Dan Courtice

Marcel Ravidat

Jacques Marsal

Georges Agniel

Simon Coencas

There were four of them and one dog

The inventors of Lascauxare four teenagers Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agniel and Simon Coencas. And a dog : Robot. Before this famous discovery, each of them lived a very different life. Marcel Ravidat and Jacques Marsal are local childrenMontignac residents who know the region inside out. Georges Agniel came from Paris to spend a holiday with his maternal grandmother, while Simon Coencas came to escape the horrors of war, takes refuge in Montignac-Lascaux with his family. The date of 12 September 1940the date ofa great discoverywill seal forever a unique link between these four young men. 

And do you know why we talk about inventors rather than discoverers? In archaeology, an inventor is a person who discovers an important site or objecta kind of treasure. And what a treasure! The Lascaux cave is one of the most impressive discoveries of the 20th century. It will tell us a lot about our ancestors and cave art

A discovery worthy of an adventure story! 

We are in 1940. The Second World War wreaked havoc in the Dordogne, in France and everywhere else. Preserved from the turmoil of war, the tranquil village of Montignac-Lascauxin the heart of the Périgord Noir, is getting ready to a major discovery. A discovery that will change his story forever. 

The 8 September 1940, Marcel Ravidat takes a walk on the hill of Lascaux. Robot, his dogIt disappeared into a hole caused by a falling tree. Curious, Marcel approached it and spotted a narrow cavity. He throws a stone that rolls and rolls in the depths. He knows there's something hidden beneath his feet, a discoverybut he doesn't yet know which one. Marcel remembers local stories, saying thatan underground gallery would lead to the Lascaux manor house. This former agricultural and wine-growing estate is said to contain a treasure that the whole region is talking about. 

Four days later, 12 September, Marcel Ravidat returns to the hill in the company of three comrades: Jacques Marsal, Georges Agniel and Simon Coencas. They were determined to find out what was hidden in the cave. They enlarge and slide into the cavity... In the half-light are revealed before their very eyes walls covered with representations of animals. Horses, bison, bulls, deer... A whole bestiary, colourfuland extremely well preserved, which comes to life by lamplight. They have just discovered one of the oldest and most important testimonies to the history of Man and cave art. 

Informed of this discovery by the teenagers, Léon Lavala teacher from Montignac-Lascaux, informed l'abbé Breuil. Grand specialist in prehistory for the time, he made the discovery of the Lascaux cave official and gave it its nickname of The Sistine Chapel of PrehistoryIts animal representations are so exceptional. The formula became famous and the little village of Montignac-Lascaux, nestling deep in the Dordogne and the Périgord Noir, came out of the shadows for good. Visitors flocked from all over France to see for themselves, this masterpiece of cave art. This is the beginning of the great story of the Lascaux cave

For a moment, become a Lascaux inventor

Who hasn't dreamt of take part in such a discovery ? Timewatches don't yet exist, but we've got just the thing to help you to become an inventor of Lascaux for a moment. 

Start your discovery by taking a stroll along the Montignac-Lascaux. Departing from the Tourist Office, the walk "In the footsteps of the inventors of Lascaux will lead you along the path borrowed by Marcel Ravidat and his comrades in September 1940. Starting in the village centre, this walk will take you step by step up the hill where the entrance to the Lascaux cave was discovered.

To take things even further, opt for a visit to Lascaux IIthe first reproduction of the original cave. In the dark, illuminated by the light of a torchA guide will tell you the secrets of the cave and its representations. Its character intimate and confidentialThe atmosphere of the visit and the atmosphere of the exhibition will immerse you in the conditions of exploration. Emotion guaranteed.  

And if your curiosity drives you to learn even more, why not visit Lascaux IV - International Centre of Cave Art. This last reproduction, meticulous and very faithful to the original reveals everything you need to know about this world-renowned cave. 

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