June 24, 2024

Southern France: Archaeologists have found stone slabs with horses


“Completely unexpected” – archaeologists find stone slabs with horses

In Belgard, a town in the south of France, archaeologists have found many objects, some of which are more than 22,000 years old. Among them are special tablets of limestone.


Archaeologists have discovered about 100,000 artifacts in Bellegarde (southern France).

France Press agency

  • During several months of excavations, archaeologists have found about 100,000 items made of polished flint, such as weapons and tools, as well as animal bones and shells.

  • They found it on top of an emerging landfill site in the south of France.

  • They were particularly enthusiastic about two small limestone monoliths inscribed with the features of a horse.

During excavations in the village of Bellegard in southern France, archaeologists were surprised to discover images of horses carved in stone. Specialists from the French archaeological institute INRAP told reporters on Thursday that the place appeared to have been inhabited 20,000 years before Christ. The head of the excavation project, Vincent Maury, said the images of horses found were “particularly rare in southeastern France – and totally unexpected at the gates of the Camargue”.

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Therefore, the inscriptions belong «Among the oldest known works»From this Paleolithic culture. According to the results of experts, they were created in the same period as the famous Paleolithic paintings in the Lascaux Cave in western France, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Eleven months of excavations

Researchers were first called to the wine-growing region of Costières de Nîmes in southern France in 2015 — and finally found a settlement of primitive hunter-gatherers on the site of an emerging landfill. According to them, the somewhat elevated town of Bellegarde may have been suitable as a stopover for nomads because of the nearby water source. In addition, it probably provided a good view of the herds of wild horses that moved across the wide low plain of the Camargue.

During the 11-month excavations thereafter, archaeologists unearthed about 100,000 flint pieces cut as weapons and tools, as well as animal bones and shells, which are believed to have served as jewelry. Some finds It is more than 22,000 years old.

The researchers described the moment when they were cleaning the collected objects as particularly moving when they held two small limestone slabs with engraved horse features in their hands – the eyes, mane and mouth were clearly visible on them.

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