They headed for the Massif Central and the Vézère Valley, with their plentiful sources of water, under rock shelters and multiple ecosystems that allowed people to enjoy a diversified diet.Quickly, they recognised in the cliff of La Madeleine and its environment, the archetype of the ideal “primitive” habitat.
From the first day of excavation on, at the foot of the cliff, the harvest exceeded all expectations. Flint tools of various shapes and uses, spearheads and harpoons, decorated for the most part with superb animal engravings, limestone plates also decorated with fine engravings of horses or bison, perforated batons which use still escapes us, bone needles, pendants and adornments … From one discovery to another, the diggers will eventually come across an amazing find ! A magnificent engraving of a mammothon a fragment of a mammoth ivory tusk ! For the society of the time which regarded this animal as antediluvian, it is the striking proof that Man and the Mammoth had been contemporaries.There was indeed a “pre-history”.
The photo of the engraving made the headlines at the time. Given the importance of this deposit, the archaeologists decided to associate definitively the name of La Madeleine with the last culture of the Upper Palaeolithic.
The site became eponymous of the Magdalenian.