Musee National de Prehistoire

Les Eyzies

You cannot miss the Museum in Les Eyzies because of its statue at the front of the cliff which is a presentation of Cro-Magnon man by Paul Darde in 1930. I must say that it is not the best statue that I have ever seen, something like Marmite you love it or hate it.

Marmite?

Marmite? Love it or hate it the statue of Cro-Magnon. He looks rather sad with his drooping shoulders and his forlorn face, don’t you think?

The Museum is built in the overhang of a limestone cliff over looking the lovely Vezere River. It gives a comprehensive overview of prehistoric life in the area and has some fascinating artefacts, but most of the information is in French, though English language tours can be booked. It is closed Tuesday and Saturday and two hours at lunch time.

Level I is full of helpful tables and charts which put the mind-boggling millennia into perspective. If, technologically, humankind got off to a slow start (see the flint blades on level I) the opposite is true in art: the rooms on Level II form a kind of Louvre of prehistory, with the largest collection anywhere of carved stone blocks.

Level III has a collection of art mobilier casts, of works mostly found along the river in the 19th Century.

Level IV contain casts of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon skulls, bones of animals and several sepulchres-the remains of bodies covered with ochre and rare seashells.

The drawing on the back of the case shows what the animal was in life, in this case a bison.

bison

bison

A Rhino-fascinating. Again, the drawing on the back of the case shows what the animal was like.

Rhino

Rhino

An amazing bear.

bear

bear

This stag was so huge; being hobbit size I came up to its thigh.

Giant stag

Giant stag

I think that you can just see the ochre on the skeleton, truly amazing.

skeleton

skeleton

Now this man I like, he looks so real, very well done.

he looks so real

he looks so real

An action pose

An action pose

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