Archaeological Site in Angouleme, France Yields Prehistoric Stone Art

Archaeological Site in Angouleme, France Yields Prehistoric Stone Art

Archaeological excavations in Angouleme, France recently yielded another example of prehistoric art engraved in stone by hunter-gatherers of the prehistoric Azilian custom. This newest discovery is said to date back around 14,000 years ago.

The Angouleme finds include a number of sandstones engraved with depiction of horses, deer, and aurochs, species of a now extinct wild cattle. These most recent archaeological finds are similar to previous stone artifacts that had been diagnosed as belonging to the Azilian industry, such as the microliths, flat bone harpoons, and painted pebbles.

Microliths refer to the small flint stone tools used as spear points or arrow heads. After all, the area where the engraved sandstones were found was a known hunting site of the prehistoric Azilian culture. Aside from the engraved stones, archaeologists also found at the site, sharpened stone tools used for stripping carcasses.

Among the Angouleme archaeological finds, the stone art regarded as having the most visible etching is the one that the French National Institute of Preventative Archaeological Researchers (INRAP) describes as showing a headless horse. The headless horse image was engraved to occupy half of the surface, with the horse rump and saddle following the natural curves along the edge of the stone. Fine incisions made on the etched drawings are suggestive of the texture of the horse’s body covering or coat.

France has always been an important digging site for archaeologists, because the country has a scattering of geographical locations in which European Early Modern Human (EEMH) or the anatomically modern humans, a.k.a. Cro-Magnons, had inhabited during the Upper Paleolithic period about 48,000 to 15,000 years ago.

Other Recent Stone Arts Unearthed in French Archaeological Sites

In 2017, New York University anthropologists were involved in the study of a group of early humans belonging to the ancient Aurignacian culture that existed around 43,000 to 33,000 prehistoric years ago.

 

 

In the course of their digging at the Abri Blanchard site in Vézère Valley in France, they unearthed a 38,000-year-old stone slab engraved with an image of the now extinct wild cow auroch. This particular stone art discovery has been touted as one of the earliest artworks made by the EEMH inhabitants of Europe.