eastern Cantabria, Spain. The cave opening is about 260 metres above sea level, and the cave opening is about 13 metres high, 8-16 metres wide, and 120 metres deep. El Mirón is remarkable for its long occupation history and thus for its long unbroken sequence of history and prehistory of Cantabria, Spain. The site includes human occupations between the Middle Paleolithic (ca 41 000 years ago) to AD 1400, including Mousterian, Early Upper Paleolithic, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age deposits.


l'abri Morin l'Abri du Morin is located in the commune of Pessac-sur-Dordogne, in Gironde. It was excavated between 1954 and 1958 by Deffarge who described two main sedimentary complexes, covered by a superficial level containing several pottery shards and other post-glacial remains. The site has yielded a large quantity of lithic and faunal remains attributed to the Magdalenian. Le Morin also yielded an abundant antler industry, with numerous decorated harpoons, a diversity of decorated objects and a rich fauna.


  Mousterian (Neanderthal) Sites

Mousterian (Neanderthal) Sites


le Moustier
Le Moustier Neanderthal skeletons - Neanderthal man lived in these rock shelters overlooking the small town of Le Moustier in the Dordogne, and gave its name to a characteristic Neanderthal tool set and culture, the Mousterian. Le Moustier is on the right bank of the Vezere at its confluence with the Vimont valley. Village houses rise in tiers on the rocky steps of the limestone outcrops at the angle formed by the two valleys.


mousterian The Mousterian of Eastern Europe - Mousterian hand axes were found at Kadova u Mor, Krumlov, Urńćic u Prostńõjov and Lubn√° u KromńõŇô√≠Ňĺe in the Czech Republic, and KŇĮlna Cave in the Moravian Karst is an important site. The full range of Mousterian tools are found in this area, including tools with notches and teeth, of the type known as the Denticulate Mousterian.

Last updated Friday 23 November 2018


pekarna The Szeletian culture is an outgrowth of the Mousterian, similar to the Ch√Ętelperronian, an industry with elements of both the Mousterian and the Aurignacian. The Szeletian culture was widespread in what is now Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and southwestern Poland, and its influence can also be seen at a number of places in Romania and Bulgaria. Named after the Szeleta cave in the B√ľkk mountain massif in northern Hungary, the Szeletian culture developed mainly from the local Mousterian culture and for a time was contemporaneous with the Aurignacian culture. It was succeeded by the Gravettian cultures. The Szeletian culture is characterized by leaf-shaped, bifacially flaked flint spearheads, Mousterian side-scrapers, and vestiges of the Levalloisian flaking technique.

Last updated Tuesday 20 November 2018


Grotte de la Mouthe
Grotte de la Mouthe was discovered in 1894, and was excavated by Emile Rivière. It contains more than 200 engravings and paintings of bison, horses, deer, cats, wolves, as well as two hands and a tectiform. The deposits in the cave record its use by Neanderthals and modern humans, based on the tools which were found there.


The original Neanderthal from the Neander Valley The original Neanderthal skeleton found in 1856 in the Neander Valley in Germany consisted of a skull cap, two femora, three bones from the right arm, two from the left arm, part of the left ilium, fragments of a scapula, and ribs. The workers who recovered this material originally thought it to be the remains of a bear. This discovery is now considered the beginning of paleoanthropology. These and other discoveries led to the idea these remains were from ancient Europeans who had played an important role in modern human origins. The bones of over 400 Neanderthals have been found since.


drilled teeth

Neanderthal Symbolism  - this is a translation of an excellent article discussing artefacts from many Neanderthal sites


lake dwelling

Neolithic and later sites


  Niaux CaveNiaux Cave, or la Grotte de Niaux is one of the most famous prehistoric caves in Europe. It lies in the northern foothills of the Pyrenees, and is located in Ariège, in the valley of Vicdessos, across the valley from the smaller Grotte de la Vache, in an area rich with prehistoric sites. The huge cave entrance, 55 metres high and 50 metres wide, is at 678 metres above sea level. There are more than two kilometres of galleries, with a hundred or more superb paintings from Magdalenian times, most of which are in the famous 'Salon Noir', 800 metres from the entrance. Many of the paintings are done in the classic style of the Magdalenian, outlined in black or red pigment, mostly haematite or manganese dioxide respectively.


otziOtzi the Iceman is a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 5300 BP. The mummy was found in 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier on the border between Austria and Italy. He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans. The body and his belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, northern Italy.


pacific north west The First Nations of the Pacific North West Coast at one time had the most densely populated areas of indigenous people. The land and waters provided rich natural resources through cedar and salmon, and highly structured cultures developed from relatively dense populations. Within the Pacific Northwest, many different nations developed, each with their own distinct history, culture, and society. The creation of beautiful and practical objects (for all tribal communities) served as a means of transmitting stories, history, wisdom and property from generation to generation. Art provided Indigenous people with a tie to the land by depicting their histories on totem poles the Big (Plank) Houses of the Pacific Northwest coast ‚Äď the symbols depicted were a constant reminder of their birth places, lineages and nations.


pacific north west Totem Poles, House Posts, and Big Houses - The First Nations of the Pacific North West Coast at one time had the most densely populated areas of indigenous people. The land and waters provided rich natural resources through cedar and salmon, and highly structured cultures developed from relatively dense populations. Within the Pacific Northwest, many different nations developed, each with their own distinct history, culture, and society. Art provided Indigenous people with a tie to the land by depicting their histories on totem poles the Big Houses of the Pacific Northwest coast ‚Äď the symbols depicted were a constant reminder of their birth places, lineages and nations.


pacific north west Mortuary poles - the term Totem Pole refers to the tall cedar poles with multiple figures carved by Native people of the northern Northwest Coast. Several different types of monumental poles include: Mortuary poles made in the nineteenth century which housed the coffins of important people in a niche at the top; free standing memorial poles placed in front of houses to honour deceased chiefs; house frontal poles placed against the house front, often serving as doorways of houses; carved interior house posts that support roof beams. Carved of red cedar logs, the figures on totem poles are inherited crests, which identify the pole owners and tell their family histories.


pacific north west The First Nations people of the Northwest Coast are renowned for their elegantly engineered canoes. Ranging in length from three to twenty metres, canoes were essential for travel, transport, hunting, and trade. Each canoe is made from a single cedar log, carved and steamed into shape. Haida canoes were exquisite craft hewn from the gigantic red cedar that grows on Haida Gwaii and were highly prized by chiefs of other nations throughout the coast. Canoemakers in each village worked on their new craft throughout the autumn at sites where the very best red cedars stood. After an appropriate snowfall that facilitated sledding, the roughed-out canoes were moved from the woods to the nearest beach and towed to the home village, where they were finished over the winter.


kayak construction This is a superb account by David Smith of the step by step construction of a traditional Greenland-style kayak straight from a standing tree without using nails, screws, or other metal fastenings.


pacific north west This page contains designs for some of the canoes of the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. I would be grateful if any reader has other examples they would be willing to share.


pacific north west The First Nations people of the Northwest Coast have a very rich tradition of hats, cloaks, body armour, weaving, and masks. Before Europeans arrived and introduced cloth, most coastal people wore minimal clothing. Men went naked when weather permitted and women would wear a simple skirt made of shredded cedar fibre. Both sexes wore woven bark capes and spruce root hats as a protection from the rain.


pacific north west When thinking of the artefacts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast most people will think of the massive totem poles, dugout canoes and sculptural masks, but the kerf-bent wooden box is the more ingenious example of a woodworking technology developed through eons of practice. It consists of just two planks of cedar. One is the flat bottom, rabbeted all around to receive the sides. The other is a single plank that has been deeply kerfed in three places, plasticised by controlled steam and bent at right angles to form four sides. The last corner is sewn or pegged together. The result will hold water. These richly decorated boxes range in size from a few inches to several feet. Some have flat sides, some bulge outward. Some have lids, some have sweeping curves cut into their top edges. They stored the food and possessions of everyday life as well as the ceremonial regalia of the winter dances, they were cooking pots and serving dishes, and finally they were coffins. But they were not merely containers as we think of containers, for their intricate motifs also represented the personal crests of the owner. These crests were displayed proudly, for they served to verify rank as well as spiritual power.


pacific north west
Artefacts of the First Nations of the Pacific North West Coast - the creation of beautiful and practical objects for all tribal communities served as a means of transmitting stories, history, wisdom and property from generation to generation. They had the time and the wealth to create superbly made tools, bowls, and magical objects.


pacific north west A potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and United States. At potlatch gatherings, a family or hereditary leader hosts guests in their family's house and holds a feast for their guests. The main purpose of the potlatch is the re-distribution and reciprocity of wealth. Different events take place during a potlatch, like singing and dancing, sometimes with masks or the real regalia, such as Chilkat blankets, the barter of wealth through gifts, such as dried foods, sugar, flour, or other material things, and sometimes money. For many potlatches, spiritual ceremonies take place for different occasions. This is either through material wealth such as foods and goods or non-material things such as songs and dances. Many of these dances are also sacred ceremonies of secret societies. Typically the potlatching is practiced more in the winter seasons as historically the warmer months were for procuring wealth for the family, clan, or village, then coming home and sharing that with neighbours and friends.


Pairnonpair Discovered in 1881, the cave of Pair-non-Pair contains engravings (featuring horses, ibexes, cervidae, mammoths) which rank among the most ancient examples of art made by prehistoric man (between 33 000 and 26 000 years old). Prehistoric objects and artefacts discovered at the Pair-non-Pair Caves are on display in a special museum section.


coprolite evidenceThe Paisley Caves are located in the Summer Lake basin near Paisley, about 220 miles southeast of Eugene on the eastern side of the Cascade Range. The series of eight caves are westward-facing, wave-cut shelters on the highest shoreline of pluvial Lake Chewaucan, which rose and fell in periods of greater precipitation during the Pleistocene. One of the caves contains archaeological evidence of the oldest definitively-dated human presence in North America.


La Manche de poignard Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy - The Venus of Brassempouy, or the lady with the hood was discovered in the Grottes du Pape, (Pope's Cave) in 1894, accompanied by at least eight other human figures. These may be an example of unfinished work, as if artist(s) carved several figurines at the same time. P.E. Dubalen first explored the Grotte du Pape in 1881, followed by J. de Laporterie and √Čdouard Piette (1827‚Äď1906) from 1894 onwards.


nutcracker man Paranthropus boisei was an early hominin. It lived in Eastern Africa during the Pleistocene epoch from about 2.3 until about 1.2 million years ago. First discovered by anthropologist Mary Leakey in 1959, at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, the well-preserved cranium (nicknamed 'Nutcracker Man') was dated to 1.75 million years old and had characteristics distinctive of the robust australopithecines. The brain volume is quite small, about 500 cc, not much larger in comparison to Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus, or modern day chimpanzees. It had a skull highly specialised for heavy chewing and several traits seen in modern day gorillas. It inhabited savannah woodland territories.


Abri Pataud Venus

The Venus of Abri Pataud, as well as the site of Abri Pataud


le piage The Le Piage deposit is part of a set of caves and shelters opening at the base of a cliff 8 km from the Dordogne valley, just north of Gourdon. One of the richest collections in the world of artefacts from the Protoaurignacian has been excavated there.


Pech Merle
Pech Merle is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France which remain open to the general public. Extending for more than a mile from the entrance are caverns the walls of which are painted with dramatic murals dating from the Gravettian culture (some 25 000 years BP) Some of the paintings and engravings, however, could date from the later Magdalenian era (16 000 years BP). The walls of seven of the chambers at Pech Merle have fresh, lifelike images of a woolly mammoth, spotted horses, bovids, reindeer, handprints, and some human figures. Footprints of children, preserved in what was once clay, have been found more than a kilometre underground.


Pe»ôtera cu Oase

Pe»ôtera cu Oase


Cueva del Pindal Cueva del Pindal is situated near the town of Pimiango near the border of Cantabria. The cave paintings were discovered in 1908. Most of the cave paintings are located on the right walls of the cave as the visitor enters. Various studies have confirmed the existence of 13 bison, 8 horses, a deer, deer antlers, a mammoth and other unrecognisable figures. There are also abundant red marks such as dots, lines, parallel lines and claviform figures.


Placard CaveLa grotte du Placard is a decorated cave in the commune of Vilhonneur in Charante, 30 km east of Angoulême. It has been extensively researched and has levels dating from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, especially the Magdalenian and Solutrean. A dozen aviform signs identical to those discovered in the caves of Pech Merle and Cougnac. Similar signs were found in the Cosquer Cave near Marseille, 500 km away. The figures date back about 20 000 years to the Solutrean. The signs are known as Placard type signs. The cave is not accessible to the public.


gorge d'enfer
L'Abri Poisson is located in the valley of the Gorge d'Enfer, on the right bank of the Vézère River near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. The shelter was discovered in 1892 by Paul Girod, and dates from the Aurignacian. In 1912 Jean Marsan identified the fish carved in the ceiling of a small abri that made the site famous.


Grotte de Queylou
Grotte de Queylou just outside Les Eyzies is a spectacular pre-historic site, which is not generally known. It also in many ways personifies what a pre-historic cave dwelling would be like, with its medieval features of large carved out windows, shelves, benches, and holes for wooden beams. Grotte de Queylou is located on a main trail that goes along the bottom of long cliff face, which contains many prehistoric overhangs, rock shelters, and numerous caves.


La Quina
La Quina is a Neanderthal site located in the Charente region of south-western France. The artisans of the La Quina Mousterian industry type (thick asymmetric tools transformed many times) had a particular way of life: they were hunters specializing in the hunt for Reindeer or Bison, and they moved following the herds. Their prey was generally transported, either all or in part, back to their base camps, caves or shelters.


Abri de Raymonden, Chancelade Abri de Raymonden, Chancelade, was discovered in 1876 by M. Hardy, who also started the excavation work. The Raymonden deposits contained a multitude of stone and bone artefacts from the Magdalenian including numerous art works such as the famous bison hunt pendant. The skeleton of 'Chancelade Man' was discovered on 1st October, 1888 below the floor of the rock shelter, resting on bedrock. After years of studying casts of the skeleton's skull as well as carrying out detailed anthropometric surveys, Ms √Člisabeth Dayn√®s has created a silicone reconstruction of what the man would have looked like. The result is a grey and balding looking man with blue eyes and wrinkled skin. He is estimated to have been between 55 and 65 years old at death.


Le Regourdou
Le Regourdou is one of the most important Neanderthal sites in France. Excavated by Georges Laplace and Eugene Bonifay, the bones of Le Regourdou 1 are the remains of a young Neanderthal adult, of undetermined sex, from the beginning of the last glaciation, about 90 000 years ago. The archeological site of Regourdou is located on the same hilltop as Lascaux, 800 metres from the famous caves.


roc de sers The Roc de Sers sculpted frieze is one of the relatively few examples of parietal art that can be confidently attributed to the Solutrean as it fragmented and fell off the rear wall of the rockshelter into dated archaeological deposits. Sculpture is rare in Upper Palaeolithic parietal art, and, given the relative paucity of Solutrean parietal art in general, Roc de Sers is doubly important as it serves as a benchmark for defining Solutrean artistic form and technique. Abundant evidence has been recovered from three main activity areas across a large part of the rockshelter and associated small cave; a rich classic Solutrean lithic assemblage bears witness to the production of feuilles de laurier, pointes à cran, burins and grattoirs.


Roc-aux-Sorciers
Roc-aux-Sorciers is an Upper Paleolithic rock shelter site dating to the mid-Magdalenian cultural stage, ca 14 000 BP, made famous by its relief wall carvings. The south-facing rock-shelter is composed of two geologically distinct sections; below is the Abri Bourdois, a classic rock-shelter site beneath a slight overhang, and above is the Cave Taillebourg, a deeper vestibule. The art of Roc-aux-Sorciers is in two distinct categories - a 20 metre long frieze, still standing, not open to the public, and a series of sculptures, formerly on a wall of a collapsed section of the site.


sorcerer The viking ships of Roskilde. Towards the close of the Viking Age the fairways of Roskilde Fjord were blocked by a series of barriers to protect the important trading town of Roskilde from attack by enemy fleets. The five viking ships in the Roskilde Viking Ship museum come from one of these blockages in the Peberrende channel at Skuldelev, 20 km north of Roskilde. Here, a total of five ships were sunk across the channel and boulders heaped up on top of them. In 1962 a coffer dam of sheet piling was built around the blockage so that it could be drained. In a period of less than four months all five ships were excavated and brought to land in thousands of fragments, which have since been reassembled.


 USSR maps paleolithic sites
Russian, Ukrainian and Siberian Paleolithic sites - The Paleolithic of the former USSR.


Roc-de-Cave

Roc-de-Cave


neandertal artWhen Neandertals were first described on the basis of skeletons found in the Neander Valley in Germany, they were presented as not quite human. Steadily, evidence has grown that Neandertals had most of the cultural abilities of anatomically modern humans. What has been missing up until now is evidence of their artistic ability, in particular art on the walls of caves, such as is much in evidence for anatomically modern humans, such as those from the Magdalenian. Finally this lack has been rectified, with discoveries of Neandertal paintings in three separate caves in Spain.


pasiega cave Pasiega Cave in Spain was of mostly academic interest until the discovery that some of the art in the cave was put there by Neandertals. This is a revolution in our understanding of the Neandertals. Here is the background to that discovery, with many drawings of the art of the cave from the old master himself, Breuil.


Roc de Marsal, a Neanderthal site in the Dordogne
Roc de Marsal, a Neanderthal site in the Dordogne. The three year old child discovered in 1961 here was well preserved, and with a date of around 70 000 years BP it is one of the oldest burials of the Perigord.


Pech-de-l'Azé
The Pech-de-l'Azé I skull and mandible are included in the juvenile Neandertal remains from Europe. However, some preserved features in the cranial skeleton seem to distinguish the specimen from other Neandertal children. The Pech-de-l'Azé I Neandertal child was discovered at the bottom of layer 6, attributed to the Mousterian of Acheulean tradition type B. This skull and mandible are the first diagnostic human remains (aside from an isolated tooth) attributed to the Mousterian of Acheulian tradition (MTA) type B.


Roque Saint-Christophe Reflection Rock and Roque Saint-Christophe - The Roque Saint Christophe is a cliff with five separate levels overlooking 900 metres of the Vezere valley. Its hundreds of natural rock shelters were inhabited from the ice ages until the Middle Ages, and the terraces could accommodate up to 1000 people. An impressive fortress and town were constructed on the different levels, and was one of the main bastions of defence during the Hundred Years War with the English. The English laid siege to it in 1401 and gained possession of it by starving the inhabitants out, only to lose possession themselves just five years later.


axe
Prehistory of the Oltenia region of Romania - The Alexis Project. This is an overview of the work in progress by a small but dedicated group of Romanian people interested in preserving the prehistory and history of their region, and increasing knowledge about their area.


rouffignac La Grotte de Rouffignac has been known for centuries and was described in 1575 by Francois de Belleforest. It is located in the heart of the Perigord, between Bergerac and Sarlat in the Dordogne region. The site has more than 250 etchings and line drawings dating from the Upper Paleolithic (Magdalenian, more than 13 000 years BP). With a length of over eight kilometres, this cave is one of the largest painted caves in Europe. These galleries were decorated with 158 mammoths associated with woolly rhinoceroses, bison, horses and ibex.


l'Abri Cellier
Le Ruth and Le Cellier - Sous le Ruth is the house beneath the archeological site, le Ruth, near le Moustier, and is a private gisement, with a good display of stone tools, and access to the excavated site of le Ruth. Le Cellier is an important site a few hundred metres away, which yielded many Aurignacian tools and stone engravings of vulvas. The deposits of le Ruth above Sous le Ruth were excavated by Otto Hauser.


Salle PietteLa Salle Piette contains a fabulous collection of prehistoric artefacts, tools and weapons discovered in the 19th century by √Čdouard Piette during excavations in the Pyrenees. Many masterpieces are exhibited, including several famous 'venus' figures. The set design is unchanged since the 19th century at the express request of Edward Piette who bequeathed his collection to the state on conditions defined by him, and unchanging over time.


San paintingsThese paintings by the San people of South Africa are on the Sevilla Trail near the Traveller's Rest, a lodge on a farm about 30 km east of Clanwilliam in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, and are taken by Michael Hess. The Bushmen/San were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa and are commonly known as Bushmen or San. They were hunter-gatherers, hunting with bows and arrows, trapping small animals and eating edible roots and berries. They lived in rock shelters, in the open or in crude shelters of twigs and grass or animal skins. They made no pottery, rather using ostrich eggshells or animal parts for storing and holding liquids. For these reasons, animals and nature are central features in the Bushmen's religious tradition, folklore, art and rituals.


 The original Clan Cave site - ShanidarShanidar Cave is located in the Zagros Mountains of Kurdistan in Iraq. It was excavated between 1957-1961 by Ralph Solecki and his team from Columbia University and yielded the first adult Neanderthal skeletons in Iraq, dating between 60-80 000 years BP.


Solutrean The Solutrean takes its name from the Crôt du Charnier site in Solutr√©-Pouilly, in Saône-et-Loire. During all the upper Paleolithic, Solutr√© was a site which specialised in the hunting of horses, where prehistoric men returned periodically. It does not include living areas occupied for long periods, but there are specialised areas of activity, especially the processing of game after the hunt. Some tools - pointes à face plane, laurel leaves, shouldered points - were made by a sophisticated retouch that was obtained by a new technique called pressure flaking, on flint which had been heat treated to make it much more workable.


SolvieuxSolvieux is a large open-air site in the middle Isle Basin. It has stratigraphical sequences from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Magdalenian. J. Sackett's excavations in this area have yielded an unknown industry in Southwestern France, between the Mousterian and the Aurignacian. This industry is characterised by the great abundance (50%) of truncated blades that J. Sackett has called 'Solvieux truncations' and by the presence of bladelets with thin retouch on the lower face. The cultural affiliation of this industry known now as the Beauronnian, is not yet resolved.


Grotte de Sorcier
The Grotte du Sorcier, or the Roc Saint-Cirq, is one of the sites classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO among the prehistoric painted caves in the Vézère valley. It was discovered in late 1951. This site contains prehistoric engravings dating from the Magdalenian. There are engravings of humans, including the famous sorcerer, as well as animals (bison, horses and ibex), and linear signs.


Paleolithic art in Sulawesi Cave paintings from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are at least 40 thousand years old, according to a study published this week in the scientific journal Nature. This is compatible in age with the oldest known rock art from Europe, long seen as the birthplace of 'Ice Age' cave painting and home to the most sophisticated artworks in early human cultural history.


  The original Sungaea site

The Sungir - Sunghir site near Moscow - About 24 000 years ago, a group of hunters and gatherers buried their dead - including two boys with physical conditions - using the utmost care. The roughly 10 and 12 year-old boys were buried head to head in a long, slender grave filled with riches, including more than 10 000 mammoth ivory beads, more than 20 armbands, about 300 pierced fox teeth, 16 ivory mammoth spears, carved artwork, deer antlers and two human fibulas laid across the boys' chests, the researchers said.


fort de tayac
Fort de Tayac - a refuge from war during the Middle Ages
Fort de Tayac is a cliff beside the Vezere River, with a history of previous human habitation using the broad flat ledges as living space, and evidence in the form of holes in the cliff which formerly held supports for roofs of dwellings.


breitenbach venus La Grotte Vaufrey is one of 22 caves and rock shelters known to dot the limestone cliff on the east side of the Céou River just south of its junction with the Dordogne River in Southwestern France. Excavated under the direction of Jean-Philippe Rigaud between 1969 and 1982, this site proved to contain a remarkable sequence of Acheulean and Mousterian occupations distributed across 12 major depositional units, couches I - XII.


Grotte de la Vache
La Grotte de la Vache is important for the complete camp of Magdalenian hunters found, and may be seen almost as it was 12 000 to 15 000 years ago. Weapons, tools, typical game and artworks have been recovered from this small but important site. It was the living quarters for the artists at Niaux Cave, just across the Vicdessos Valley.


Grotte de VillarsThe Grottes de Villars contain galleries of stalactites and earth coloured calcite accumulations, including 17 000 year old prehistoric paintings dating from the same period as those at Lascaux. The slow seepage of water has created some of the most beautiful natural scenery. There are all types of concretions: calcite, thin stalactites, gours, translucent draperies and countless stalagmites. Some of the cave paintings, like those of the rotunda of the horses are covered with a thin layer of calcite that gives them a special blue color.The scene of the bison and the sorcerer is one of the few human representations of prehistoric art.


Vogelherd caveVogelherd cave is located on the edge of the Lone valley, about 1 km northwest of Stetten and northeast of the Alb-Donau county (Alb-Donau-Kreis). Vogelherd cave is a very scenic place and well worth a visit, as indeed is all of the Lone valley. The cave is not visible from the road and one must first walk over a ridge to gain access to the three entrances on the edge of the Lone valley. The cave covers an area of 170 square metres. This extremely important site, rich in finds, was first discovered when Stone Age artefacts turned up from a badger's burrow. The actual size of it only became apparent after the excavations by Gustav Riek in the summer of 1931. The finds range from the Middle Palaeolithic to modern times. The world-renowned ivory carvings originate from the Middle Aurignacian period.


Vulvas of the Stone AgeThe Vulva in Stone Age Art - The vulva is well represented in Palaeolithic art. It is mostly seen as engravings on stone, bone or ivory. The representation is obviously a well known one that has become abstracted to the point where it is often no more than an oval or circle with a single mark at its centre or at its lower edge. Although many examples are from Europe, and from the upper Palaeolithic, it occurs over a broad time range, and a very large area, including not just Europe, but Australia as well.


Ice Age Hunters In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50 000 years ago in Warratyi Rock Shelter. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha. The find overturns previous hypotheses of how humans colonised Australia, and it also proves that they interacted with now-extinct megafauna that ranged across the continent.


 Winnemucca Lake petroglyphs discovered in western Nevada are at least 10 500 years old, making them the oldest rock art ever dated in North America. On the west side of Nevada's dried-up Winnemucca Lake, there are several limestone boulders with deep, ancient carvings; some resemble trees and leaves, whereas others are more abstract designs that look like ovals or diamonds in a chain. The true age of this rock art had not been known, but a new analysis suggests these petroglyphs are the oldest North America, dating back to between 10 500 and 14 800 years ago.


Wonderwerk cave

Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa - contains stone tools dated to two million years ago, possibly knapped by Homo habilis.


zaraysk

Zaraysk


aethiopicus Australopithecus aethiopicus is in the group known as the robust australopithecines. The robust australopithecines are split into three species, Australopithecus aethiopicus, Australopithecus robustus, and Australopithecus boisei. There has been an ongoing debate over the exact phyletic origins of each of these species. The robust australopithecines share many characteristics of the cranium and mandible, perhaps suggesting a shared evolutionary development.


lucyLucy, Australopithecus afarensis, is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. Australopithecus afarensis was slenderly built, like the younger Australopithecus africanus. It is thought that Australopithecus afarensis was more closely related to the genus Homo (which includes the modern human species Homo sapiens ), whether as a direct ancestor or a close relative of an unknown ancestor, than any other known primate from the same time.


lucy's baby

Lucy's baby, Australopithecus afarensis


africanus

Australopithecus africanus


nutcracker man Australopithecus boisei or Paranthropus boisei was an early hominin. It lived in Eastern Africa during the Pleistocene epoch from about 2.3 until about 1.2 million years ago. First discovered by anthropologist Mary Leakey in 1959, at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, the well-preserved cranium (nicknamed 'Nutcracker Man') was dated to 1.75 million years old and had characteristics distinctive of the robust australopithecines. The brain volume is quite small, about 500 cc, not much larger in comparison to Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus, or modern day chimpanzees. It had a skull highly specialised for heavy chewing and several traits seen in modern day gorillas. It inhabited savannah woodland territories.


africanus

Australopithecus robustus / Paranthropus robustus


lucy's baby

Australopithecus sediba


  Homo Erectus Sites
Homo erectus (Beijing Man, Peking Man) sites


  Homo Erectus Sites
The Homo Erectus site at Dmanisi


  hobbits flores Homo floresiensis was a one metre tall, human-like creature living and using tools in Indonesia just 18 000 years ago and was a distinct species, not just a malformed modern human. The so-called hobbit had wrist bones almost identical to those found in early hominins and modern chimpanzees, and so must have diverged from the human lineage well before modern humans and Neanderthals arose.


La Chapelle aux SaintsSeveral teeth from an adult and children, and the fossilised mandible of a diminutive species of early human that lived 700 000 years ago have been discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. It is thought to be the direct ancestor of the Hobbit of Flores, the 1.1 metre tall human species that lived around 50 000 years ago.


Homo habilis<

Homo habilis


Wonderwerk cave

Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa - contains stone tools dated to two million years ago, possibly knapped by Homo habilis.


HeidelbergensisHomo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of the genus Homo which lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia from at least 600 000 years ago, and may date back 1 300 000 years. It survived until 200 000 to 250 000 years ago. It is probably the ancestor of Homo sapiens in Africa and the Neanderthals in Europe, and perhaps also the Denisovans in Asia. It was first discovered near Heidelberg in Germany in 1907 and named by Otto Schoetensack. Some experts believe that H. heidelbergensis, like its descendant H. neandertalensis, acquired a primitive form of language. No forms of art or sophisticated artefacts other than stone tools have been uncovered, although red ochre, a mineral that can be used to create a red pigment which is useful as a paint, has been found at Terra Amata excavations in the south of France.


Gruta The recently found oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal marks an important contribution to the knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals. This cranium of Homo heidelbergensis represents the westernmost human fossil ever found in Europe during the middle Pleistocene epoch and one of the earliest on this continent to be associated with the Acheulean stone tool industry.


Homo naledi<
Homo naledi


  Mousterian (Neanderthal) Sites
Mousterian (Neanderthal) Sites


Homo rudolfensis<
Homo rudolfensis


proconsul africanus Proconsul africanus is the first species of the oligocene-era fossil genus of primate to be discovered and was named by Arthur Hopwood, an associate of Louis Leakey, in 1933. The Leakey expedition of 1947 - 1948 to Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria uncovered more species of Proconsul. Louis Leakey made an especially complete find of Proconsul there in 1948. The 18-million-year-old fossil species has been considered a possible ancestor of both great and lesser apes, and of humans. Opinion currently favours a position between the monkeys and the apes.


venus alphabetically
Venus figures arranged alphabetically. This is the complete list.


venus chronological

Venus figures arranged in chronological order. This is a simplified list.


AdorantThe Worshipper, called 'Adorant', is one of the oldest, most impressive and mystifying statuettes from the Ice Age. It was discovered in an ashy bone layer near a possible hearth at Geißenklösterle. The bas-relief of a human being with raised arms, who seems to be either saluting or threatening, can be distinguished. The raised arms might also be interpreted as an attitude of worship, so the statuette was named the 'Adorant'.


  The Venus of Abri Pataud
Abri Pataud Venus - The Venus of Abri Pataud, as well as the site of Abri Pataud.


Avdeevo Venuses Avdeevo - Venus figures and other finds from this important archaeological site. The Avdeevo venus figures are quite variable, but most depict mature women in various stages of the reproductive cycle. Avdeevo is located on the Sejm River near the city of Kursk, Russia. Two oval living areas surrounded by semisubterranean lodges and pits have been identified at Avdeevo. Both were occupied between 21 000 and 20 000 BP. The tool inventory consists of Kostenki knives, shouldered points, and leaf points on blades.


Berekhat Ram The female figurine from Berekhat Ram, in Israel is one of the oldest known figurative carvings in the world, and is somewhere between 250 000 and 280 000 years old, older than Neanderthal man, and probably carved by Homo Erectus. The original pebble bore a resemblance to a female, and this was enhanced by the carver, who cut grooves around the neck and along its arms. Microscopic analysis by Alexander Marshack has now made it clear that humans were responsible.


grimaldi venus Balzi Rossi Venuses - the Grimaldi Venuses. On the Liguria coast are the entrances of the complex of the caverns of the Balzi Rossi (literally red leaps). The complex is composed of numerous coves and shelters. The first searches occurred in 1846-57, by the prince of Monaco, Florestano I. More recently, between 1928 and 1959, regular diggings were executed. Louis Alexandre Jullien discovered, between 1883 and 1895, about fifteen figurines, the greatest series ever found in only one place in Western Europe.


Grotte de Bédeilhac The Venus of Bedeilhac - also known as la Femme à la Capuche. It is formed from a horse canine tooth, pierced and sculpted. 47 mm long. Discovered in the Jauze-Mandement section, the third terrace. It was part of a necklace of perforated teeth. The sculpture represents a human head with eyes, a very large nose, and it seems amazed, the mouth partially open. The figure is framed by a sort of hood. There is a biconical transverse perforation through the neck. It was discovered by Joseph Mandement, who also made the first crossing of the Green Lake at Niaux. He was an amateur archeologist, and made many discoveries at Niaux, Mas d'Azil and Bédeilhac.


Brassempouy Venus - AylaBrassempouy Venus - this miniature head, 36.5 mm high, 22 mm deep and 19 mm wide, was carved from mammoth ivory. Found at Brassempouy, Landes, France in 1892. It may be 25 000 years old. It is one of the few Ice Age figures with facial features and a detailed hairstyle. It is the original for the 'Ayla' head from Jean Auel's Earth Children series of books. Some doubt its authenticity, since it was recovered at a dig where the workers were paid by what they discovered.


breitenbach venusThree small ivory fragments from Breitenbach, which are only between 14 mm and 18 mm in size seem to be very inconspicuous at first glance, but have been carefully worked and polished on the surface, and can be fitted effortlessly into completely preserved figures such as those known from the 'Hohle Fels' in the Swabian Alb. Breitenbach represents one of the northernmost sites of the Aurignacian.


Brown Ivory FigurineThe Brown Ivory Figurine, Figurine en ivoire brun, or Abrachiale, is a nearly complete female figurine made from partially fossilised ivory found at Balzi Rossi. The nearly circular head lacks any indication of facial features or hair and no arms or hands are present. The roughly hemispherical breasts are large and separated from each other by a deep groove. Protruding even more than the breasts is the oval-shaped enlarged abdomen.


Bruniquel Venus
This engraving is known as the Bruniquel Venus.


Caldas venus This Venus figure from Las Caldas Cave has the head of an ibex and the legs and genitals of a female human. Some think it is not meant to be a venus, but is part of an atlatl, a spear thrower.


La Manche de poignard The Venus called la figurine à la Ceinture or the figurine with a belt, from the Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy, displays the lower part of a human body. It is difficult to determine the sex. The belly is as flat as that of a man. The hips and thighs have female contours. The legs are pressed one against the other, and end in points. The sexual organs are not shown distinctly, and this suggests that they are not those of a man. This figurine never had feet. The vertical groove in the back is deep.


Chauvet venus The Venus figure of Chauvet Cave is a conical pendant from the roof of the cave, and consists of a bison and an exaggerated depiction of a pubic triangle and a vulva, with rudimentary legs ending in points rather than feet. The rock pendant is seen by some as penis like. The whole ensemble is sometimes known as the sorcerer. Although not visible here, the bison is reported to include a human hand on its lower body.


Chiozza venus The Chiozza Venus was discovered in 1940 in the clay pit of Chiozza, near Scandiano, Italy. It was found in Holocene alluvial deposits, and it is not possible to objectively determine its age. It may be Palaeolithic. The statue is carved in Chiozza hard brown sandstone with a height of 205 mm, a maximum width of 50 mm and a maximum thickness of 60 mm. The head is subspherical, and carries no detail. The neck is thick and poorly marked; the torso, square, carries pendant breasts, but they are relatively flat, and the arms are completely lacking. This is a rather crude representation, whose general formation closely preserves the shape of the block of raw material. The style, without force and without originality, is not especially Paleolithic.


courbet venus
The Venus figure of Courbet


Craiova venus
Craiova Venus - The Venus of Craiova, Oltenia, Romania.


The Venus of Dolni VestoniceThe Venus of Dolni Vestonice is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29 000 ‚Äď 25 000 BP (Gravettian industry). This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic in the world, predating the use of fired clay to make pottery. It has a height of 111 millimetres (4.4 in), and a width of 43 millimetres (1.7 in) at its widest point and is made of a clay body fired at a relatively low temperature. The paleolithic settlement of Doln√≠ Vńõstonice in Moravia, Czech Republic, has been under systematic archaeological research since 1924, initiated by Karel Absolon. In addition to the Venus figurine, figures of animals ‚Äď bear, lion, mammoth, horse, fox, rhino and owl ‚Äď and more than 2 000 balls of burnt clay have been found at Doln√≠ Vńõstonice. The figurine was discovered on 13 July 1925 in a layer of ash, broken into two pieces.


The Double VenusIn the Double Figurine, the artist has carved two bodies, back to back, symmetrically arched, and joined at the top of the heads, shoulders and lower body. One represents a woman; the other could be an animal. A hollow space separates the two heads, suggesting that the figurine was used as a pendant. With its back to the woman is the other figure, which has elongated, sinuous anatomical features that are difficult to associate with any known genre. Although the torso and lower body offer limited detail for interpretation, the face brings to mind a beast - real or mythical, we do not know. Carved on a fragment of greenish-yellow serpentine and highly polished, the piece is approximately 47 millimetres high.


Brassempouy
This figurine fragment, known as l'√Čbauche, (the rough-out), was found at Brassempouy during the AFAS excursion of September 19, 1892.


PetersfelsThe Engen (Petersfels) venuses are made of jet, or hard coal, and were found at the Petersfels site, near Engen in Germany. It is one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Central Europe with an enormous number of important artefacts. It was a settlement site of the Magdalenian (late Upper Paleolithic), with many layers, towards the end of the last ice age, during the period 15 500-14 000 BP. The main activity here was reindeer hunting in autumn.


venus l'abri d'envalThis statuette discovered at the foot of the rock escarpment of l'abri d'Enval in 1970 is one of the smallest known palaeolithic figurines, being 31 mm high, with a width of 15 mm and a thickness of 14 mm. It was made of soft sandstone more than 13 000 years ago.


la figurine la fillette ou la poupée The Venus called la fillette or la poupée, from the Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy, is a figurine of a girl, made with just a few blows of the flint. It is a child's toy. She has no arms, and probably never had feet. She is naked, and her hair is long. The sex is shown.


Venere di Frasassi The Venus of Frasassi was carved from a piece of stalactite in the Upper Paleolithic, between 28 thousand and 20 thousand years ago. Its color is pearl white.The face is barely shown. Breasts are large, and placed high on the chest. A navel is shown on the full abdomen, and the vulva is clearly shown in relief. Legs taper to about below the level of the knees, which are not shown, when they are broken off or were never carved. Most unusually, the forearms extend well in front of the body, as though they were used to hold something.


Gagarino Venus The Gagarino venus which is most well known is of an obese woman from the Gagarino site, located on the right bank of the Don River near the Sosna tributary. Here peasants discovered a house pit while excavating a silo trench. Zamiatinine, who excavated this site during 1926 - 1929, found a house pit roughly oval in outline about 5.5 metres long and 4.5 metres wide. The wealth of material remains found in this one house pit is seen in the recorded finds of some six hundred flint implements, over a thousand blades, and proportionately large numbers of cores and waste flints. Artefacts of bone as well as seven 'venus' figurines completed the roster of non-lithic material.


Galgenberg venusGalgenberg Venus - Fanny - Venus vom Galgenberg is the oldest figurine of a woman apart from the Berekhat Ram figure ever found, and was created around 30 000 B.C. Found on September 23, 1988 during the excavation of a habitation of palaeolithic hunters at Galgenberg near Stratzing (Lower Austria), broken into several pieces. 72 mm high figurine of a woman weighing 10 grams and made of greenish, very shiny amphibolite slate, the upper body is turned to the side, in a dancing position, and has a three-dimensional front, flat back, believed to have had cultic or religious significance.


The Woman with GoitreThe Woman with Goitre / Goiter from Grimaldi has only one torso and one head, but underneath, she has two pubic triangles and two opposite legs. The figure is made of ivory, and is 45 mm long. The face is ovoid, but there are no facial features shown, and no arms. The breasts are conical with the tips pointed down. There is a goitre at the neck. The belly is prominent, the hips are wide, and the buttocks flattened. The vulva is open, with a gynecological perspective. The legs are broken off below the vulva. The 'Woman with Goitre' was found between 3 and 4.2 m deep in a layer which is probably the final Epigravettian. A radiocarbon date of 14 110 ¬Ī150 BP (Gif-sur-Yvette A95074) may be allotted (with caution) to this layer. It may be that this figure is the same age


The Hermaphrodite VenusThe Hermaphrodite Venus from Balzi Rossi is of translucent green soapstone. The surface is polished and worn, with remains of concretions in the concave parts. The neck, what remains of it, is shown clearly. The torso is very flat, with normal breasts hanging low. The belly is large. Under the stomach are three difficult to interpret features: the central feature is held to be an erect penis, but this is unconvincing. It takes a lot of imagination to distinguish the penis, which remains the essential element of the phallic representation. As for the roughly circular mass that is found below it, it could be a testicular pouch.


Venus of Hohle FelsHohle Fels Venus - The Venus of Hohle Fels is an Upper Paleolithic Venus figurine dated to between 35 000 and 40 000 years ago, belonging to the early Aurignacian, and is the oldest undisputed example of Upper Paleolithic art and figurative prehistoric art in general.


The Venus ImpudiqueImpudique Venus - The Venus Impudique (Immodest Venus). Discovered in 1864 by the Marquis Paul de Vibraye at Laugerie Basse. It was the first Venus figure found in France. The Marquis was playfully reversing the appellation of "Venus pudica" ("modest Venus") that is used to describe a statue type of the Classical Venus which shows, in many statues the goddess attempting to conceal her breasts and pubic area from view. The inference the Marquis makes is that this prehistoric Venus makes no attempt to hide her sexuality. This ivory venus is 8 cm high, and has lost the head. The stomach is flat, and could be of a young girl.


The Kesslerloch VenusThe Kesslerloch Venus has been made from a piece of jet. The breasts have been shown by a V shaped notch in the upper part of the figure. In the same fashion, the legs are separated by a V shaped notch. The back of the figure mostly still shows the original surface. Overall, the whole figure is angular and unfinished. Perhaps this is only a work in progress. It was discovered in 1954 by W. Mamber in the old excavation of Jakob N√ľesch. Kesslerloch is a Swiss cave discovered in 1873, west of Thayngen, in the canton of Schaffhausen, a Palaeolithic site, with many discoveries of stone, bone and reindeer antler.


Khotylyovo venus figure A venus figure carved in mammoth ivory, from circa 23 000 BP, has been discovered at the East Gravettian Khotylevo 2 site by Dr Konstantin N. Gavrilov, from the Institute of Archaeology, RAS. The Upper Paleolithic site of Khotylevo 2 is situated 400 km SSW of Moscow and 25 km NW of Bryansk.


Kostenki venus figuresVenus figures from the Kostenki - Borshevo region on the Don River. Kostenki is a very important Paleolithic site. It was a settlement which contained venus figures, dwellings made of mammoth bones, and many flint tools and bone implements.


kostenkiview200x100.JPG
Kostenki is a very important Paleolithic site on the Don River in the Ukraine. It was a settlement which contained venus figures, dwellings made of mammoth bones, and many flint tools and bone implements. Kostenki / Kostienki is not actually a single site but really an area on the right bank of the Don River in the regions of the villages of Kostenki and Borshevo, consisting of more than twenty site locations, all dating to the Paleolithic.


Bogucar skull
The Don River south and north of Kostenki.


Vladimir's father


Life along the River Don from the recent past


Stories from Dmitry Nikonorovich, born in 1927


Krasnyy Yar VenusKrasnyy Yar Venus - The Siberian Paleolithic site of Krasnyy Yar, located on the right bank of the Angara, about 200 km downstream of Irkutsk, which itself is 72 kilometres from the outflow of the Angara River from Lake Baikal, yielded in 1957, a highly stylised female figure. It is a small figurine of bone, carefully polished, whose size is 37mm x 11mm x 8 mm. The area at the time was an arid arctic steppe, and oil shale gathered nearby was used for fuel.


Lalinde / Gönnersdorf Figurines and EngravingsLalinde / Gönnersdorf figurines and engravings are strictly stylised, overtly female forms with over-sized buttocks, long trunks, small or missing breasts, and no heads. These images have been found at sites such as Gönnersdorf in Germany, in Abri Murat and Gare de Couze in France, Pekárna in the Czech Republic, and Wilczyce in Poland.


Venus of Laugerie Basse - the SupplicantThe Venus of Laugerie Basse - the Supplicant. This venus is a tiny, broken, crudely carved statuette of reindeer antler, 44 millimetres long, depicting a faceless human bent forward as though in supplication, with arms raised as if in prayer or adoration.


The Venus of Laussel Lausell Venus - The Femme à la Corne. This low relief venus is from Laussel, Dordogne. 44 cm (17.5 inches) high. The body swells out towards the viewer from this convex block of limestone. It formed one of a set, a frieze which included other female figures and a male figure. It probably dates to 27 000 - 22 000 BP. It was originally carved on a block of 4 cubic metres (140 cubic feet), and was originally covered in red ochre. The bison's horn and the series of 13 lines on it have often been linked with the moon or menstruation. The lines may represent the thirteen days of the waxing moon and the thirteen months of the lunar year.


The Venus of Lespugue Lespugue Venus - The Venus of Lespugue is a statuette of a nude female figure from the Gravettian period, dated to between 26 000 and 24 000 years ago. It was discovered in 1922 in the Rideaux cave of Lespugue (Haute-Garonne). Approximately 6 inches (150 mm) tall, it is carved from tusk ivory, and was damaged during excavation. Of all the steatopygous (large posterior) Venus figurines discovered from the upper Paleolithic, the Venus of Lespugue, if the reconstruction is sound, appears to display the most exaggerated female secondary sexual characteristics, especially the extremely large, pendulous breasts.


The Venus de LosangeThe Losange Venus, or Venus el Rombo, is made of green steatite. The head is pointed, with a lack of facial features. There is a groove marking the outline of the hair. The breasts are elongated and large. There are no arms. The protruding belly is circular in shape, and the venus has wide hips, and the buttocks are flattened. The vulva is open, and is shown from a gynecological perspective. The legs are tapering, and no knees are indicated. The legs finish or are broken off above the position of the feet.


The Lion Lady - Die LowenfrauLoewenmensch, Löwenmensch, formerly often called Lowenfrau, the Lion Lady Venus - carved from mammoth ivory, it is 30 cm high and 6 cm in diameter. It was found in the cave of Hohlenstein-Stadel in the Valley of Lone, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany), in 1931, dated as Aurignacian, in a level recently dated to 40 000 BP, making it the oldest sculpture known. Although this is known in some places as the lion lady, it is now known to be male. The arms bear striations carved into the ivory. Years after the initial discovery the museum officials were presented with an ivory lion muzzle found in the cave. It was a perfect fit. Today it is pieced together from more than 1000 tiny pieces. This male 'venus' may be an attempt to capture the power of the lion.


Venus of MacomerThe Venus of Macomer is a possibly late Palaeolithic venus. In 1949, Francesco Marras, a carpenter of Macomer, in western Sardinia, started digging out with a friend the deposit of a small cave in his orchard, discovering prehistoric implements. He eventually assembled a large archaeological collection, without any recorded stratigraphic provenence, from the cave itself and from the area at the entrance. Most of it comprised lithic implements and potsherds, but a female figurine was also unearthed, now known as the Venus of Macomer.


netA new venus figurine has been recognised from La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the V√©z√®re valley, in the Dordogne, France. It was discovered by Capitan and Peyrony at La Madeleine, and was described in 1928 as a dagger blade made of reindeer antler. I thought it was a venus figure when I saw it on display in Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac in 2008, and it has now been described as such by Jean-Pierre Duhard in Paleo 21, 2009-2010.


netThere are two reclining bas relief venus figures at La Magdeleine des Ablis, which is located near Penne, in Tarn. The engravings and sculptures were found in 1950 by M. Bessac. Dating has been proposed for the engravings as being circa 13 000 BP, but this may be too young a date. Moreover, the works are not homogenous, and a considerable period of time may have elapsed between the engravings.


Mainz Venus The Linsenberg - Mainz venus figures were found at the archaeological site which occupies a height overlooking the city of Mainz. It is an open air site, and is buried in loess, the archaeological layer lying just above a bed of clay. Around 1920 E. Neeb and O. Schmidtgen collected two fragments of venus figures made of greenish sandstone, which are kept at the Archaeological Museum in Mainz. The first, with a height of 36 mm, includes only the lower limbs, with feet represented by a blunt point, and part of the pelvis, with the pubic triangle.


makapansgatpebble The Makapansgat pebble, or the pebble of many faces, is a 260-gram jasperite cobble with natural chipping and wear patterns that make it look like a crude rendition of a human face. The pebble is interesting in that it was found some distance from any possible natural source, in the context of Australopithecus africanus remains in South Africa. Though it is definitely not a manufactured object, it has been suggested that some australopithecine, or possibly another hominid, might have recognised it as a symbolic face, in possibly the earliest example of symbolic thinking or aesthetic sense in the human heritage, and brought the pebble back to camp, which would make it a candidate for the oldest known manuport at between 2.5 and 2.9 million years ago.


Mal'ta Venuses The Mal'ta - Buret' venuses and culture in Siberia - the site of Mal'ta, is composed of a series of subterranean houses made of large animal bones and reindeer antler which had likely been covered with animal skins and sod to protect inhabitants from the severe, prevailing northerly winds. Among the artistic accomplishments evident at Mal'ta are the remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects. Figurines of birds and human females are the most commonly found items.


La Manche de poignard The Venus called La Manche de poignard, or dagger handle, 27 000 BP, is from the Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy . The breasts are cylindrical and pendant, the belly is large and hanging. The depression of the spine in the middle of the back is well shown. Huge protuberances of fat cover the hips and descend a little lower than the place where the buttocks should arise.


The  Mask The Mask, or the Face, is a perforated oval disk in the form of a flattened face or mask. It is made of partially translucent green-yellow to yellow chlorite. Perforations create the eyes and a mouth. The eyes are circular, and small notches give them an animal rather than a human appearance. A series of incised lines radiates from the centre of the face across each cheek. The eyes, nose, and mouth have a vaguely feline appearance, but it may be either a stylised human or an animal. It may be more recent than the statuettes and have come from the rich Early Epigravettian deposits excavated by Jullien in the upper levels of the Barma Grande.


Mas d'Azil venus horse toothSculpture of a female figure from Mas d'Azil, from the middle Magdalenian, discovered by Piette. This human bust, carved in the root of an incisor of a horse, shows a great mastery of sculptural technique. The nature, form and volume of material forced the sculptor to enclose the body within narrow limits. The originality of this sculpture is reinforced by the representation of the breasts, elongated and pendant, but not bulky. This secondary sexual characteristic allows us to identify it as a woman. There is also a second stylised venus figure, which is very reminiscent of the female/bird sculptures of Mezin.


Die Rote von MauernMauern Venus - Weinberg Cave Venus - Die Rote von Mauern from Weinberg cave, or Weinberghöhlen, is a venus statuette in limestone, 27 000 years old, covered with red ochre when found at the Weinberghöhlen caves near Mauern, Bavaria. Lothar Zotz, on 24th August 1948, found the 72 mm tall limestone venus figure on the outer slope between cavities two and three of the Weinberghöhlen. During 1937-38, 1947-49, 1967 and 1974 bone fragments and traces of mammoth, cave bear, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer and 20 other different animals were found at the caves, as well as high quality Blattspitzen or leaf points of Mousterian / Neanderthal origin.


Venus of Menton Venus of Menton, a figurine in yellow steatite (soapstone), Grimaldi. The figure is naked, breasts, abdomen and buttocks are prominent, the pubis and vulva are well marked. The arms are fused with the torso. The head is in the form of a ball, and extends down the back via the hair. It resembles many other venus figures from the upper European Palaeolithic. Found in 1880 in the Barma Grande and acquired by Salomon Reinach in 1896 for the French MNA.


mezin venus figuresThe 'venus' figurines from Mezin have variously been described as phallic figurines, birds, and bird/woman hybrids. They were made in Mammoth ivory.


Venus of MilandesThe Venus of Milandes is a phallic shaped venus figure from the Dordogne valley, apparently of Paleolithic age. It was found by a five year old boy in a field, and taken home as one of a number of curiosities found that day. It was shaped from a silicified iron bearing limestone pebble, already with a phallic - feminine shape, and further altered to accentuate this interpretation. The object has a maximum height of 77.3 mm to a maximum width at the hips of 39.0 mm. The object weighs about 90 grams.


The Venus of MonpazierMonpazier Venus - The Venus of Monpazier was collected in 1970 on the surface of a freshly ploughed field by M. Elisée Cérou. It has a well drawn vulva. The pronounced buttocks and the projecting belly gave it the name Punchinello, but some see in it a woman about to give birth. Carved in limonite, a yellowish brown ore of iron. Often confused on the internet with the Polichinelle Venus.


The Venus of MoravanyMoravany Venus - the Venus of Moravany is 76 mm tall, and was discovered when it was found in a ploughed field by a farmer in 1938 in the area of Moravany nad V√°hom, a village near the spa resort Piestany in Slovakia. It is officially dated 22 800 B.P. and belongs to the shouldered points horizon (Willendorf-Kostenkian or Upper Gravettian).


Nebra Venus Nebra Venus - The site of Altenburg in the Stone Age was a particularly favorable place to settle. Excavations have uncovered a settlement of the Magdalenian hunters (about 17 000 BP). The tent-like dwelling was visited repeatedly over a number of summers. Floor plans and post holes of residential buildings have been identified. The most well known discovery is the 'Venus of Nebra', one of three sculptures in ivory approximately 7 cm high.


Negroid Venus Head The Negroid Venus Head, in slightly fibrous green soapstone, has a surface which is polished and worn, especially the face. The base is polished and worn, which suggests that the object was already an isolated head in the Paleolithic. The piece measures 24 mm in height, 24.5 mm front to back and 15 mm maximum width, and is therefore relatively flat and has a protruding chignon of hair. The facial features are strikingly represented: there is a receding forehead with massive eyebrows and deep eye sockets. The cheekbones are strong. The coiffure, largely destroyed, is represented by a net or grid consisting of a series of incisions starting at the forehead, over the bun or chignon and back down onto the neck, cut by transverse incisions, the first of which form a kind of band above the forehead.


neuchatel venusThe Venus figures of Neuchâtel - Monruz - The Venus of Neuch√Ętel is a pendant in jet, and is 16 mm high. It was found at Neuch√Ętel in 1991, and is dated at 14 900 BP. The site of Monruz (commune of Neuch√Ętel) borders the lake over a length of a hundred metres. Formerly open to the air, it was by now covered with five metres of clay, sand, and gravel , capped by the bitumen of a trunk road.



Nun Venus, Flattened FigureThe Nun Venus, or the Flattened Figure is a Balzi Rossi or Grimaldi figurine which has been carved on a flat oval pebble of dark green chlorite and is about 44 mm high. The arms merge into the outer mass of the pebble, and the form brings to mind a female with a quasi-religious and hieratic bearing. The enveloping cape adds an air of mystery.

la figurine a la pelerine The Venus called la figurine à la pèlerine, or figurine dressed in a cape, from the Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy, consists of a fragment of the torso of a figure wearing a cape. The arm in bas relief is folded across the chest. Sculptors had recognised how fragile arms are when they are detached from the trunk, and they used bas relief to represent them. The arm tapers in thickness from the shoulder to the elbow.


Parabita Venus The Venus of Parabita is 90 mm high and 20 mm wide, and is made ‚Äč‚Äčfrom a splinter of bone from an aurochs or horse. There are no features on the face, while the chin and neck is crossed by two parallel curved incisions, creating the impression of a collar or hood. From here the two sloping shoulders continue into arms, which become thinner, then thicker, and finally come together under a prominent abdomen, perhaps indicating pregnancy. A second venus is smaller, 61 mm high and 15 mm wide, and has different stylistic features.


pechialet
The Venus of Péchialet, from la grotte du Chien à Péchialet.


pekarna
The Venus of Pekarna, from Pekarna Cave, Moravia, Czech Republic.


El Pendo Venus The Venus of El Pendo Cave, Camargo, province of Santander, may be of modern manufacture. It is in the form of a spear straightener or baton de commandement, made of deer antler, variously dated to the Solutrean or the upper Magdalenian, excavated by Abbé Jesus Carballo at El Pendo Cavern. Of interest is the form of the handle, which evokes the feminine form. This 'Venus' was discovered in the Solutrean layer of the El Pendo Cave. It is made of deer antler, and its form evokes that of a woman, with arms raised and with large hips.


The Woman with the perforated neckThe Woman with the Perforated Neck, also known as the 'Janus' because the face is depicted on both sides of the flattened figurine, is one of the venuses from the Barma Grande in the Balzi Rossi caves. It is 62 mm long, of dark green steatite. The head is flat and circular, with the eyes and mouth carved on the front and back of the head. There are no forearms, and the breasts are oval-shaped. There is a prominent belly, and the buttocks are flattened. A small open vulva has been carved, and the knees and feet are indistinct or absent. It is perforated through the neck.


PetersfelsThe Petersfels (Engen) venuses are made of jet, or hard coal, and were found at the Petersfels site, near Engen in Germany. It is one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Central Europe with an enormous number of important artefacts. It was a settlement site of the Magdalenian (late Upper Paleolithic), with many layers, towards the end of the last ice age, during the period 15 500-14 000 BP. The main activity here was reindeer hunting in autumn.


placard venus Placard Venus - La grotte du Placard is a decorated cave in the commune of Vilhonneur in Charante, 30 km east of Angoulême. It has been extensively researched and has levels dating from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, especially the Magdalenian and Solutrean.


La Poire venus La Poire is a figurine of mammoth ivory of which only the corpulent torso survives, found in 1892 in the 'Grotte du Pape' at Brassempouy. The name 'Venus' for this figurine was subsequently adopted by √Čdouard Piette (1827-1906). She was originally nicknamed la poire - 'the pear' - on account of her shape. For Piette, the name 'Venus' may have come to mind in this particular instance because of the emphatic treatment of the vulva's labia and the prominent, slightly protruding pubic area, which he tastefully refers to as 'le mont de V√©nus' - the mound of Venus (or mons pubis). 'Venus' has since become the collective term used to identify all obese Palaeolithic statuettes of women.


The Venus of PolichinellePolichinelle Venus - The Venus of Polichinelle, carved in green steatite, length 61 mm, 27 000 years old, found at Grimaldi. The pronounced buttocks and the projecting belly gave it the name Punchinello, but some see in it a woman about to give birth. Punchinello, or Polichinelle in French, is the short fat buffoon or clown in an Italian puppet show. Often confused on the internet with the Monpazier Venus.


The Venus of Dolni Vestonice
The Predmost venus figures are each carved from the toe of a mammoth.


The Venus of Dolni Vestonice
This is known as the Venus of Predmost, an engraving in a mammoth tusk of a stylised female figure.


The Red Ochre VenusThe Red Ochre Venus or Dame Ocrée is a female figurine made from mammoth ivory. The oval face has no facial features and the head and torso were originally covered with a very thick layer of red ochre. The hair forms a thick coiffure framing the face and tapering to two points that end on the backs of the shoulders, which may be interpreted as being braids. Although the upper arms are clearly carved at the sides of the figurine, there is no trace of forearms or hands.


Renancourt venusAnother venus has been discovered in France, and is known as the Venus of Renancourt. It was discovered on 27th November 2014 near Amiens, and is a limestone statuette of a woman about 12 cm high, found in about 20 pieces. It is an exceptional find.


Roc-aux-Sorciers The Venus of Roc-aux-Sorciers was found in an Upper Paleolithic rock shelter site dating to the mid-Magdalenian cultural stage, ca 14 000 BP, made famous by its relief wall carvings. The south-facing rock-shelter is composed of two geologically distinct sections; below is the Abri Bourdois, a classic rock-shelter site beneath a slight overhang, and above is the Cave Taillebourg, a deeper vestibule. The art of Roc-aux-Sorciers is in two distinct categories - a 20 metre long frieze, still standing, not open to the public, and a series of sculptures, formerly on a wall of a collapsed section of the site.


Roc-aux-Sorciers The second Venus of Roc-aux-Sorciers has many similarities to the first. It is apparently of the same lithic material, and stands 75 mm tall.


  The Venus of Kostenki
Venus figures from Russia, the Ukraine and sites East of the Donau mouth




Savignano venusSavignano Venus - The Venus of Savignano is from the north Italian plain, and is 220 mm high. It is made of serpentine, and arms are indicated only, across the breasts. Found in 1925 at Savignano sul Punaro, near Modena.


sireuil venusSireuil Venus - The Venus de Sireuil was collected in 1900 in the Dordogne. It is made of translucent calcite. It was found in 1900 by M. Prat, on a road to a stone quarry, where a cartwheel which ran over it in the muddy rut where it lay unfortunately amputated the head and left hand which were not recovered. The material of the object is of amber calcite, slightly translucent, measuring 92 mm in height. Aurignacian flint was found 150 metres from the statue, in a quarry. It is estimated to be 27 000 years old.


The Venus of TantanThe Tan-Tan figurine was discovered during an archaeological survey by Lutz Fiedler, state archaeologist of Hessen, Germany, in a river terrace deposit on the north bank of the River Draa a few kilometers south of the Moroccan town of Tan-Tan. The lowest sediments contain red sands and pebbles and yields stone tools of typical Early Acheulian character. This layer is followed by an approximately 12 metre (40 feet) sequence of alluvial gravels, sands, and finer fractions of varying compositions, the lower part of which contains a rich industry of the Middle Acheulian, free of specimens of Levallois technique.


Terme-PialectThe engraving of the two venus figures at Terme-Pialat is so deep as to constitute bas-relief. It is believed to be from the Aurignacian. Terme-Pialat is near Combe-Capelle in the valley of the Couze, in the Dordogne region of France.


Venus of Tolentino The Venus of Tolentino is a figure carved with a chisel on thin chert, height about 13 cm. The drawing depicts a woman with zoomorphic features. It has legs, breasts, and a geometric vulva, but the body is surmounted by a cow's head (or a herbivorous animal, bovid or equid). The Venus de Tolentino has been dated to a period between 5 000 and 12 000 years ago, between the Pleistocene and Neolithic, when agriculture developed in Europe. The stone on which the Venus is carved was probably used as a tool striker, or to crush seeds. Both ends are chipped from use.


La Torse Le Torse - this Gravettian venus figurine was found during the 1896 excavations by √Čdouard Piette and J. de Laporterie at Grottes du Pape, Brassempouy. It was found in the upper part of the figurines layer, 4 or 5 cm above a fireplace. Dimensions: 94 mm high, 51.5 mm wide, 48 mm thick


The Venus of MoravanyThe Trasimeno Venus is a venus figure from the Paleolithic, found in Italy. It is about 3.7 inches high and carved in soapstone. It was found during excavations at Lago Trasimeno and is on display at the Museo Nazionale preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini in Rome.


The Venus of TursacTursac Venus - The Venus of Tursac is a calcite figure from 25 000 years BP. It was discovered on 5th August 1959 by M. Henri Delporte at Tursac, a village in the Perigord, near Sarlat, in the summer of 1959 at 'l'Abri du Facteur'. It is a treasure, a figurine made ‚Äč‚Äčfrom a block of translucent calcite measuring 8 cm high and weighing 57.4 grams. While it lacks a head, arms and breasts it is still a very rare and important find.


The Two Headed WomanThe Woman with Two Heads, or Bicéphale, one of the Grimaldi Venuses, has a body made up of a narrow torso, no arms, projecting breasts and belly, and legs that taper to a point at the knees. The breasts are pointed, extremely large, projected forward, and extend laterally beyond the edge of the torso. Unlike the right breast, the left breast has two grooves circling it and a hole pecked in the tip, presumably representing a nipple. It has a flat back with a faint groove indicating the spine, a narrow waist, and wide hips. The centre of the abdomen is protruding and almost perfectly round and has a small navel in the centre. The large and circular buttocks are marked by a crease at the top and there is a pit carved at the approximate position of the anus. The very large pubic area contains a vulva that is indicated by a vertical groove.


The Undescribed Venus The Undescribed Venus of Balzi Rossi is of opaque green soapstone. The oval head and the torso are of normal form and proportions, but the facial features are sketchy, with just sockets for eyes and the outline of a nose. The neck is well formed, the breasts, highly elongated from top to bottom, are separated from each other and the rest of the chest by very deep incisions. The material has changed in nature, and in part has converted to iron hydroxide, while maintaining the fibrous appearance of the original rock. The lower part is broken, we can not know if the statue was in a semi-sitting or standing position, or what was the form of the legs. The surface of the piece is less polished than others in the series, and is also much encrusted with iron concretions.


Vogelherd VenusThe Vogelherd Venus is one of the Lalinde - G√∂nnersdorf venus figurines, made of a boar's tooth, and was found at the 2008 re-excavation of the materials from the Riek excavation of 1931 in front of the Vogelherdh√∂hle cave. It is of Magdalenian age, from circa 13 000 BP.


WilczyceFemale figurines in the style of Lalinde/Gönnersdorf from Wilczyce are unusual in that many are knapped from flint. Located on the Sandomierz plateau in southern Poland, the Wilczyce site was discovered in 1994 during a prospecting campaign carried out by the Polish Academy of Sciences. The site is located on a slope dominating the valley of the river Opatówka, and uniquely, the venus figures are all in 'ice wedges' deposits, which occur in areas subjected to permafrost.


The Venus of Willendorf Willendorf Venus - The Venus of Willendorf, I, II and III. The Venus of Willendorf I is a superbly crafted sculpture of a naked obese woman from the stone age. It is made of oolitic limestone, and was covered with red ochre when found in 1908. The vulva is particularly well carved, by someone with a good knowledge of anatomy. The feet are rendered as very small, with no indication of ankles. Opinion is divided about the pattern around the head. Some say it is braided hair, others say it is a woven (or crocheted) hat pulled low over the face. There is evidence for woven textiles from that time. It could also be basketry.


Yeliseevichi The Yeliseevichi venus, or Elisseevichi venus, is a finely modelled 15 cm tall figure depicting a shapely woman with no feet, head and hands, carved of mammoth tusk. The figurine has prominent buttocks and legs. The Yeliseevichi site was discovered in 1930 and it is located on the river Sudost, the right tributary of the Desna, in the Briansk Province, Russia. Most of the prehistoric artefacts were found in a heap of mammoth skulls piled next to a residential house.


Zarysk venusThe Zaraysk Venus is not voluptuous, which puts it with the 'thin' Kostenki - Avdeevo venuses, but in this case there is one difference, that the legs are not placed together, which is also the case for the Willendorf venus. This testifies to the uniqueness of the Zaraysk site, which has features of both the Kostenki and Avdeevo cultures. Zaraysk or Zaraisk or –ó–į—Ä–į–Ļ—Ā–ļ is an important Paleolithic site from the Ice Age in Russia, and is the northernmost example of the Kostenki - Avdeevo culture.


Phallus in the stone ageThe phallus is represented in stone age art, although it is not as common a theme for sculpture and engraving as the vulva. This is a summary of some of the important discoveries.


AdorantThe Worshipper, called 'Adorant', is one of the oldest, most impressive and mystifying statuettes from the Ice Age. It was discovered in an ashy bone layer near a possible hearth. The bas-relief of a human being with raised arms, who seems to be either saluting or threatening, can be distinguished. The raised arms might also be interpreted as an attitude of worship, so the statuette was named the 'Adorant'.


AdorantThe male venus figurine from Avdeevo was found at the bottom of a pit with accompanying flint blades, adzes and other artefacts. Almost all the outer surface of the figurine, except for some small fragments, is intact. All lines represent a well-developed musculature of the back, chest and legs, not softened by fatty deposits. Though the sexual characteristics are not defined, the general posture, somewhat different from the bent female figurines, the unusual arrangement of the arms, and the way in which the pubic area is shown, all suggest that this is a male image.


Altamira Cave and paintings
Altamira Cave contains several painted 'Bird Men'.


Castel-MerleA carving of a phallus and an engraving of one on stone from Abri Blanchard, Castel-Merle, also known as Vallon des Roches located near the town of Sergeac on the V√©zère River between Lascaux and the shelter of Moustier, near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac


Brno puppetThe head, torso and left arm are all that survives of the male ivory statuette found in an upper Palaeolithic (Pavlovian) burial at Brno near Dolni Vestonice. There is a correctly proportioned stump of a penis at the base of the torso. Around 26 000 years BP.


Cougnac CaveThere are two images of men pierced with spears in the Grottes de Cougnac caves near Gourdon, Lot. The site consists of two caves separated by 200 metres. The first contains many concretions, some very fine, called soda straws. The second is a decorated cave from the Paleolithic. The cave has many prehistoric paintings dated to the upper Paleolithic. Depictions include deer, megaceros, the ibex, and mammoths as well as various schematic human figures. The paintings corresponded to at least two clearly distinct phases: one around 25 000 BP, the other about 14 000 years before the present.


Phallus of Hohle FelsA sculpted and polished phallus found in a German cave is among the earliest representations of male sexuality ever uncovered. The 20cm-long, 3cm-wide stone object, which is dated to be about 28 000 years old, was buried in the famous Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm in the Swabian Jura. The prehistoric 'tool' was reassembled from 14 fragments of siltstone. Its life size suggests it may well have been used as a sex aid by its Ice Age makers, scientists report.


Isturitz phallus
This phallus from Isturitz has very little documentation, and is mentioned only briefly in scholarly works.


La marche head
La Marche has a huge quantity of human heads, many of which are male.


Laussel male
There are two male figures from Laussel, one a finely modelled trunk of a man, the other a priapus.


 dead man and birdThe dead man with a bird's head. This is one of the most studied and argued about paintings in Lascaux. It is in what is known as the Well, or the Shaft, and is reached by climbing down a ladder from the Apse. The main scene includes a disembowelled bison, a man with a bird's head who appears to have been felled by the bison, a spear, and a bird on a pole. Was the man a shaman with a bird as totem? Did the painter believe that dead people became birds? We shall never know.


The Lion Lady - Die Lowenfrau Lowenfrau, L√∂wenmensch, the Lion Lady or Lion Man Venus - carved from mammoth ivory, it is 28 cm high and 6 cm in diameter. It was found in the Stadelh√∂hle am Hohenstein, a rocky cliff in the Lonetal valley above Asselfingen, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany), in 1931, dated as Aurignacian, in a 32 000 year old level. Although this is known in some places as the lion lady, it is by no means certain that it is female. The arms bear striations carved into the ivory. It is pieced together from more than 200 tiny pieces. This 'venus' may be an attempt to capture the power of the lion.


Mas d'AzilMan confronts a bear, Mas d'Azil. This is a stunning work. It consisted originally of a disk, with an engraving on each side. On one side of the disk, we have a human male with an erect penis confronting a bear, with a heavy stick over his shoulder, and on the other side, a man being struck down by a bear. He appears to be shown lying face down, and uniquely, there is no other palaeolithic representation of a man in such a position. If the disc is tipped upside down on this face, a horse may be seen. An ornately carved ivory phallus has also been found at Mas d'Azil.


mezin venus figures
The 'venus' figurines from Mezin have variously been described as phallic figurines, birds, and bird/woman hybrids. They were made in Mammoth ivory.


Grotte de Sorcier
At Roc de Sers there is a drawing on a rock plaque of a man pursued by a Musk Ox.


Roche-CotardThe mask of Roche-Cotard is a flint object with a striking likeness to a human face. It may be one of the best examples of art by Neanderthal man ever found. The 'mask', which is dated to be about 35 000 years old, was recovered on the banks of the Loire in France. It is about 10 cm tall and wide and has a bone splinter rammed through a hole, making the rock look as if it has eyes. Commentators say the object shows the Neanderthals were more sophisticated than their caveman image suggests.


Grotte de SorcierGrotte du Sorcier - representation of a human with an erect phallus, located on the roof in the deepest part of the cave. The man has a narrow thorax, distended abdomen, extended upper limbs, and the head is round. The engraving is on limestone, the surface of the rock is affected by falling flakes primarily in the ventral part. There is also a head with a bestial face, turned to the right, as well as the head of a man. The top of the skull is high, with no indication of hair, the forehead is high and convex. The nose is heavy and convex and continues with a meandering line indicating the nostril and an open mouth. The ear is formed by two lines of which one extends to the thin neck. The eye is shaped with an elliptical shape, with an extension to the left.


Trois frères sorcerer
'The Sorcerer' from Trois frères.



  visiting times

Visiting Times to the caves and art sites


Mount Grattai and Gins Mountain

Aboriginal art site on the Northern Tablelands of NSW Australia, including a lizard, a snake, and hand stencils. It appears to be regularly maintained and cared for by local aboriginal people as part of a continuing tradition.


Danish Rock Art

Open air rock engravings from Bornholm, Denmark


cap blanc
L'Abri du Cap Blanc - Over 15 000 years ago, Ice Age hunters carved horses, bison and reindeer, some of which are over two metres long, straight into the Limestone cliffs at Cap Blanc. The abri, which was discovered in 1909, is today the only frieze of prehistoric sculptures in the world to be shown to the public.


 Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge - an Aboriginal Rock Stencil Art site, with engravings of vulvas, emu and kangaroo tracks.
Carnarvon Gorge lies within the spectacular and rugged ranges of Queensland's central highlands. The fragile aboriginal art on the gorge's sandstone walls reflects a rich culture. Ochre stencils of tools, weapons, ornaments and ceremonial objects, as well as engravings and grooves where tools were sharpened provide an insight into the lives of the gorge's first people.


  Cave paintings and sculptures

Cave paintings and sculptures


chauvetcaveChauvet Cave in the valley of the Ard√®che River in France is filled with paintings, engravings and drawings created more than 30 000 years ago, of cave lions, mammoths, rhinos, bison, cave bears and horses. It contains the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is situated on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ard√®che River. The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25 000 to 27 000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that the cave had been untouched until discovered in 1994. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately


Cussac CaveCussac Cave or Grotte de Cussac contains over 150 Paleolithic artworks as well as several human remains. It is located in the Dordogne River valley. The cave was discovered on September 30, 2000. The cave's artworks are estimated to be 25 000 years old, and are almost exclusively engravings, often very large, made with stone tools on the walls, or with fingers on clay soil. Pigments are limited to very few red dots. They include both classic instances of Upper Paleolithic animal art (bison, horses, mammoths, rhinoceroses, ibex) and rarer images including birds, enigmatic figures, and perhaps four female profiles.


Isturitz Les Grottes d'Isturitz et d'Oxocelhaya - The Caves of Isturitz and Oxocelhaya date back to the Mousterian, about 80 000 BC, and there is evidence of Neanderthals living there, but occupation extended to almost the end of the ice age in 10 000 BC. Isturitz is famous for the discovery of a series of important prehistoric flutes dating from the Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian to the Magdalenian), about 35 000 to 10 000 BC. There are bone harpoons, etchings of bison on a sandstone plate (Magdalenian), reindeer carvings, as well as images of a human figure and human heads.


Kapova Cave Kapova Cave is a famous Russian Palaeolithic cave. It has painted mammoths, rhinos, horses and a bison on its walls. The cave has two levels, the paintings are mainly in the upper level at some distance from the entrance. The charcoal was dated with the 14C method to be 14 680 ¬Ī150 years old. Among the animal bones were cave bear bones. Kapova Cave is a complex natural monument with multiple grottos and halls connected by passages on various levels. The walls of the cave are rich in calcite deposits of all kinds of forms and sizes. An underground river flows out of the cave and forms the Blue Lake at its entrance.


  Aboriginal Art of the Kimberleys
Aboriginal Art of the Kimberleys
This is a record of part of a bushwalking trip from the Berkeley River to the King George River and then to the Drysdale River in the Kimberley region of northern West Australia.



  Lascaux Cave Lascaux Cave is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The paintings are estimated to be 17 300 years old. They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. The cave was discovered on September 12, 1940 by four teenagers. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. Rooms in the cave include The Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines. Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls ‚ÄĒ the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery ‚ÄĒ was opened in 1983, 200 metres from the original.


  Namibia rock art
Rock paintings from Namibia in Africa. In Namibia these rock paintings and engravings were completed by San Bushmen. The rock engravings, more prevalent in some areas than others, have been found to be from 2 000 to 6 000 years old, and some paintings have been found to be 27 000 years old.


  Niaux CaveNiaux Cave, or la Grotte de Niaux is one of the most famous prehistoric caves in Europe. It lies in the northern foothills of the Pyrenees, and is located in Ariège, in the valley of Vicdessos, across the valley from the smaller Grotte de la Vache, in an area rich with prehistoric sites. The huge cave entrance, 55 metres high and 50 metres wide, is at 678 metres above sea level. There are more than two kilometres of galleries, with a hundred or more superb paintings from Magdalenian times, most of which are in the famous 'Salon Noir', 800 metres from the entrance. Many of the paintings are done in the classic style of the Magdalenian, outlined in black or red pigment, mostly haematite or manganese dioxide respectively.


Petroglyphs rock engravings of Alta
The Rock Drawings of Alta constitute the most important piece of evidence in favour of the existence of human activity in the confines of the Great North during the prehistoric period. Close to the Arctic Circle, they are a valuable illustration of human activity between 6 200 and 2 500 BP in the Northern Hemisphere. They are primordial evidence of the fauna, representing reindeer, elks, bears, dogs and/or wolves, foxes, hares, geese, ducks, swans, cormorants, halibut, salmon and whales, and of the environment. They also depict boating, hunting, trapping and fishing scenes, as well as people taking part in dances and ritual acts.


San paintingsThese paintings by the San people of South Africa are on the Sevilla Trail near the Traveller's Rest, a lodge on a farm about 30 km east of Clanwilliam in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, and are taken by Michael Hess. The Bushmen/San were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa and are commonly known as Bushmen or San. They were hunter-gatherers, hunting with bows and arrows, trapping small animals and eating edible roots and berries. They lived in rock shelters, in the open or in crude shelters of twigs and grass or animal skins. They made no pottery, rather using ostrich eggshells or animal parts for storing and holding liquids. For these reasons, animals and nature are central features in the Bushmen's religious tradition, folklore, art and rituals.


Utah mammoth rock art
Columbian Mammoth and Bison rock art engravings have been found at the Upper Sand Island rock art site at the San Juan River in Utah, USA. The engravings appear authentic, and show rock varnish and wear indicating that they are from the end of the ice age, about 13 000 - 11 000 years ago, at about the time of the Clovis culture.


mammoth carvingA bone fragment, approximately 13 000 years old, at Vero, Florida with an incised image of a mammoth or mastodon has been announced. This engraving is the oldest known example of Ice Age art to depict a proboscidean (the order of animals with trunks) in the Americas. The bone was discovered in Vero Beach, Florida by James Kennedy, an avocational fossil hunter, who collected the bone and later while cleaning the bone, discovered the engraving.


Grotte de VillarsThe Grotte de Villars or Villars Cave contains galleries of stalactites and earth coloured calcite accumulations, including 17 000 year old prehistoric paintings dating from the same period as those at Lascaux. The slow seepage of water has created some of the most beautiful natural scenery. There are all types of concretions: calcite, thin stalactites, gours, translucent draperies and countless stalagmites. Some of the cave paintings, like those of the rotunda of the horses are covered with a thin layer of calcite that gives them a special blue color.The scene of the bison and the sorcerer is one of the few human representations of prehistoric art.


Vulvas of the Stone AgeThe Vulva in Stone Age Art - The vulva is well represented in Palaeolithic art. It is mostly seen as engravings on stone, bone or ivory. The representation is obviously a well known one that has become abstracted to the point where it is often no more than an oval or circle with a single mark at its centre or at its lower edge. Although many examples are from Europe, and from the upper Palaeolithic, it occurs over a broad time range, and a very large area, including not just Europe, but Australia as well.


  Ice Age Animals
Ice Age Animals - As the last great ice age (the fourth, or Wurm) began, the advancing ice of the Wurm glaciation forced tundra animals further south into western europe. The increasingly cold conditions altered the vegetation as well. The spruce, fir, and arctic willow were now found only in the more sheltered river valleys, while the rest of the landscape was mostly deforested.


Megafauna extinctionAlthough most scientists with knowledge of the field think that the Australian megafauna, animals such as the giant kangaroo, the swamp cow and the diprotodon, were hunted to death by the first humans to migrate to Australia, perhaps 50 000 years ago. However some scientists still disagree, and put forward the hypothesis that climate change was to blame. However a crucial question must be asked: if people did hunt megafauna to extinction, how much evidence of killing should we now be able to get from archaeological sites? A new paper by archaeologists Todd Surovell and Brigid Grund, Surovell et al. (2012), suggests the answer to that question is 'very little or none'.


Mastodons and other early elephants Coming originally from Africa, the mastodons invaded Europe and Asia 18 million years ago. They made their way to North America via the Bering Bridge 10 million years ago and finally reached South America two million years ago, after the isthmus of Panama was formed roughly three million years ago, an event that made the recent ice ages possible. The development of the tusks and of the trunk reflects the evolution of the mastodons during the Miocene, which lasted from 23 million years ago to 5 million years BP.


Manis MastodonThe Manis Mastodon - A newly analysed mastodon rib bone shows that Native Americans were using bone-pointed weapons to take down big game nearly a thousand years earlier than thought, according to a new study. Images of the rib show a broken bone projectile point still stuck where a hunter drove it in 13 800 years ago. The rib was found near the town of Sequim on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, in the late 1970s. Radiocarbon analysis, DNA samples, genetics work, and other modern techniques recently revealed its true age.


The Cave LionThe cave lion is known from Paleolithic cave paintings, ivory carvings, and clay figurines. These representations indicate that cave lions had rounded, protruding ears, tufted tails, possibly faint tiger-like stripes, and that at least some had a ruff or primitive mane around their neck, indicating males. The cave lion received its common name because large quantities of its remains are found in caves, but it is doubtful whether they lived in them. They probably preferred conifer forests and grasslands, where medium-sized to large herbivores occurred.


  The bear and cavebear in fact, myth and legend

The bear and cavebear in fact, myth and legend


mammoths

Mammoths, Elephants and the Wooly Rhinoceros


  The reindeer hunters of the taiga

The Tungus - reindeer herders of the Siberian far north


modern reindeer people

Modern Reindeer People


ibogaine

The Sacred Root


dodder

Golden Thread


mammoth

Frozen Mammoth discovery


Australian Aborigines

Australian Aboriginal art, trade routes, tools, and water sources in the desert. An Australian Aboriginal person is a person of Aboriginal descent, albeit mixed, who identifies themselves as such and who is recognised by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal.


geology

Geology for Earth Children fans


Mastodons and other early elephants Coming originally from Africa, the mastodons invaded Europe and Asia 18 million years ago. They made their way to North America via the Bering Bridge 10 million years ago and finally reached South America two million years ago, after the isthmus of Panama was formed roughly three million years ago, an event that made the recent ice ages possible. The development of the tusks and of the trunk reflects the evolution of the mastodons during the Miocene, which lasted from 23 million years ago to 5 million years BP.


The Cave LionThe cave lion is known from Paleolithic cave paintings, ivory carvings, and clay figurines. These representations indicate that cave lions had rounded, protruding ears, tufted tails, possibly faint tiger-like stripes, and that at least some had a ruff or primitive mane around their neck, indicating males. The cave lion received its common name because large quantities of its remains are found in caves, but it is doubtful whether they lived in them. They probably preferred conifer forests and grasslands, where medium-sized to large herbivores occurred.


tools
A comprehensive overview of ancient tools, from the earliest times to the end of the ice ages.


Atlatl
Atlatls, Spear Throwers, and Woomeras - an atlatl or spear-thrower is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing. It consists of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. A traditional atlatl is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).


baguettes demi rondeBaguettes demi-rondes are a two-part composite projectile point technology usually manufactured from antler. This method of point construction allowed the Magdalenian toolmaker to construct a projectile point of much larger proportions, with high stiffness and strength, than the physical constraints imposed by the raw material usually allowed.


B√Ętons Perc√©sB√Ętons Perc√©s - A key discovery by Conard‚Äôs team in Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany is rewriting the history of rope. The find is a carefully carved and beautifully preserved piece of mammoth ivory 20.4 cm in length with four holes between 7 and 9 mm in diameter. Each of the holes is lined with deep, and precisely cut spiral incisions. The new find demonstrates that these elaborate carvings are technological features of rope-making equipment rather than just decoration.


B√Ętons Perc√©sB√Ętons Perc√©s - Identified as early as 1866, the pierced baton has produced no less than 37 hypotheses regarding its use. Among the most often expressed uses was that of a spear head straightener, in combination with heat from a fire. On some of the artefacts traces of use, sometimes two by two, evoke the twisting of a cord through the hole. This page includes material from an important paper on the subject by Rigaud.


Cassegros toolsCassegros tools - La grotte de Cassegros, has on its walls cave paintings that depict animals; paintings that reflect the prehistoric occupation of the site near the town of Trentels. It is an ideal shelter for prehistoric people because of its location. It is located on the south of a limestone hill overlooking the Lot valley, above a now dried up river. It is divided into several parts: an entrance hall, a gallery, a large room and a small chamber known as the petite salle du puits. Cave paintings have been discovered there.


Cassegros toolsCasserole tools - l'abri Casserole is a little known Gravettian, Solutrean and early Magdalenian shelter near Les Eyzies.


Combe Capelle ToolsCombe-Capelle is a Mousterian / Neanderthal site situated in the Couze valley in the Périgord region of Southern France. This is a record of the tools found there by Ami and Peyrony, recorded and catalogued by Peyrony after the death of Ami, and on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


Corbiac
Tools from Corbiac, which is an open air Gravettian site beneath the lawns of the ch√Ęteau de Corbiac a few kilometres NE of Bergerac, near Lembras.


Stone Age Rondelles There are many examples of discs with central holes from various (mostly Magdalenian) sites in Europe. Various theories have been put forward as to their use, including clothing decoration and large buttons. As my colleague AnnDee first pointed out, their most likely use is as the weight (normally called a whorl) for a drop spindle, in the spinning of fibres into yarn. This is borne out by the fact that the overwhelming majority have a central hole, all of similar dimensions, 2 to 4 mm, and by the fact that many are not decorated in any meaningful or artistic way, and are also made of other materials (sandstone, slate) as well as bone.


faurelietools La Faurélie tools - On the left bank of the Manaurie valley, l'abri de La Faurélie II, is a few hundred metres downstream from the Aurignacian and Perigordian deposit of La Faurélie I, and ten kilometres from Les Eyzies. Discovered in 1958 by M. Lhommond, first explored by D. de Sonneville-Bordes, F. Bordes and M. Delthel, it was then meticulously excavated from 1964 to 1972 by J. Tixier.


La Ferrassie Tools La Ferrassie rock shelter yielded skeletons from eight Neanderthal individuals, including adults, children, infants, and two fetuses. Today the skeleton of La Ferrassie 1 is considered the classic example of Neanderthal anatomy. It was discovered on 17th September 1909 by R. Capitan and D. Peyrony. This is a record of the tools found there by Peyrony, and on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


Combe Grenal Tools from Le Flageolet I - Le Flageolet I is a small, stratified rockshelter in the Dordogne valley of southwestern France, near the town of Bezenac. The site has important Upper Palaeolithic Aurignacian and Perigordian occupations.


Combe GrenalCombe Grenal is an archeological site consisting of a collapsed cave and a slope deposit near Domme, Dordogne, France. It dates from ca 175 000 to ca 50 000 BP. The cave was first thoroughly excavated by Fran√ßois Bordes from 1953 to 1965. The site's stratigraphic sequence is 13 metres in depth and has at least 64 layers. 55 layers are Mousterian while the 9 layers near the bottom are Acheulean. The oldest layers date back to the end of the Riss glaciation and the youngest to the W√ľrm glaciation. This is a record of the tools found there by Bordes, and on display at Le Mus√©e National de Pr√©histoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


decorative objects
Decorative objects used in the Stone Age


Isturitz tools
Tools from Isturitz - The deposits in the Caves of Isturitz, Oxocelhaya and Erberua date from 80 000 BP to 10 000 BP. This is a record of the tools found there by Normand, and on display at Le Mus√©e National de Pr√©histoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


Kimberley points
Kimberley Points - superbly made tools from the north of Australia


Lascaux LampStone Lamps of the Palaeolithic - Lamp designs fall into three main categories: open-circuit lamps consist of largely unaltered slabs of rock. When the lamp is lit, melted fat runs off through natural crevices in the rock. Closed-circuit lamps have carved depressions to contain the runoff. Carved-handle, closed-circuit lamps also have bowls shaped fuel chambers but are more finely finished and have formed extensions for easier handling. Burn marks indicate that the wick was placed away from the handle. The Lamp of Lascaux - Le Br√Ľloir de Lascaux is a superb example of a carved handle, closed circuit lamp.


laugerie hauteLaugerie Haute is a treasure house of tools from the late stone age. This is the pick of the collections of Peyrony and Bordes of the sites of Laugerie Haute East and West. It is of interest primarily to those specialising in Laugerie Haute and the lithic industry of the V√©zère region.


La Madeleine tools La Madeleine tools - La Madeleine is a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, in the Dordogne, France. It is a treasure house of art and knowledge about the people of the Magdalenian. This is a record of the tools found at La Madeleine, and on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


La Micoque ToolsMicoque tools - La Micoque is a Neanderthal site in the Dordogne dating from circa 400 000 BP to 130 000 BP. This is a record of the tools found at La Micoque, and on display at Le Mus√©e National de Pr√©histoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.


moulin du roc toolsMoulin du Roc Tools - Despite the destruction of most of the filling, the Moulin du Roc site (St-Chamassy, Dordogne, France) has yielded valuable artefacts from the upper and late Magdalenian, as well as from the Sauveterrian and late Neolithic.


le MoustierLe Moustier is the type site for the Mousterian suite of tools and artefacts, and is a Neanderthal site. This is the pick of the collections of tools there by Peyrony. It is of interest primarily to those specialising in le Moustier and the lithic industry of the Mousterian.



Abri PataudTools from l'abri Pataud - The Abri Pataud rock shelter was occupied by the Cro Magnon man (Homo sapiens sapiens) for a period of 15 000 years, from 35 000 BP to 20 000 BP, which corresponds to the recent Wurm period, and the cultures of the Aurignacian, Gravettian and Solutrian. This is a record of the tools found at Abri Pataud by the US archaeologist Hallam L. Movius, and on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.



Peyrugue tools Peyrugues tools - the Les Peyrugues site is a rockshelter located in the Célé valley (Lot, France), and has deposits from the last 25 millennia.



axe Making Flint Tools

quartz Heat treatment of flint and other microcrystalline quartz

quartz Footwear

harpoon Everything you wanted to know about the Dordogne Harpoons and were afraid to ask.....

MusicThere have been many musical instruments found from the Palaeolithic, including from Neanderthals. This page shows some of them. Recently included is this Neanderthal flute on display at the Museum Ljubljana, photographed by Ralph Frenken.




net Nets and Skis

numeracy Numeracy in the Stone Age

Roc de Combe Tools Roc de Combe was excavated by F. Bordes and J. Labrot in 1966 and 1967. Included in the stratigraphic sequence are the Mousterian , the Ch√Ętelperronian , the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. This is a record of the tools found there by Bordes, and on display at Le Mus√©e National de Pr√©histoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.



shaman Bronze Age 'sky disc' deciphered

mapsMaps of the Earth's Children Series including a map of Journeys in the Land of Painted Caves, the last book in the series.
Maps include the true extent of the ice in the last ice age, as well as maps of The Territory of the Zelandonii, Journeys in Clan of the Cave Bear, local area around the cave in Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, Iron Gates map, local map of the Sharamudoi, local map of The Mammoth Hunters Lion Camp, map of The Ukraine, map of The Plains of Passage, Clickable map of the Plains of Passage, Donau Mouth to First Snow from the Plains of Passage, The Encounter with the S'Armunai, Wurm and Riss Glaciation in the headwaters of the Donau (Danube), How I draw the maps.


Amelana's CaveAmelana's Cave
In Jean Auel's Land of Painted Caves, on the last part of the Donier tour, the party followed the Rh√īne upstream until they came to the point where the Ard√®che comes in from the north west. They then followed the Ard√®che upstream for four miles until they neared the gorge for which it is famous, and in which is Chauvet Cave, the Most Ancient Sacred Site. They conducted a very successful bison hunt, then continued up the Ard√®che to Amelana's Cave, which is situated on the Cirque de la Madeleine. From there they went further up the Ard√®che, to Chauvet Cave.


chauvetcaveFirst Cave (South), the Most Ancient Sacred Site, Chapter 27 - 28 Land of Painted Caves
Now called Chauvet Cave, in the valley of the Ard√®che River in France, it is filled with paintings, engravings and drawings created more than 30 000 years ago, of cave lions, mammoths, rhinos, bison, cave bears and horses. It contains the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. A later occupation left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. After the child's visit to the cave 26 000 years ago, evidence suggests that the cave had been untouched until discovered in 1994. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately



Cougnac CaveFourth Cave South, Chapter 20 Land of Painted Caves
Now called les Grottes de Cougnac, the caves are near Gourdon, Lot. The site consists of two caves separated by 200 metres. The first contains many concretions, some very fine, called soda straws. The second is a decorated cave from the Paleolithic. The cave has many prehistoric paintings dated to the upper Paleolithic. Depictions include deer, megaceros, the ibex, and mammoths as well as various schematic human figures. The paintings corresponded to at least two clearly distinct phases: one around 25 000 BP, the other about 14 000 years before the present.


Pech MerleSeventh Cave South, Chapter 21 Land of Painted Caves
Now called Pech Merle, this is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France which remain open to the general public. Extending for more than a mile from the entrance are caverns the walls of which are painted with dramatic murals from 25 000 years ago. The walls of seven of the chambers at Pech Merle have fresh, lifelike images of a woolly mammoth, spotted horses, bovids, reindeer, handprints, and some human figures. Footprints of children, preserved in what was once clay, have been found more than a kilometre underground.


rouffignac Mammoth Cave Chapter 14 Land of Painted Caves
This is the cave that Zelandoni, Ayla and Jondalar visit on the 'mini' donier tour, on their way back from the first summer camp.
Now called La Grotte de Rouffignac, it has a length of over eight kilometres and is one of the largest painted caves in Europe. These galleries were decorated with 158 mammoths associated with woolly rhinoceroses, bison, horses and ibex.


location maps
Location maps of archaeological sites and cave paintings. A new base map of archaeological sites in the south of France has been added.



Willow Pool
Willow Pool - The source was a spring-fed pool with a large willow hovering over it, as though protecting its birthright of water for itself and its offspring: a collection of smaller willows crowding close to the large, overflowing basin. They dismounted, took the riding blankets off the horses, and spread them out on the ground.
(Jean Auel, The Shelters of Stone, Chapter 22.)


Castel-MerleCastel-Merle, Vallon des Roches. This is a very important set of sites within a small area. The Vallon des Roches has a unique geological formation. It consists of high parallel cliffs closer than 100 metres across the little valley and comprising six shelters spread over 400 metres, giving one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric settlements of Aquitaine, from Neandertals to the Magdalenian. The overhanging parts of these shelters have collapsed, mainly towards the end of the last glaciation, and thus ensured very good protection for the archaeological layers.


La Madeleine

La Madeleine. This is known as 'River Front' in the EC books.


laugerie haute

Laugerie Haute, known in the EC books as The Ninth Cave - Arts and Crafts


abri marseilles

L'Abri des Marseilles, between Laugerie Haute and Laugerie Basse


fire
The Dordogne - scene for Book 5, Shelters of Stone. Scenes from the Dordogne, cooking Clan style - preparation of ptarmigan, and using a firestone to make a fire.


laugerie basse

Laugerie Basse, known in the EC books as Down River - Projects


tripleburial200x100

Dolni Vestonice. EC fans know this as the place of the S'Armunai, where Attaroa set herself up as despotic leader of the group.


font de gaume

Font de Gaume in the French Dordogne. In the EC books, this is known as The Deep of Fountain Rocks, where the headland looks like the face of the Mother.


Lepenski VirLepenski Vir - a mesolithic site on the Donau. While this is not the exact site as described by Auel, it is in the same general area as the Sharamudoi, who consist of the Shamudoi and the Ramudoi. The Shamudoi live on the land, while the Ramudoi live on floating docks moored to the shore of the Great Mother River, and ply their boats up and down the Danube in the region known as the Iron Gates Gorge.


  The original Sungaea site
The Sungir - Sunghir - Sungaea site. Although Auel never tells us much about the Sungaea, the burial described in Plains of Passage is derived from this site, a long way away, near Moscow. Two children, aged 8 and 13, were buried head to head with elaborately decorated clothes and other jewellery.


mezhirich200x100.jpg

Mezhirich. This is known as Mammoth Camp in the EC series.


mezin200x100.jpg
Mezin. Known to EC fans as Wolf Camp, it is located at Mezin, in the Ukraine.


 The original Clan Cave site - Shanidar
Shanidar Cave in Iraq. The Clan Cave in the EC series is located on the Crimean Peninsula, but the original was located hundreds of kilometres away in Iraq, and is a very important Neanderthal site. The skeletons corresponding to Creb and Iza are from there.


 The  Clan Fishing site - Sudak on the Crimean coast

The Clan Fishing site - Sudak on the Crimean coast


  The Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf. This is Jondalar's sculpture of the mother.


ayla

The Venus of Brassempouy. This is the sculpture of Ayla.


  Cave paintings and sculptures

Sculpture of 'Whinney', Ayla's horse.


ibogaine

The Sacred Root - The sacred root is not Datura, however there is reason for thinking that Jean used at least the physical form and growth habits of mandrake when she created her "sacred root". The effects, however, are closer those of the iboga plant.


dodder

Golden Thread - Ayla's contraceptive.


  Inconsistencies Inconsistencies in the EC books


geology

Geology for Earth Children fans


Jean Auel

An evening with Jean M. Auel - Various interviews with Jean M. Auel, talks by her, memories of talks by Jean.


Zelandonii Extended Area





Go to the map of the extended Zelandonii 'home' area in the Land of Painted Caves. (Version 2011.06.03)


land of Painted Caves





Go to the map of Journeys in the Land of Painted Caves, the last book in the series. (Version 2011.05.22)


location maps
Location maps of archaeological sites and cave paintings. A new base map of archaeological sites in the south of France has been added.


POP map
Go to the map of all of Ayla's journeys


All of Ayla's journeys are on this map, up to Shelters of Stone. Jondalar and Thonolan pretty much followed the same course when going east, except that after the time with the Sharamudoi they took a boat down the river to the delta. Then after leaving the delta and Willow Camp they would have followed pretty much the same path as Jon and Ayla did on the journey to the Zelandonii, and finished up at the Valley of horses.


pop clickmap

Go to the clickable map of all of Ayla's journeys - click on the camera icon and see the particular area .


cotcb  map

Go to the map of Journeys in Clan of the Cave Bear


cotcb  map

Allez à la carte des trajets de la Caverne du Clan en français


cotcb  local map

Go to the map of the local area around the cave in Clan of the Cave Bear


cotcb  local map

Allez à la carte de la Caverne du Clan en français


VOH  map

Go to the map of the Valley of Horses


VOH  map

Allez à la carte de la vallée des chevaux en français


ukraine map
Go to the map of The Mammoth Hunters, in the Ukraine


This includes Ayla's journeys in Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of Horses, Mammoth Hunters, and the first part of the journey in Plains of Passage


ukraine map in french

Allez à la carte de l'Ukraine en français


lion camp  local map

Go to the map of The Mammoth Hunters Lion Camp local area


lion camp  local map

Allez à la carte des chasseurs de mammouths en français


donau to first snow

Go to the map of the Donau Mouth to First Snow from the Plains of Passage


donau to first snow

Allez à la carte en français « de l'embouchure du Danube à première neige » d'après Le Grand Voyage


Iron Gates contour map
Go to the Iron Gates contour maps


This includes the Sharamudoi journeys, as well as a map for Archeology students without Ayla's journeys.


Sharamudoi Iron Gates  map

Go to the local map of the Sharamudoi / Iron Gates


Sharamudoi carte en francais

Allez à la carte des Sharamudoi en français


first snow to mammoths

Go to the map of First Snow to the Mammoths from the Plains of Passage


first snow to mammoths

Allez à la carte en français de la première neige aux mammouths d'après le Grand Voyage


sarmunai map

Go to the map of the Encounter with the S'Armunai


sarmunai map

Allez à la carte en français de la rencontre avec les S'Armunaï


zelandonii territory

Go to the map of the Shelters of Stone - Zelandonii Territory


zelandonii territory

Allez à la carte de la Territoire des Zelandoni en français


vezere valley

Go to the map of the Vézère Valley for students of archaeology


End of the last Ice AgeThe Causes of the end of the last Ice Age: The last great ice age began around 120 000 years ago. One massive ice sheet, more than 3 kilometres thick in places, grew in fits and starts until it covered almost all of Canada and stretched down as far as Manhattan. Then, 20 000 years ago, a great thaw began. Over the following 10 000 years, the average global temperature rose by 3.5¬į C and most of the ice melted. Rising seas swallowed up low-lying areas such as the English Channel and North Sea, forcing our ancestors to abandon many settlements.


ice maps
Go to the maps of the extent of the ice in the last ice age. A set of maps illustrate how the last British ice sheet shrunk during the Ice Age. The unique maps record the pattern and speed of shrinkage of the large ice sheet that covered the British Isles during the last Ice Age, approximately 20 000 years ago. The sheet, which subsumed most of Britain, Ireland and the North Sea, had an ice volume sufficient to raise global sea level by around 2.5 metres when it melted.


wurm glaciation

Go to the map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation deposits in the Rhone valley.
Carte dressée par P. Mandier L.A 260 CNRS Lyon


wurm glaciation

Go to the map of the Wurm and Riss Glaciation in the headwaters of the Donau (Danube)


Don

How I draw the maps


Don

Cartes dessinées à l’ordinateur


lotr shire  map

Maps of the journeys undertaken by Frodo in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien



  The Venus of Dolni Vestonice

Dolni Vestonice Venus


young mammoth

Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov - Jewellery, Pottery, and other artifacts


Dolni Vestonice I 200x100

Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov sites



tripleburial200x100

Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov Burials, including the triple burial


Dolni V Photo

Dolni Vestonice and the Three Sisters - photographs of the area



sudmahren
S√ľdm√§ren - Southern Moravia, a pictorial overview by Fritz Lange.

This page includes a good modern map of the area, suitable for visitors to Dolni Vestonice / Unterwisternitz.


jewellery200x100

The S'Armunai - Map of the local area for fans of the Earth Children series by Jean Auel, showing Ayla's journey in the area.




Back to Don's Maps