Cultural development and interaction with nature expressed by the palaeolithic art in dordogne region of france



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Sheila Spire Travelling Scholarship
KATARZYNA LITWA

Bsc Physical Geography and Archaeology



CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTION WITH NATURE EXPRESSED BY THE PALAEOLITHIC ART IN DORDOGNE REGION OF FRANCE.

CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTION WITH NATURE EXPRESSED BY THE PALAEOLITHIC ART IN DORDOGNE REGION OF FRANCE.

The broad aim of my project was to learn about and understand the Palaeolithic culture complexity along with geology; climate and landscape of the Southern France. The report is a complement to the report I have written previously and titled Cultural development and interaction with nature expressed by the Palaeolithic Art in Cantabria. As the previous report it is written in order of places visited and it is only an overview of my research.

As previously my visit to Spain, this year visit to France has enabled me to extend my knowledge about the Dordogne region, its landscape, geology and climate and to see first-hand the caves with their art. Researching Palaeolithic art, artefacts and palaeoclimate is an excellent way of gaining knowledge about the prehistoric people and their lives as I stressed before. My research concentrated not only on caves but also included visits to Prehistoric Park and National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies and trips to the local mountains. Different approaches allowed me to piece together information from various fields.



Some key information about the Dordogne.

The Dordogne region forms the northern part of the Aquitaine. It is divided into four regions, the Périgord Noir (Black), the Périgord Blanc (White), the Périgord Vert (Green) and the Périgord Pourpre (Purple). The Dordogne claims a unique concentration of prehistoric caves and shelters, particularly in the Vézère Valley in Périgord Noir which has been designated a World Heritage Site. The first excavations in 1863 revealed the key to 200 000 years of prehistory in the region. Almost 200 sites have been discovered since those early days, including a number of Stone Age shelters with unrivalled wall paintings, engravings and sculpture. From Lascaux to Les Eyzies, the caves and rock shelters of the Vézère Valley offer a journey back in time, further enriched by a visit to the National Museum of Prehistory and nearby prehistoric parks.



Map of Périgord Noir with the Vézère Valley and places visited.




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