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Sculptured horse's head from Roc-aux-Sorciers.

Sculptured horse head, Musée d’Archéologie Nationale.

Period: Palaeolithic
Site: Rock Art

Roc-aux-Sorciers is in fact two rock shelters, located on a riverside about 30 metres apart. In the first, an archaeologist excavating the Palaeolithic deposits, a block of limestone was found in 1929 with a mammoth engraved on it. In 1950 a second shelter was excavated by archaeologists, Suzanne Saint Mathurin and Dorothy Garrod, during which they unearthed an 18 metre long frieze that had many carvings of human figures and animals on it. The archaeological deposits are dated to the Magdalenian, and a radio-carbon date of 14,160 year ago was obtained.

The deposits indicate that the shelter was definitely used for habitation. Another clue can be found on the wall of the shelter – where there are over 50 carved rings on the wall. It is thought that these were used for hanging something, whether objects or hangings used to cover the carved frieze. One of the interesting aspects of the carved panel are the carved depictions of women.

The two shelters are not accessible to the public. The large carved panel has been faithfully reproduced and is on view at the Centre d’Interprétation de la Frise Magdalénienne in the nearby town of Angles-sur-L’Anglin – a name sometimes used in the literature for the archaeological sites.

Facilities & Visiting the Centre d’Interprétation de la Frise Magdalénienne:

entry-fee-euro not-open-year-round opening-hours multimedia-guides events family-children-activities wheelchair-accessible guide-dogs-allowed onsite-shop toilets wheelchair-toilet photographs-allowed parking bus-parking

Where is the Centre d’Interprétation de la Frise Magdalénienne?

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Objects & Artefacts in Museum Collections Elsewhere:

In 1991 the owner of the two shelters died and left the caves to the State and her archaeological collections and archives to the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale. On display in the museum are a number of carved blocks from the Roc-aux-Sorciers.

Further Information:

  • Check the official website for contact details, up-to-date information on prices and opening hours