Font-de-Gaume, France

Font-de-Gaume is a cave near Les Eyzies de Tayac, Dordogne, France – the centre of prehistory. The cave contains prehistoric polychrome cave paintings and engravings. The paintings were discovered by Denis Peyrony, a local schoolmaster, on 12 September 1901.

The cave had been known to the general public before this, but the significance of the paintings had not been recognised. Four days previous to discovery, Peyrony had visited the cave at Les Combarelles, a short distance away, with the archaeologist Henri Breuil, where he saw its prehistoric engravings.

The paintings in the cave at Font-de-Gaume were the first to be discovered in the Périgord province. Prehistoric people living in the Dordogne Valley first settled in the mouth of Font-de-Gaume around 25 000 BC.

Photo: Hand Painted Skirt Design

The cave mouth was inhabited for the next several thousand years. However, after the original prehistoric inhabitants left, the cave was forgotten until the nineteenth century when local people again began to visit the cave. The paintings date from around 17 000 BC, during the Magdalenian period. Many have been discovered in recent decades. The cave’s most famous artwork, a frieze of five bison was discovered accidentally in 1966, while scientists were cleaning the cave.

Video introduction – Font De Gaume

There is no real footage of that would do justice to this incredible site. All the videos we managed to find were in French. The only only one at least a little bit suitable is made by “”, which is a short visual representation. If you manage to find anything more up to date, please do let us know. Thank you!

Pinafore dress with image from Font-de-Gaume cave
Pinafore dress with image from Font-de-Gaume cave