Grotte de Montespan
The Montespan cave is a French underground cavity, also called Souterrain de Houantaou. The cave has been classified as a historic monument since 19241. Located in the communes of Montespan and Ganties in Haute-Garonne, Occitanie region, it is famous for its scenes of cave art as well as the presence of clay animal statues dating from the Upper Paleolithic.
On August 21, 1922, Norbert Casteret was freed through two siphons. In 1923, he discovered clay reliefs shaped by man, representing horses, and a clay statue representing a headless bear, with a real bear skull at his feet. These clay representations are dated to the Upper Paleolithic and are among the oldest in the world. Cross-checked with other archaeological discoveries, they are at the origin of the theory of bear worship developed by some prehistorians as early as the 1920s.