Combarelles Cave

With more than 600 instances of cave art, most of them engraved, the Combarelles Cave, discovered in 1901 and certified by L. Capitan, H. Breuil and D. Peyrony, is rightly considered as a major sanctuary of Magdalenian culture. Beyond the porch excavated by E. Rivière as early as 1892 two diverging galleries sink back into the rock.


The largest of the two, which is open to visitors, is a narrow zigzagging hallway of more than 240 meters in length. The animals, finely engraved and more rarely drawn in black, evoke a diversified fauna including horses, reindeer, ibex, mammoths, rhinoceros, bears, large cats and a few bovine; reading these tangled animal engravings is made easier by an often realist treatment that clearly distinguishes them from an exceptional ensemble of about 50 much more schematic anthropomorphic figures and from a few signs, notably tectiform signs.

It is all attributed to the recent Magdalenian, around 13,000 B.C.