We find further examples of the 'big-headed horses' in a very few interesting sites with parietal art at the end of the Quercy Magdalenian: the cave of Pestillac (Montcabrier, Lot) and the rockshelter of Lagrave (Faycelles, Lot), discovered recently (Ipiens et al. 2000; Sentis 2000).
In both cases, the horse engravings (the length of the heads varying between 20 and 30 per cent of the animals' total length) are associated with female depictions of Gonnersdorf type which makes it possible to attribute them to the 13th millennium bp. At Lagrave, a line of about forty little horses distributed along a ground-line recalls the lines of horses and reindeer of the terminal Magdalenian of Limeuil and Teyjat (Dordogne)
Fig. 11.10. Engraved horses on bone, reindeer antler, and stone from Magdalenian VI layer in Sainte-Eulalie cave
Fig. 11.10. Engraved horses on bone, reindeer antler, and stone from Magdalenian VI layer in Sainte-Eulalie cave and Chaffaud (Vienne), which again supports the dating contributed by the association with the Gonnersdorf figures.
The 'big-headed horses' are now schematic and standardized; the interior details are practically absent. Animation is only very rarely individual; it is
generally collective, and implies the representation of a troop of animals moving around, a mass movement.
The extreme end of Palaeolithic figurative art in the Quercy is illustrated at the abri Murat (Rocamadour, Lot) which gave the abbe Lemozi, around 1920-4, some horse images on bone and pebbles in its final Magdalenian. I resumed excavations in this shelter in 1983-5 and discovered images of horses both in the Magdalenian VI levels and in early Azilian levels which Lemozi did not see.
In 1958 the abbe Lemozi published an astonishing little schematic horse which he had discovered in level P at Murat (Magdalenian with bilaterally
Was this article helpful?