Nouvelle Aquitaine Section

Abri du Poisson - Rock shelter adorned with an engraved salmon

[wce_code id=1]

Abri du Poisson - Les Eyzies de Tayac Sireuil

The Abri du Poisson is located near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil at a place called Gorge d'Enfer.

The canyon is on the right bank of the Vézère River between Grand Roc Cave and Laugerie Basse rock shelters, along the D47 road to Périgueux.

Paul Girod discovered the small rock shelter  in 1892.

However, it was Jean Marsan, who in 1912 discovered the ceiling adorned with a sculpture representing a salmon.

The oldest representation of a fish known to this day

The 1,05m long fish was etched and carved in low-relief, then painted with natural pigments some 25,000 years ago.

This sculpture is therefore the oldest representation of a fish known to this day!

As fewer as a dozen representations of fish have indeed been discovered so far in the world among the many prehistoric paintings and engravings.

The salmon of the Abri du Poisson is a male, is depicted exhausted and struggling after spawning.

It alone emphasizes the importance of fishing for these ancient populations.

Fish was, along with hunting and gathering, indeed one of their main sources of food supply.

Sadly, looters attempted to remove the precious low-relief shortly after its discovery.

They didn't succeed, however, left a series of holes around it!

Fortunately, in 1913 the local archaeologist Denis Peyrony contributed to the foundation of an official department dedicated to protect prehistoric sites from further vandalism and theft!

UNESCO listed the Abri du Poisson as a World Site heritage in 1979.

The Abri du Poisson is open to the public, however, the guided visits are limited to 8 people at a time.

Department of Dordogne - Les Eyzies de Tayac Sireuil
Coordinates: Lat 44.9434781 - Long 0.99846839

Your Comments
Troglodyte dwellings by the Castle of Commarque

October 18 2019

Commarque, an emblematic castle of Périgord

The ruins of Commarque, an emblematic castle that belonged to the barons of Beynac and lords of Commarque, are slowly restored after 3 centuries of oblivion
Marais de la Seudre in Mornac

September 23 2018

Mornac-sur-Seudre – France’s most beautiful villages

Mornac-sur-Seudre, former fishing and trading port in the vast estuary of the river Seudre, is today ranked among the most beautiful villages of France
Poitevin Marsh waterway

May 30 2018

Poitevin Marsh, the Green Venice

Poitevin Marsh, the second largest wetland in France, is known as Green Venice, a lush green marsh you discover by punts that gently glide on man-made waterways nestled under the tree canopies
Castel Merle prehistoric site valley

April 13 2018

Castel Merle prehistoric site in Sergeac – Dordogne

Castel Merle prehistoric site in Dordogne has been continuously inhabited for 83,000 years and boasts the highest concentration of prehistoric habitats in Europe
Translate »
Scroll to Top