La Ferrassie

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La Ferrassie
La Ferrassie
La Ferrassie
La Ferrassie
La Ferrassie in France
La Ferrassie in France
Location in France
La Ferrassie in France
La Ferrassie in France
Location in France
Location near Savignac-de-Miremont
Region Dordogne, France
Coordinates 44°57′07″N 0°56′17″E / 44.95194°N 0.93806°E / 44.95194; 0.93806Coordinates: 44°57′07″N 0°56′17″E / 44.95194°N 0.93806°E / 44.95194; 0.93806
Grand abri de la Ferrassie - Savignac-de-Miremont - 20090924.jpg
Vulva engraving from the rock shelter

La Ferrassie is an archaeological site in Savignac-de-Miremont, in the Dordogne department, France.[1] The site, located in the Vézère valley,[2] consists of a large and deep cave flanked by two rock shelters[3] within a limestone cliff, under which there is a scree slope formation.[1]

Age[edit]

Artifacts found at the site are the productions of Mousterian (300-30,000 BP), Aurignacian (45–35,000 BP), and Périgordian (35–20,000 BP) cultures.[4] The cave area contains Gravettian (32–22,000 BP) objects and the scree contains objects from all these ages as well as the Châtelperronian (35-29,000 PB). The site was abandoned during the Gravettian period (27 kya).[3] Complex Mousterian burial structures found at La Ferrasie finally provided the evidence of Neanderthal burial practice.[5]

Exploration history[edit]

A small area of the site was initially investigated by M. Tabanou in 1896,[3] a teacher who died of a landslide at the Badegoule rock shelter shortly thereafter.[6] Denis Peyrony and Louis Capitan explored the site in 1905, 1907 and 1912; Peyrony in 1934, Henri Delporte in 1969 and 1984, and Delporte with Tuffreau in 1984.[4][1]

Fossils[edit]

Eight buried Neanderthals have been found in La Ferrassie, including infants and two fetuses.[7]

Name Geological
age (Kya)
Develop-
mental age
Note
La Ferrassie 1 68–74 45 The skeleton of an adult male, including the most complete Neanderthal skull ever found.[7] Discovered in 1909.[3]
La Ferrassie 2 68–74 25–30 An incomplete cranium and skeleton of a female Neanderthal found in 1910 and dated to 68-74,000 before present. This is now kept in the Musée de l'Homme.[3]
La Ferrassie 6 68–74 3–5 Nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile discovered in 1921.[3]
La Ferrassie 8   2.5 Another Neanderthal of approximately two and a half years of age, found in 1982.[8]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]