Vezere Valley Caves

Prehistoric Caves, Rock Shelters and Dwellings in the Vezere Valley
The limestone caves along the Vézère offer some of the most interesting and important prehistoric sites in the world, making it the birthplace of European humanity. Were these caves a sanctuary where prehistoric people worshipped the animals they admired or were they just “art galleries” where the more artistic let their talent run wild? Why did they choose to decorate these caves and not others? Whatever the answers, we are left in no doubt about one or two things: our Ancestors showed great taste when they chose to stop in the Périgord and there is much to learn about them just by looking at the fabulous legacy they left for us in the caves along the Vézère.

Lascaux

 

Caves of Lascaux - Ferme de Tayac

This is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. It was discovered in 1940 by 4 boys searching for their dog, and was first opened to the public in 1947. Due to the very significant damage caused by the large number of visitors, it was closed again in 1963. Lascaux II, near Montignac, is a faithful reproduction of the original Lascaux caves.

** 30 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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Régourdou is situated a few hundred yards from Lascaux. A skeleton of Neandarthal Man was discovered here. 

 


Font de Gaume

Cave of Font de Gaume - Ferme de Tayac

Located in Les Eyzies, on the Sarlat road, Font de Gaume Cave is a showpiece of Magdalenian engravings and paintings from around 14 000 BC. The flints (chisels, scrapers, blades) and other things found in the cave during the excavations testify to a continual occupation since the Mousterian age, or the age of the Neanderthals.

** 3 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac ** 

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Cap Blanc

Cap Blanc The limestone rock shelter of Cap Blanc, near Laussel, northeast of Les Eyzies in France’s Dordogne region, is well known to the world of prehistory as the site of one of the finest sculptured friezes to survive the last Ice Age, the first to be unearthed, and currently the best to remain open to the public.

** 10 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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Grand Roc

Grand Roc - Ferme de Tayac

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 giving way to a slow flowing spring. Unaware of the origin of this flow, this 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.

** 3 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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La Roque St Christophe

Roque St. Christophe - Ferme de Tayac

This is a most fascinating place, this large natural terrace was first inhabited approximately 70,000 years ago. It has provided shelter for man through the ages. In the 10th century the Bishop of Périgueux had the cave fortified to stop the Vikings from sailing on the Vézère. You can see the remains of a whole village and imagine what it was like when 1500 people were living in it.

** 10 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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Le Moustier

Le Moustier - Ferme de Tayac

The importance of the cave site of Le Moustier lies not in the partial skeleton located there, but in the tool assemblage recovered, which gives the name to the “Mousterian” tool tradition. The Mousterian tradition is characterized by flake tools that were detached from of a prepared stone core. This technique allowed flakes of predetermined shape to be removed and fashioned into tools from a single suitable stone. This technology differs from earlier “core tool” traditions, such as the Acheulean of Homo erectus, in which a suitable stone was “reduced down” to a tool form by removal of flakes off the surface

** 10 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **
 

 


Rouffignac

Rouffignac - Ferme de Tayac

The cave of Rouffignac is unique in many ways. First, it is about three miles from the Vèzére River; all the others are much closer. Secondly it is really long -several miles long. In order to see the artwork you join your guide on a small electric train that travels about half a mile into the cave.

** 10 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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La Madeleine

La Madeleine - Ferme de Tayac

This shelter, near Tursac, has revealed a child skeleton and some “furniture” 10,000 years old. It is closed to the public but the “Cave Fort” should be visited. It was used through the ages to live in at first and later as a hiding place.

** 10 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **
 

 

 

 

 


Les Eyzies

Caves Les Eyzies de Tayac - Ferme de Tayac

In and around the town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac are a series of prehistoric rock dwellings, the caves include some of the mostsignificant archaeological finds of the Upper Paleolithic (from about 40,000 to10,000 years ago) and Middle Paleolithic (200,000 to 40,000 years ago) periods;they are especially noted for their extensive wall drawings.

** 5 min. walk from Ferme de Tayac **

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Cro Magnon shelter ( Les Eyzies de Tayac ) Five skeletons of our ancestor, the Cro-Magnon Man, were discovered in this shelter. The skeletons were surrounded by jewels and shells. It was here that the link was discovered between us ( modern man) and our Prehistoric ancestors the Neanderthal

** 3 min. walk from Ferme de Tayac **

 


Les Combarelles 

DiscoLes Combarelles Ferme de Tayacvered in 1901 by Louis Capitain Henri Breuil and Denis Peyrony, the engravings of Les Combarelles Cave made a major contribution to the acceptance of parietal art. Along with those of Font-de-Gaume Cave, discovered just a few days later, and those of La Mouthe, known since 1895, the parietal works of Les Combarelles convinced researchers who until then did not believe that prehistoric humans had the mental and technical capacities necessary to realize them.

** 3 min. drive from Ferme de Tayac **

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