This program was set up very recently (early 2009) in collaboration with researchers from the Axis-1 of the TRACES laboratory « Societies and surroundings of the hunter-gatherer populations » (Sociétés et milieux des populations de chasseurs-cueilleurs-collecteurs), notably in collaboration with Philippe Fosse, archeo-zoologist. It examines all research, ancient, recent or current undertaken by both axes in the context of Palaeolithic Cave Art. We wish to orient our research towards an archaeology of Cave (or shelter) Art rather than merely study archaeology in this context. This difference is important as our goal is to cross-reference all archaeological data, from 'roof' to 'floor', in order to get a grasp on all anthropic activities, be they domestic (flint knapping, bone tool production, spatial structuring...) or symbolic (symbolic spaces, graphic techniques, interaction with living areas...).
The complex relationships between Man and Animal are particularly important as can be seen by the remains of hunting and eating material (weapon tips, bone carvings in various degrees of completionÉ) as well as by the bestiary represented on the walls. Our research will focus on the interactions between these different spheres in order to determine specific behaviours and activities of Prehistoric Sapiens in the cave environment.
The theme is subdivided into two topics: