Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Pyrénées-Orientales
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A European Prehistory Centre, the Tautavel Museum, can be found at the heart of the Corbières, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. It is dedicated to the Prehistoric period and more particularly to the discoveries made on the Caune de l'Arago site, where the famous Tautavel Man was found, an ancient Preneanderthal Man who is 450,000 years old.
Come and meet the oldest man ever found on French soil, through exhibitions spread over 1,500 square metres of galleries! Take advantage of our modern museum layout to explore our archaeological collections and admire our life-sized reconstruction of the Caune de l'Arago, where the skull of the Tautavel Man was discovered in 1971.
There are temporary exhibitions, events based on Prehistoric times. The Tautavel Man Days in July, the Festival of Prehistory in August and the Prehistoric Arms Shooting Competition in May are among the highlights of our calendar of events.
The Museum of Prehistory Tautavel European Center is a complex built around Tautavel Man. It presents the history of humanity in Europe since the first European to the gates of history by taking examples in the region very close to Tautavel. The museum is equally famous for the richness of the collections for leisure and cultural activities throughout the year allow visitors to capture the lives of their ancestors.
In 1971, the discovery of human Tautavel (- 450 000 years) by the teams of Professor Lumley has sparked the desire to create a scientific and cultural center. This bold gamble triggered a tremendous development of the town and brought him notoriety and unprecedented appeal. Twenty years old, the man of Tautavel measured 1.60m. This homo erectus had all the features of the first Europeans: a receding forehead, a ridge above the eye sockets, cheekbones and jaw forward. If it does not yet mastered fire, it proved to be an excellent hunter. Presumably he would have chosen the Caune of Arago the site for its location: there could dominate the valley, its water source and therefore prey.