galerie haute

The upper gallery


The upper gallery was designed with the intention of offering the visitor a realistic progression in a prehistoric space, from the exterior toward the interior of the dwelling. The morphology of the museum gallery and its installation at the foot of the cliff are reminders that the dwellings were generally located at the foot of the shelter.

A brightly lit space opening onto the cliff is ideal for displaying the daily activities of men from the upper Palaeolithic epoch: collecting raw materials, producing tools, hunting and fishing.

Areas for technical and domestic activities are organised around the hearth (centre of life, centre of the dwelling and the group’s social centre). These activities are illustrated with original hearths, archaeological ground moldings, structures of the dwelling and reconstructions of flint carving workshops.

The museum visit then comes to symbolic practices such as burial practices, jewellery and portable art. The exhibition of the famous decorated blocks extends this approach to symbolic expression by placing the featured themes (sexual symbols, schematic designs, animals) in a chronological perspective.

A mention of the profound sanctuaries brings this part of the visit to a close with illustrations of man’s passage in the decorated caves: lamps, decorated objects, handprints…

Finally a film on the Font-de-Gaume cave is a major testimony to cave art situated a few hundred meters from the museum and a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.