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An exciting new discovering has been made by archaeologists working on a site in south-west France.

They uncovered a sandstone, believed to be around 12,000 years old, with engravings that appear to be of a horse and other animals.  This will have come from the Palaeolithic period, which is forms the larger part of the prehistoric Stone Age, believed to have started over two million years ago, and to have ended around 8,000BC.

The National Archaeological Research Institute, have described the engravings as exceptional within the context of Azilian art, which is characterised by geometric shapes.  In their report on the discovery, they note the fine-ness of the engravings, as well as the realistic style of the horse.  In particular, the legs and hooves are described as very realistic. The drawings are on both sides of the stone, and include geometric and figurative motifs.

This discovery is a result of archaeologists excavating an ancient hunting side, near Angoulême station.  Other finds at the site include collections of heated pebbles that would have served as fireplaces, bone remains and a flint-sized post.  It is believed to be a hunting and feasting site due to arrowheads and cut flints found in the area.

This will be of particular interest to Archaeology applicants, who should reflect on what cultural significance the drawings might have had; they might look further into the area and time period to think about other items we have from the time.  History of Art applicants might also be interested in the role and forms of prehistoric art.


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