Sunday, August 19, 2012
Travel: Dordogne Day Four
So first of all we decided to check out “Le Regourdou Neanderthal site”, a site where it said in the guide book they had found the remains of pre-Neanderthal man, and also loads of bones of ancient animals. What also drew me to this attraction was the fact that is said there were real brown bears there!!! Awesome!! When we got there, every hour a guide took a group of people round the place, explaining in French as they went. We were given a guide thingy however that explained pretty much everything they were saying to the group in English. This place was amazing, and the story behind it crazy. Basically about 1km down the road, there was also a big attraction called “Lascaux caves” (which was a load of caveman wall paintings and things). When these “lascaux” caves were randomly discovered in the 50’s by four little boys walking in the countryside ( their dog got stuck inside the cave and when the boys tried to get him out, they ended up stumbling over all this cool stuff!)- a guy in a house nearby suddenly thought “Hey, I bet theres loads of this prehistoric stuff round here, maybe theres some stuff in my garden?”. So this guy dug MASSIVE holes and things in his garden for over TWO YEARS (notice theres no mention of this guy’s wife, lol, she must’ve given up in the end!!), without finding anything- then suddenly, he struck gold! He found a burial chamber (like a crude stone coffin thing) and inside this was the remains of a “Cro Magnol” man. Cro Magnol man is even older than neanderthal man. Not only did he find this intact skeleton, with loads of hunting trophies and flowers placed around him, but they found next to him the skeleton of an ancient MASSIVE bear! There is knowledge that many groups of prehistoric man worshipped bears, as they believed they were immortal (through not fully understanding their hibernation process) and it was believed the prehistoric men in this area were part of some sort of bear cult.
Anyway, slightly going off topic, but the dig site, museum, bears, and story regarding the whole site, was absolutely fascinating- and I really would recommend it.