National Prehistory Museum
On February 25, 2019

At the same time a place of memory for prehistory, a museum for objects, a centre for studies and a place for the distribution of constantly-evolving knowledge, the National Prehistory Museum has been a place of reference for Prehistorians as well as for visitors since its creating at the beginning of the 20th century.

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 Located in close proximity to the main sanctuaries of cave art registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Font-de-Gaume caves, Combarelles…), the museum houses exceptional collections that retrace more than 400 millennia of human presence.
Starting in 1913, Denis Peyrony, a tireless researcher whom we have to thank for the discovery of numerous sites, had the State purchase the ruins of the Château des Eyzies in order to conserve, study and display on site the archaeological heritage of the Vézère Valley. This region has many major points of interest, amongst them the permanent occupation throughout Prehistory as an ideal refuge zone for human and animals during glacial periods of the Quaternary period, remarkable conservation conditions and a high quality of scientific research. Moreover, this is where Humanity brought out its capacity for symbolic expression, shown as much by the Neanderthals’ first funerary acts (-80,000) as by Homo sapiens (modern man) with the apparition of monumental art in various forms (-35,000)
Inaugurated on July 19, 2004, the expansion designed by Parisian architect Jean-Pierre Buffi considerably increased the accommodation capacity of the establishment and today offers the best visiting conditions to the public. More than 18,000 pieces are on display on a surface area of nearly 1,500 square meters in an entirely new museum design.