This statue, work of the French sculptor Paul Darde (1888-1963) was inaugurated in Les Eyzies, World Capital of Prehistory, in 1931 by Paul Léon, Minister of Fine Arts.

The primitive man of Paul Dardé in Les Eyzies, statue of Cro-Magnon man or statue of Neanderthal man? 

Known as “Cro-Magnon man”, it would represent Neanderthal Man more but the name given to him by his creator is “Primitive man”.

Just like the Eiffel Tower, the statue of “primitive man” faced criticism before becoming the symbol of village of Eyzies and this throughout the world.

Les Eyzies - national museum of prehistory

A certain vision of Prehistory…

It is possible that today this statue would no longer be named “primitive man".
At the beginning of the century, our Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal ancestors were associated with a being close to the animal or the wild. We also refused to grant him the authorship of the tombs and therefore of the burial rites of the dead, this is no longer the case today.

For a long time, Neanderthal men and women were victims of prejudice, portraying them at best as half-human, at worst as apes or brutes. In recent years, discoveries in genetics have revolutionized our knowledge of the human lineage.

Learn more

You can join the Youtube channel of the Prehistory Interpretation Center and immerse yourself in exciting conferences on these men who have nothing primitive. The way in which our representations evolve according to the knowledge of an era should give us something to ponder!

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