General Topography Of The Site

The analysis by F. Rouzaud and Y. Le Guillou of the topography of the site is particularly interesting in terms of the site's morphology in the Magdalenian period (Fig. 12.3):

The straightness of the cliff at the location of the Abri Bourdois and of the Taillebourg Cave , associated with the presence on the same axis and at the site's eastern extremity of a cave entrance suggest the previous existence of a major fissure which evolved into a speleological conduit. The latter was later cut into by the meander of the Anglin, thus forming a kind of 'tunnel', which gradually opened out in places onto the valley and was probably very well lit. This hypothesis is supported by the breadth of the destroyed ceiling, which seems far greater than is generally observed in true rock-shelters. Test pits in the future could conWrm the existence of remains of 'pillars', vestiges of the cave's south wall—and the 'Roc-aux-Sorciers' could be one of these. The breadth of the collapsed roof is quantified by the distribution of the blocks which occupy almost the whole space between the cliV and the Anglin. The shelter's total depth, which can be estimated from the dimensions of each of the collapsed blocks, could be between 5 and 10 metres. The presence of sculptures at the base of several blocks, in the Taillebourg Cave, proves that they formed a 'roof' during the prehistoric occupation. All these elements make it possible to envisage the existence, in the Magdalenian, of an enormous natural rockshelter covering the site, with a minimum surface area of a hundred square metres. This vast shelter included the present-day

Abri Bourdois and Taillebourg Cave in one single site. This hypothesis can be verified by the investigation of the 'underneath part' of the collapsed blocks, in order to specify the breadth of the ancient roof's decorated surface (Rouzaud and Le Guillou 1993).

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