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Recent Excavation in the Marsoulas Cave


EXCAVATION in the Marsoulas Cave during the past season by Mr. Russell on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution has already produced results of importance, which promise well for the future of the joint undertaking. Two ancient hearths were found, of which the upper yielded artefacts typical of the Magdalenian period. Just below was an Aurignaeian hearth with typical knives, scrapers, points and decorative pendants of flint and bone. An unexpected find was a triton shell, which must have come from warm water then far to the south, probably from Africa. The technique of one of the numerous wall-paintings observed is described as unique. The animal form had been produced by the thumb of the painter, which had been dipped in the wet pigment and then pressed on the wall. The paintings of the Marsoulas Cave are singular in the fact that they are near the entrance instead of in the far recesses of the Cave as is more usual. Their excellent state of preservation suggests that the entrance of the cave must have been blocked by an obstruction for a very long period after the close of the palæolithic age.

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Recent Excavation in the Marsoulas Cave. Nature 129, 273–274 (1932).

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