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Palaentology in the Languedoc:    Tautavel Man

In 1971, a human skull some 450,000 years old was discovered in the Argo cave, on the slopes above the village of Tautaval (along the D117, 30km northwest of Perpignan).  The village now has a large museum (Musée de la Préhistoire), which is well worth seeing. The original owner of the skull is now known as Tautavel Man.
Tautavel Man's skull has a flat receding forehead and a well-developed arch of the eyebrows.  The head is that of a young adult with a cranial cavity of 1150 cm³.  His skeleton was reconstructed from the 75 human remains that were found at the site, as well as casts to fill in the missing pieces.  The face is big with rectangular eye sockets.  His bones are sturdier than those of modern day humans, and his height was 1.65 metres. The reconstruction was done by the Laboratory for Prehistory at the University of Perpignan. A permanent team of about fifty specialists and students still work on the environment of the Tautavel Man.
Join the Excavation.   You can join the excavation between 1 April and 31 August.  The minimum duration of participation is 15 days from 1 June to 30 June and 30 days in July and August.  To participate in the excavation of the Arago Cave, send a written application to:

  Professor Henry de Lumley,
  Institut de Paleontologie humaine,
  1,  rue Rene Panhard,
  75013 Paris.
For more about the location, the site, the museum and where to find further information, click here.
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