The Stone Age cave Pair-non-Pair in Aquitaine

In Pair-non-Pair, people carved pictures on the walls when there was still no agriculture.

Bild: Center of National Monuments

More than twenty thousand years ago, people in Aquitaine came together in a very special grotto. They left behind in pair-non-pair what is now called the beginning of culture.

Kcan you imagine what it was like back then? For all we know, it was cold. Those who lived here wore skins. They lived in groups of up to 25 people. There were ibexes and cave bears up to ten feet tall. There were lions and bison and mammoths. One looked across a river into the vastness of a steppe that reached to the sea. There weren’t many people – and when they met they were strangers. It was the time when Neanderthals and Homo sapiens met in Europe.

The people were hunters and gatherers. They hunted hares and geese, seagulls and badgers, mammoths and rhinos. The people made fire. They made tools out of flint, they had spears with projectile points made of ivory and bone. They roasted the animals over the fire and made their bones and skins into clothing and tools and jewelry. Elsewhere, people of that time painted woolly rhinos and primitive horses on the walls with charcoal; Horses can also be found here.


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