MP Gallery - Fontmaure, France; La Roche-Cotard, France; El Guettar, Tunisia; a) fontmasideview

Site: Fontmaure, France. Mousterien of Acheulian Tradition and Chatelperronian; Neanderthal.

From the website Neanderthaler Art (URL below): "[The Fontmaure site] contains material that is at least 40.000 years old, from the Chatelperronian and Mousterian, the Neanderthal era. In the thirties and forties of the twentieth century a local amateur archaeologist Dr. Pradel undertook a lot of excavations. Apparently a part of his collection is in the Lussac-les-Chateaux museum. Pradel published a number of articles about his finds. One of the sites more remarkable finds is a unique jasper-like mineral, the socalled ‘jaspe de Fontmaure’. This miniral, which is only found here, is primarily red and yellow. Many of the objects found are made of this stone; other objects are made of sandstone (named grès), flint and light grey quartz. This light grey quartz originates from a place that is situated about hundred kilometres from Fontmaure. Another unusual feature is that, to date, it is one of a few known open-air settlements. Shortly after Dr. Pradel declared the Fontmaure site as non-yielding, Tedde Toet, a Dutch fossil and artefact collector from The Hague, decided to explore the area with a few friends. Besides the typical kind of tools they found, there were also items of a different nature, that of human and animal figures. Furthermore they came across so-called symbolic stones, such as triangular stones, round discs and stone balls, so-called ‘bolas’. At the beginning of this year the ‘Museon’, the education museum in The Hague held a small exhibition Tolerated Past’ using the sub-title 'Neanderthal tools and art from Fontmaure, France’" ( The 'Tolerated Past' site presents human figurines (female figurines, portrait heads, grotesque masks) and animal figurines (mammoth, bison, feline, bear, horse, bird, fish,, tools and other objects from Fontmaure,

Identification and collection (Jan Evert Musch). This photo shows a female figurine in the triangular style characteristic of Middle Paleolithic sites across Europe and the Middle East. More images of this figurine in next two photos.

Photo © Jan Evert Musch

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