This is a RARE Magdalenian Upper Paleolithic artifact from the extremely famous rock shelter site of Laugerie-Basse in the Dordogne region of France. Based on the fact that about 600 art objects alone, were recovered from this site, it is intriguing to think of this former rock shelter as being a Cro-Magnon art workshop! This is the FIRST AND ONLY TIME we will offer ANY artifacts from this site!
This flint tool is a PRISMATIC STRUCK BLADE. A carefully prepared flint core would be first made and stood up on its end whereby, strikes on the top edge would flake off long, rectangular blades with already sharp edges. Turning the core and striking off the blades in a radial fashion, would be done until the core was exhausted to where it would not yield any more well-shaped blades. Blades such as this could be used to cut sinew and leather, or for shaping of objects of art carved from bone, ivory or antler. This blade is complete with the original collection label still intact.
Laugerie-Basse is an important Upper Paleolithic archaeological site within the territory of the French commune Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in Dordogne. It is known for several works of art from the Magdalenian. The impressive Abri (rock shelter) of Laugerie-Basse, named after the village, is located on the right side of the Vézère valley, about 2 kilometers upstream from Les Eyzies. The 15-meter-deep Abri is located 15 meters above river level. Taking advantage of the natural conditions, the houses of Laugerie-Basse were built directly into the rocks so that building a back wall and the back half of the roof was dispensable.
The prehistoric site consists of two abris: the main abri and 50 meters upstream the Abri of Marseilles. The stratigraphy in the main abri comprises archaeological material mainly from Magdalenian III and Magdalenian IV. There is also some marginal evidence of the Azilian. In the slope waste in front of the scarp slope remains from the Neolithic and the late Bronze Age were also discovered. The Abri de Marseilles offers a more detailed stratigraphic sequence: the original profile is still existing. From it one can conclude that the Magdalenians settled approximately 14,000 years ago directly on the existing bottom of the abri. They lived at the abri until the Magdalenian VI. Then a catastrophic collapse of the roof occurred and the settlement site was partly strewn with some huge slabs of rock and debris. Afterwards the people returned to this place, which is clearly evident from traces of settlement on and between the boulders.
Apart from stone artifacts and other tools, all in all approximately 600 art objects from the Magdalenian were recovered in Laugerie-Basse. In Laugerie-Basse Paul Hurault, 8th Marquis de Vibraye discovered in 1864 the "Immodest Venus" (French: Vénus impudique) which gave its name to the genre of paleolithic Venus figurines. Shortly after that, around 1867-68, the Woman under the reindeer (la femme au renne) was discovered by Abbé Landesque. A large part of these art objects is nowadays scattered in several museums all over the world. From the middle Magdalenian (stage IV) stem pierced bone rondels picturing chamoises and deer.
The main abri was inhabited in the middle and upper Magdalenian as well as in the Azilian, which roughly corresponds to the time segment from 14,000 until 10,000 years BP.
The Abri des Marseilles has had a longer settlement period, it had been inhabited during the entire Magdalenian and into the Neolithic which corresponds to the time segment from 17,000 until 7,000 years BP.