The Prehistoric Cave of Commarque

In 2018,

Discover the new Scenography on the Prehistoric Cave of Commarque with 3D features !

Since the dawn of time …

The World Valley of Sculpture

Perhaps it is thus out of gratitude that the first artists in existence here proved to have carved and engraved some of the most beautiful representations of parietal art. Archaeologists record in situ 100,000 years of human occupation and especially an incredible concentration of sites with prehistoric sculptures.

“The world valley of sculpture”, as the specialists baptized it includes among others the bison of the Greze, the frieze of horses of Cap Blanc, the five venus of Laussel (of which the “Venus with the horn”) … And Of course the horse of the cave of Commarque.

The horse of Commarque

At the beginning of the 3rd millennium as on the day of its discovery, in August 1915 by the Abbe Breuil and Pierre Paris, the entrance to the cave of Commarque is concealed by a large rock shelter at the foot of the cliff, Exact alignment of the Roman dungeon. In 15 000 BC, this same access overlooked the valley, about 20 meters above the level of the Magdalenian soil.

While a number of lithic and palaeontological remains (including polar fox bones or boreal wax-associated with common game) indicate that the Palaeolithic hunters were occupying the site, the cavity is above all exceptional for its representations Parietals dating from the Magdalenian period, mostly animals but also many female figures, a dozen vulva and two human faces.

But the most emblematic and spectacular representation of the cave of Commarque * is undoubtedly that of a life-size horse sculpted in bas-relief and whose head is strikingly realistic. “A horse in complete freedom arises from the rock; A horse before its submission by man, “enthuses Siegfried Giedion, historian of art and architecture, in” L’Eternel présent “(1965-1966).
* Closed to the public, some of the performances are exhibited in the 1st floor of the dungeon.

Commarque, a calibration cave

Archaeologists from the National Prehistory Center are currently conducting 3D surveys in the prehistoric cave of Commarque. This work (in which new representations have already been discovered) is intended to establish a new nomenclature for decorated caves.