The first times

First occupiers of the Cap-Sizun: the men of Menez-Dregan

Discovered in 1986, the site of Menez-Dregan is, each summer since 1991, the object of searchs for a team of archeologists of the UMR 6566 (CNRS) based at the University of Rennes I.

The first times

In this old cave marinades from which the ploughed up roof protected the traces from human activity, the excavations showed that these places were attended between 500,000 and 300,000 years before our era, with the paleolithic inferior, at the time of first settlements of the West of Europe, at the same time as Tautavel in the East Pyrenees.

During the last 500 thousands of years, Europe knew alternations of cold periods (glaciations) accompanied by considerable lowerings of the sea level (England is not any more one island), and by periods moderated like the current one (interglacial).The first times

During the 200,000 years when the cave was attended by the man several oscillations chaud-froid are expressed. The occupations by the pre-Neanderthal men took place during the time of glacial end of interglacial-beginning. The cold was not very rigorous yet, but the bay of Audierne was dry.

The first times

In front of the cave extended a grassy littoral plain sheltering large herbivores (probably elephants, rhinoceroses, large bovids, horses…). The cave marinades whose collapse was done gradually was used of list and shelter. The men on the spot found the matter to manufacture their tools in the rollers of the beaches given up by the sea.

With these tools in cut rock conceived to cross, to scrape, crush the bones, they fi nissaient to cut up their game there. In 200,000 years there were at least six human occupations alternating with returns of the sea in the cave then unoccupied. The preones left us thousands of flint, rollers arranged and traces of the hearths among oldest known. The study of Menez-Dregan called on several disciplines: geology, paleontology, paleobotany, old genetics, studies of the parasites.

Les premiers temps

Previous page: History  Next page: Neolithic era 
Copyright Musée Maritime du Cap-Sizun-EN 2012-Création :