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Détail d’une tête de cheval gravée, provenant du Rocher de l’Impératrice

Detail of an engraved horse head from the Rocher de l’Impératrice site in Plougastel-Daoulas, Finistère. This rock shelter, where digging began in 2013, was mainly occupied at the start of the Azilian, around 14,500 years ago. It was used for short periods by hunters visiting the valley that is now under the sea. Flint tools have been found in this shelter, as well as engraved schist tablets. These tablets, the oldest evidence of artwork in Brittany, show an abstract register (hatching, grids and zigzags) as well as naturalistic representations of horses and aurochs. Traces of charcoal identified on several tablets suggest that these tablets were painted. Artistic remains from this period are particularly rare, and this discovery provides a link between the highly detailed figurative art of the preceding Magdalenian culture (Lascaux, Niaux, Font-de-Gaume, etc.) and the development of geometric art painted and engraved on small stones during the Azilian. (Naudinot N, Bourdier C, Laforge M, Paris C, Bellot-Gurlet L, Beyries S, et al. (2017) Divergence in the evolution of Paleolithic symbolic and technological systems: The shining bull and engraved tablets of Rocher de l'Impératrice. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173037.)

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