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Site type:
45, 1.1

The Castanet shelter is one of the rock shelters of the Castel Merle (or Castermerle) site on the territory of the commune of Sergeac in Dordogne (France). It has prehistoric engravings dating back to the Aurignacian. This Paleolithic site was classified as a historical monument on October 18, 1912.

The one-and-a-half-ton rock plate detached from the wall. It is engraved with shapes sometimes tinged with ochre: vulvas, phallus, geometric figures and animals, especially horses.

A dating to 14C gives it an age of 37,000 years, making it one of the oldest parietal representations in the world. with those of the Chauvet cave and the Baume-Latrone cave in the Rhône Valley.

However, given the reliability of measurements based on carbon-14, the prehistorian Brigitte Delluc does not confirm such a precise dating, recalling that the furniture already found at Castel Merle would date from −30,000 to −35,000 years ago.