June 7, 2023

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Southern France: Archaeologists discover stone tablets with horses


“Completely unexpected” – archaeologists have discovered stone tablets with horses

In the town of Bellegarde in southern France, archaeologists have discovered a large number of artifacts, some of which are more than 22,000 years old. They contain special lime tablets.


Archaeologists have discovered about 100,000 ancient objects in Bellegarde (southern France).


  • During months of excavation, archaeologists found about 100,000 polished flint objects, such as weapons and tools, as well as animal bones and shells.

  • They found them above a growing terrestrial platform in southern France.

  • They were particularly interested in two small limestone plaques engraved with horse profiles.

During excavations in the village of Bellegarde in southern France, archaeologists were surprised to find depictions of horses carved into stone. The site appears to have been inhabited 20,000 years before Christ, experts from French archeology firm Inrap told reporters on Thursday. The images of horses found are “particularly rare in southeastern France – and completely unexpected at the gates of the Camargue,” said Vincent More, head of the excavation project.

So the works belong to «Among the oldest works known» This ancient culture. According to experts’ findings, the famous Neolithic paintings in Lascaux Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western France, were created during the same period.

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Eleven months of excavation

Researchers were first invited to the wine-growing region of Castières de Nîmes in southern France in 2015 — and they finally found an ancient hunter-gatherer settlement on the site of a growing terrestrial site. According to them, the slightly higher town of Bellegarde may have been a stopover for nomads because of the nearby water source. In addition, it may have provided a good view of the wild herds of horses that moved across the broad plains of the Camargue down-side.

During the ongoing 11-month excavation, archaeologists found about 100,000 chipped flint objects, including weapons and tools, as well as animal bones and shells, which are believed to have served as jewelry. Some findings More than 22,000 years old.

The researchers described the moment of cleaning up the collected material as particularly moving when they held two small limestone tablets with engraved horse profiles in their hands – and the eyes, mane and mouth were clearly visible on them.

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