Grotte des Furtins

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46.36, 4.69

The Grotte des Furtins is a prehistoric site located in Berzé-la-Ville, Saône-et-Loire (France). He delivered in particular vestiges of the Aurignacian.

The cave of the Furtins yielded materials from the Middle Aurignacian and Gallo-Roman remains, as well as a curious "bear pit" with adult bear skulls, some still covered with slabs, deliberately placed to surround bear skulls, and many bear bones.

The idea of a bear cult tempted André Leroi-Gourhan for a while. Then, influenced by the paleontologist F.E. Koby, he renounced it. Others such as Pierre Chalus (1963) persist in this hypothesis. More recently, this idea has come up again with ethnologist Jean-Dominique Lajoux (2007), who argues that Koby has never visited the sites concerned and that at least some of these sites are too inaccessible for bears, especially during ice ages.

A thorough study of bear remains has made it possible to attribute the Furtins deposits to the early Late Pleistocene, corresponding to the second part of the Riss-Würm Interglacial, or Eemian, around 126,000 years before the present.