Grotte de Montconfort

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Site type:
Site function:
Habitation site, Decor cave
43.14, 0.94

The Montconfort cave, sometimes also called Montpezat cave, is a Magdalenian site (Upper Paleolithic), located in the commune of Saint-Martory, Haute-Garonne, in the Occitanie region, in France.

It is the northernmost ornate cave in the Garonne Valley. Like the cave of Gourdan, it is characterized by its parietal art illuminated by natural light and associated with a prehistoric occupation.

The Montconfort cave has delivered several levels of fireplaces and many pieces of Magdalenian furniture, including blades, ornaments, half-round rods, etc., including Lussac-Angles type spears. Montconfort is thus added to the short list of known Pyrenean sites that testify to the relations between the north of Aquitaine and the southern regions, with the spread of these spears towards the south (Quercy, Pyrenees, Cantabrian region). In the Pyrenees, these are Troubat (Hautes-Pyrénées), Marsoulas, les Scilles (caves of Lespugue), Gourdan (Haute-Garonne), the Salle des Morts d'Enlène (Ariège), Montfort (Saint-Lizier, Ariège), Canecaude (Villardonnel, Aude).

An isolated fish tail, broken at birth, was collected with a few needle fragments, lamellar bone tools, and some other less characteristic debris, including a pointed four-sided spear base. There were no fragments of harpoons or simple engraving.

Lithic tooling includes double flint scrapers.

The cave has wall engravings, discovered in 1980 (according to É. Boche) or 1985 (according to Aujoulat) by Jean-Paul Huot and attributed to the Middle Magdalenian by N. Aujoulat (1990).

The main element is a representation of bison12 70 × 40 cm located at man height on the left wall of the cave. Another engraving would be on the same wall, 80 cm to the left of the bison.

These engravings, close to the entrance, are illuminated by natural light. They have been partially degraded by natural erosion agents (frost fraction, flaking, bacteria, corrosion). The association for the development of Prehistory in Midi-Pyrénées had a cast of the engraved panel made in 1992.