Abri de la Madeleine

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Site type:
44.96, 1.02

The archaeological site Abri de la Madeleine (Magdalene Shelter) is a rock shelter under an overhanging cliff situated near Tursac, in the Dordogne département of the Aquitaine région of southwestern France. It represents the type site of the Magdalenian culture of the Upper Paleolithic. The shelter was also occupied during the Middle Ages. The medieval castle of Petit Marsac stands on the top of the cliff just above the shelter.

Édouard Lartet, financed and helped by the Englishman Henry Christy, were the first systematic excavators of the site, starting in 1863, and published their findings in 1875 under the name of the Age of the Reindeer ("L'âge du renne"). Objects that were found at the la Madeleine site are distributed among a number of museums, including the Muséum de Toulouse, the Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St. Germain-en-Laye and the British Museum.

The Bison Licking Insect Bite, a 20,000-year-old carving (15,000 BP according to the National Museum of Prehistory) of exceptional artistic quality, was excavated at the site.

A perforated baton with low relief horse aka. Baton fragment (Palart 310), was excavated at the site.

An engraved bone rod from the cave depicts, according to Timothy Taylor (1996), a lioness licking the opening of either a gigantic human penis or a vulva.


Age MinAge Max
Bison Licking Insect Bite