Abri Pataud

The Abri Pataud is an Upper Paleolithic archaeological site of the French commune of Les Eyzies -de- Tayac- Sireuil in the Dordogne.

History of Research

The Abri was after Marcel Pataud, a local farmer, named, who discovered it in the late 19th century. Emile Rivière described the reference for the first time in 1899 under the name " La Croze de Tayac ". 1901 and 1906, minor excavations by Rivière, 1902 by Louis Capitan. 1909 designated Denis Peyrony the site served as " Abri Pataud " whose excavation report was published in 1949.

The systematic study started in 1953 by Hallam L. Movius, a professor of Prehistory and Early History at Harvard University. Movius conducted from 1958 to 1964 six further excavations, in his research findings have been published by Harvey M. Bricker. There then followed further work is one of the Muséum national d' excavation team histoire naturelle.

Since 1930, the Abri Pataud Monument historique, reaffirmed in 1958 for the two shelters.

Geographical location

The Abri Pataud is located in the municipality of Les Eyzies -de- Tayac- Sireuil between the village of Tayac and Les Eyzies, on the left bank of the Vézère and about 250 meters downstream from the Abri Cro- Magnon. The Abri actually consists of two sections, a Abri behind the barn of the farm, and a subsequent, very deep Abri, now in honor of Movius Movius called Abri. The latter served the farm once a wine cellar and now houses a small museum, which was opened on the initiative of Henri de Lumley 1990. The Abri Hallam was still inhabited in the Middle Ages and was then fitted in the 18th century with a brick wall, on the lintel is engraved 1734.

Below the Abri Pataud is the Abri Vignaud.


The first Abri was filled with a 9.25 meter thick sedimentary sequence, could differ in Hallam 14 layers with traces of human occupation. Among them were nine layers of the Aurignacian, Gravettian layers at four very rich or Perigordian ( Perigordian IV to VII ), and a final layer of the Lower Solutrean laurel leaf tips.

Quick occupancy in winter. There are no fireplaces. In addition to tool patterns remains of animals and the skeletons of six people, including a well-preserved skull of a young woman. 18,000 objects made ​​of stone and organic materials, among which are 1,150 retouched stone tools. Graver, also Mehrschlagstichel dominate, scratches and scrapers are very rare. For back knives there is a special technique. There are different types of projectile points made ​​of bone. Overall, there is great similarity with the industries of Laugerie Haute.

  • 2 Perigordian VI, Level 3:

In this period there were at least six assignments. Most of the material comes from lens 2 There are over 2,000 stone artifacts, which were about 1,300 units described. Graver and graver partially endretuschierte are predominant (31% ), followed by scrapers ( 14%). Back tools and Gravettespitzen are very numerous. In addition, there are characteristic stone tools, such as scratches from amorphous discounts, some Rückenmesserchen in community with many Gravettespitzen, endretuschierte drill and a series of different projectile points. Similarity with the Marerial of Perigordian VI of Laugerie Haute, but not with the Noaillien of Pataud 4, apart from the dominance of endretuschierten graver and frequency of bone tools. Similarity with pieces of Pataud 5: continuity of the development of technology between the late Mittelpérigordien (classic Gravettian ) and the Perigordian VI. There were six fires that were parallel to the rock wall in a row.

  • 3 Noaillien ( Perigordian Vc) Level 4:

Divided into lens 4a, upper, middle and lower lens. Findings in lens 4a, separated by a boulder from the others, not to be assigned. Upper and middle lens: material from the Noaillien supérieur, lower lens: Noaillien inférieur. In total there are 11,000 stone artifacts, of which 5,200 are tools. Pricks (especially Noailles - Scribe) here are much more numerous than scratches. In Noaillien supérieur there Raysse gravers, graver and endretuschierte endretuschierte chisel points while back tools are extremely rare. In Noaillien are inférieur Noailles Tips and surface retouched burin frequently, and there are scratches pointed arch and those with back edge. Among the many bone tools are various small projectile points, including projectile points of type Isturitz. The Noaillien of Pataud shows for quantity and quality of the tools in Level 3 and 5, major differences to Perigordian. In the upper lens two human teeth and a human Femurfragment were found.

  • 4 Medium Perigordian, Level 5:

5,600 retouched tools: Pricks and scratches are equally frequent, Gravettespitzen very numerous (20-30% ), many Fléchettes, bone industry is very rare, no projectile points. Similarity with La Gravette in the level of classical Gravettian. There were 11 fireplaces, and two human primary teeth were found.

  • 5 Aurignacian, Level 6-14:

Four phases of the Aurignacian: Level 6: Postaurignacien II; Level 7, 8: Aurignacian II; Level 11, 12: Aurignacian I; Level 13, 14: Protoaurignacien I. tendency to turn away from bone points with a forked base, increase the graver, reducing the edge retouching and the large blades.

The archaeologically relevant sequence covers roughly the period 33000-20000 BP.

The second, deep Abri mainly contains documents from the Gravettian and the Solutrean.


Besides the typical for the individual stages of culture stone artifacts were found following remarkable works of art:

  • Silhouette of a woman engraved on a boulder from the Perigordian VI ( Abri ).
  • Very lifelike relief representation of an ibex (Capra ibex), which can be seen in the roof of the second rock shelters. The presentation could be attributed to the Solutrean. It was not noticed until 1986.

In the rear portion of the first shelters also skull and skeleton of a 16- year-old woman were discovered with their newborn. The woman was 1.60 meters tall and beside her was a necklace with beads and pierced teeth. She was christened Madame Pataud and the sculptor E. Granqvist created by it for the museum, a sculpture. The skeleton Fund comes from the Perigordian VII ( called Protomagdalénien ).

Interesting is the finding of a hand ax, which had been prepared more than 100,000 years ago BP of Neanderthals during the Moustériens and was then re- used at the beginning of the Magdalenian Cro -Magnons.

The main findings are being presented today in a small museum next to the find site, which was inaugurated on 31 March 1990. The museum is an offshoot of the Muséum national d' histoire naturelle.

Skull young woman Perigordian VII

Again Used biface Neanderthals