Site: Rock Art
The grotte de Bra-Bahau has an interesting set of 18 known fine-line engravings of horses, bison, aurochs, deer and bears, as well as a few geometric patterns. The images are in the deepest part of the cave, which is about 100 metres long and 12 metres wide – reaching to a height of 6 metres in places. Besides the engravings and other evidence of human occupation, there is also evidence that bears hibernated in the cave. Besides bear bones and teeth, there are also claw scratch marks on the limestone cave wall. In one instance a Palaeolithic artist very cleverly turned the claw marks into an image of a human hand by simply adding an incised line.
The engravings are thought to be about 14,000 years old, whereas the bears probably occupied the cave much earlier than this – between 50 and 80,000 years ago. The original cave floor was much higher, it has been lowered to make visiting the engraved panel easier. As the depictions are finely incised they are not always that easy to see. Line drawings of the Palaeolithic images have been placed on light-boxes in front of the depictions.
Facilities & Visiting Bara-Bahau:
Guided tours, about 35 minutes in length, are available in English and French.
Where is Bara-Bahau?
- Check the official website for contact details, up-to-date information on prices and opening hours
- Archaeology Travel Article: Getting Started in Les Eyzies: Pôle international de la Préhistoire
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