The Project

Peyre Blanque is an important Prehistoric open-air site located in the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountains in Southwestern France.

It was discovered in 2006 on an improbable trail on the crest of a ridge during a survey that was part of a long-term project dedicated to investigating the nature and importance of Paleolithic open-air settlements in the Central Pyrénées (Ariège).

This project -called Between The Caves- was started in 1993 by Prof. Meg Conkey (University of California, Berkeley). It was intended to better understand the social geography and landscapes of Paleolithic art and material culture.

In a region where research has almost exclusively concerned rock shelters and cave sites, the site of Peyre Blanque offers a unique opportunity to conduct research on a rare preserved open-air settlement from the Upper Paleolithic and more precisely the Middle Magdalenian (ca. 16,000 BP).

A Timeline of Prehistory

The Magdalenian period is better known for its famous cave-paintings such as Lascaux (Dordogne, France), Altamira (Cantabria, Spain), Niaux (Ariege, France), or Pech Merle (Lot, France) among others.

The Peyre Blanque Archaeological Project, which is co-directed by Sébastien Lacombe (Binghamton University), Kathleen Sterling (Binghamton University) and Meg Conkey (University of California, Berkeley), brings a unique insight into the daily life of Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.

The project is already contributing to the wider anthropological goal of understanding the emergence of the distinctive Pyrenean Middle Magdalenian period and thus, to understanding the contexts within which a rich and flourishing material and visual culture comes to be among hunter-gatherers.



Binghamton University

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