Archaeology in the Museum of Art and Archaeology of the Périgord in Périgueux, France, means prehistory. The Périgord is home to many caves with findings of prehistoric painting, like the famous Grottes de Lascaux and Font du Gaume and the prehistoric part of the museum reflects this period with very interesting findings. A dazzling collection of different stone hand axes is just the beginning. All kind of instruments useful in daily prehistoric work are presented in many shapes – and some beautiful pieces show craftmanswork like the pendant with a bison head (Magdalenien era, 15.000 BC, exact function unknown.
Other nice presentations are a prehistoric burial ceremony on one side of the wall, while a real skeleton that was buried in that way is found on the other side. (Magdalenien era, 18.000 – 11.000 BC, skeleton of the man of Chancelade, Homo Sapiens). Both are made in a beautiful way.
The rebuilding of a Magdalenien hut, as shown on the picture (left), also adds to the fun of the visitor. At that period mankind had already horses, the head you see on top of the tent is a horse skull. Nice to see, nice to visit.
The central part of the museum is a cloister (see first photo in this blog) where they seem to have stalled all pieces that are not prehistoric and not art. It is a very interesting mixture of mostly mediëval stuff, I highly recommend that you take a quiet walk through the cloister just to enjoy the many details in the pieces you see there. Also the rooms with art are very nice with a great variety of interesting art objects but I am not into art myself so this blog does not describe more than just the encouragement to visit.
At the entrance you can buy a combination ticket for this museum and the Vesunna site at a 10 or 15 minutes walking distance – I did, my next blog will describe the visit to Vesunna. Both museums are in itself worth a visit to Périgueux, if you can visit them both: do so!