The Tautavel Museum of Prehistory, near Domaine Puychene

Charming gites with swimming pool on the Domaine de Puychene in the heart of the Occitanie region, close to exceptional historic sites

The Tautavel Museum of Prehistory: a journey through time to the heart of prehistory

Nestling in the picturesque village of Tautavel in the Pyrénées-Orientales, the Musée de Préhistoire de Tautavel is a window onto humanity’s distant past. This prehistoric site, famous for the discovery of the Tautavel Man, one of the oldest fossils of prehistoric man in Europe, dating back nearly 450,000 years, has become a must-see for history and natural science enthusiasts.

A Remarkable Discovery not far from our charming gites near Narbonne

The discovery in 1971 of the Tautavel Man by Professor Henry de Lumley’s team propelled this small village into the ranks of a leading prehistoric site. This almost complete skull provided scientists with a valuable insight into the lives of our Lower Palaeolithic ancestors, and in particular into their physical aspects and lifestyles.

An innovative museum between Carcassonne and Perpignan

The Tautavel Prehistory Museum, opened in 1992, is designed to bring to life this distant era through an approach that is both educational and immersive. With over 22 exhibition rooms, the museum boasts a rich collection of over 2,000 items, ranging from stone and bone tools to reconstructions of scenes from the daily life of Tautavel Man.

Visitors can explore detailed exhibitions on hunting techniques, habitats, food and the cultural traditions of the period. Interactive workshops, such as fire-lighting and propellant firing, allow visitors to immerse themselves in the lives of our ancestors, offering a fun and instructive experience for young and old alike.

An exceptional prehistoric site

Just a stone’s throw from the museum, the Caune de l’Arago archaeological site continues to be an active dig site, where researchers and students from all over the world come to study the traces of these ancient populations. A visit to the cave offers an extra dimension to the museum experience, providing a physical connection to the living place of Tautavel Man.

A holiday in the Occitanie region, not far from the Mediterranean Sea, opens the doors to the history of mankind.

The Tautavel Museum of Prehistory is not just a place for conservation and study; it’s a real gateway to the past, inviting you to take a fascinating journey through time. It is a testament to the importance of the region in understanding human evolution, and continues to attract visitors from all over the world keen to discover the origins of humankind. By combining scientific rigour with innovative educational approaches, the Tautavel museum and prehistoric site are an invaluable resource for education and research, as well as offering an exceptional panorama of European prehistory.

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