Grotte du Poeymaü

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Site type:
43.09, -0.44

The Poeymaü cave (or Poeymau, Poeymal, Poeymaou, Poeymail, Pouey Maou) is a prehistoric site located in the commune of Arudy, in the Ossau Valley, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Excavated since 1948, it has archaeological levels ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic.

The first consolidated publication on the Poeymaü cave appeared in 1953: Georges Laplace exhibited the stratigraphy in 8 levels, from the Magdalenian to the Gallo-Roman period. He also defines the Arudian, a Mesolithic facies specific to the Western Pyrenees (now disputed), which he characterized by the absence of geometric microliths and the presence of snail layers.

A revision of the stratigraphy, based on a series of radiocarbon dating, was published in 1984, the result of the collaboration between Michel Livache and Jacques Évin. Three additional Mesolithic levels are identified, and the 25 radiocarbon dating carried out on bones, charcoal, and snail shells make it possible to locate the different layers of the sequence in time.