Grotte de Jovelle

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Site type:
45.36, 0.43

The Grotte de Jovelle is a French-decorated cave located in the commune of La Tour-Blanche-Cercles, in the Dordogne department and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

It is protected as a historical monument.

In the autumn of 1983, Christian Carcauzon discovered the presence of animal engravings on the walls near the entrance to the cave.

Studied by Norbert Aujoulat and then by Brigitte and Gilles Delluc, the cave reveals engravings of mammoths, an ibex and an equine as well as others to be defined because they are partly masked by the scree that has accumulated on the ground, due in particular to the exploitation of the adjoining quarries, active until the 1940s.

The design of these engravings, dating to the Upper Paleolithic, recalls that of the cave of Pair-non-Pair, in the neighboring department of Gironde.

The ground also features remains of bones from reindeer and equines, as well as prehistoric tools such as chisels or scrapers. More recent pottery fragments, representative of the Iron Age, have also been unearthed.

The site has been the subject of several excavation campaigns in the 2020s, revealing arrowheads dating back to about 60,000 years before the present and food remains (reindeer and horse bones) dated between −35,000 and −27,000.