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News & Events

from 08 to 16 november 2008
Salon Marjolaine
Bio & Sustainable Development
At the Parc Floral in Paris, the fair exhibition Marjolaine is the event of bio and eco-consumer responding to the needs of those who decided to make another choice of life and society.

from 15 to 23 november 2008
Week of Solidarity
The world is changing, and you?
The 11th week of international solidarity invites you to participate to more than 5000 original animations and friendly throughout France.

18 november 2008
"Children from here, children from elsewhere"
Game-animation created and hosted by Hum Anim, intervention at the primary school of Beauville (47) within the week of international solidarity in the class of GS/PA for children 5 and 6 years.

Prehistoric cave of Pech Merle...

  Pech Merle Padirac Photo Gallery  
The Prehistoric Cave of Pech Merle
Location and History

The cave of the Pech Merle is a prehistoric cave decorated located on the commune of Cabrerets. It opens in a hill (pech in langue d'oc) dominating the valleys of Sagne and That, in Quercy. Henri Breuil would have declared that « the painted room of the cave of the Pech Merle is like the Sixtine Vault of the limestone of the Lot ».

The Pech Merle Igue was known to the surrounding residents and was then surveyed several times before revealing all its secrets. The first room called « red room » because of its reddish concretions, was discovered between 1906 and 1914 by Henri Redon, medical student in Paris, accompanied by his cousin Mr. Touzery. The « painted cave » was then discovered September 4, 1922 by Andrew David, his sister Martha and Henry David Dutertre.

In 1949, Andrew David discovers the network Combel. Amedee Lemozi studying the paintings discovered.

It is classified a historical monument and is a major site of Paleolithic art in Europe.

The Art of Pech Merle

Large enough, the cave comprises two subsets located on both sides of the prehistoric entry:

  • in the east are visible red punctuations, horses, cat-like and, in a diverticulum called Combel, three imaginary figures evoking of the megaceros stags;
  • to the west a vaster and richer network, the only accessible one at the time of the tourist visits extends. It understands in particular a named composition black plank associating a horse, bisons and mammoths, many digital layouts with the ceiling, negative hands associated with punctuations as well as panel known as of the punctuated horses. This complex composition was undoubtedly carried out in several stages. It understands two horses, one directed towards the left, the other towards the line, accompanied of six black negative hands, signs and punctuations. A large fish in red fine feature comes to superimpose itself on the horse of right-hand side.

    This last was the object of a direct dating by the carbon-14, whose result is of approximately - 25,000 years BP. This date corresponds to Gravettian, which is compatible with others elements of which negative hands. However, it is possible that part of paintings and engravings of Pech Merle goes back to a more recent phase, namely Magdalenian.
Thus, materials and colors vibrate together with a subtlety intact since the Middle Ages.


Although the number of daily visitors is limited, Pech Merle is one of the major decorated Paleolithic caves that are open to the public. On site, the Museum of Prehistory Amedee Lemozi, labelised Museum of France, completes the visit of the cave. Many researchers have study the museum's collections, which offer an overview of regional prehistory.

In 2006, 72,000 people visited the cave. 1 600 m of tunnels and rooms are currently accessible to visitors.