Nouvelle Aquitaine

Le Thot – Prehistoric centre – Cro-Magnon

This page was updated on: Monday, March 13, 2017 at: 7:49 pm

Le Thot - Espace Cro-Magnon

Le-Thot-prehistoric-park-Vezere-Valley-aurochs

Aurochs

Le Thot is a prehistoric center located in Thonac, on the right bank of the Vézère.

It is about 7 km from the Cave of Lascaux in Montignac.

Nestled in the greenery on a small hill, it boasts panoramic views of the Vézère Valley.

Le Thot is a museum and a 5-hectare animal park, both opened in 1972.

The museum is dedicated to cave art.

It exhibits five life-size facsimiles paintings of La Nef and Le Puits, two of the Lascaux Cave that were not reproduced in Lascaux II.

These cave paintings are represented in their original configuration, dimensions, soil inclinations and order of presentation.

Additionally, Le Thot offers 3-D video projections and a diorama depicting prehistoric artists' workshops.

Le Thot - Animal park

The museum also presents a faithful reconstruction (endorsed by scientists) of a Paleolithic hunters camp, as well as the auroch, mammoths, cave lions or megaceros they hunted.

Le-Thot-prehistoric-park-in-Vezere-Valley

Paleolithic hunter

The animal park exhibits the 'descendants' of some of the animals our ancestors painted on the walls of Lascaux.

Aurochs became extinct in 1627.

However, in 1931 the Heck brothers 'reconstructed' the species by selecting some bovine races from Corsica, Hungaria and Scotland.

Indeed, these races' genetic make-up was the closest to that of the original species.

These 'reconstructed' aurochs are therefore very similar to the original race and have been bred in captivity since 1979.

There are 85 representations of deer and 35 of ibex in Lascaux, so these animals are largely represented in Le Thot park.

Le-Thot-prehistoric-park-Vezere-Valley-european-bison

European bison

You'll find the famous Przewalski's horses, whose paintings have become the iconic image of Lascaux.

You'll also find Tarpan horses and even a automaton mammoth.

Le Thot offers a series of activities.

These include introductory workshops on the techniques of cave art using the same natural dyes and the same medium (rock wall).

Other workshops focus on geology and propose mock archaeological excavations in situ at the foot of a rock shelter.

Finally, a series of trails, along which you'll find picnic areas, crisscross the park.

As a result Le Thot is very popular with children and nature lovers, and parking is free!

Directions: Off the D706E

Coordinates: Lat 45.035480 - Long 1.123078

Nouvelle Aquitaine - Latest content

Engraved salmon - Abri du Poisson

Abri du Poisson – Rock shelter adorned with an engraved salmon

Abri du Poisson in the Vezere Valley, a prehistoric rock shelter engraved with a salmon, the oldest representation of a fish known to this day in the world
Poster for the Commemoration of the Centenary of the Bel-Air City

Commemoration of the Centenary of the Bel-Air City

Boulazac-Isle-Manoire commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the creation of the base and hospital of the American Army in its district of Bel-Air City

Poitou-Charentes – Nouvelle Aquitaine Region

Poitou-Charentes is part of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, and is situated in south-west France, between the Loire and the Gironde estuary in Aquitaine

Limousin – Nouvelle Aquitaine Region

The quintessential historic Limousin in Central France is divided in 3 departments and has been part of the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region since 01/01/2016

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Please note: We will not sell or distribute your email address to any third party.