Arago Cave

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Site type:
42.83, 2.75

Arago cave is a prehistoric site in the community of Tautavel, in the department of Pyrénées-Orientales. It is a large cavity overlooking a perennial stream called the Verdouble. Human remains attributed to the Tautavel Man and the lithic remnants of the Lower Paleolithic were discovered in the cave.

The Arago cave has more than fifteen meters of sediment, rocks, and debris accumulated over a period of about 100,000 to 700,000 years. By their quantity (the period of excavations from 1967 to 1994 yielded about 260,000 objects including bones and lithic remains) and their diversity, these vestiges give much information on prehistoric human groups that lived there, but also on animals, plants, and climates that followed in the region during these 600,000 years.

On July 27, 2015, the Museum of Prehistory of Tautavel announced the discovery by young volunteer excavators of a tooth dating back 550,000 years on the site. This fossil tooth is 100,000 years older than the skull of the Man of Tautavel.