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Saint-Raphaël: EpiPaleolithic painted hand

The Musée Archéologique de St. Raphaël contains unique displays on local Paleolithic occupations in the Estérel Massif, with sites dating from 600,000 to 10,000 years ago (BP). From the earliest period, stone tools of rhyolite, a metamorphosed volcanic lava, have been recovered at Roussivau.  From the Upper Paleolithic, Périgordian flint artifacts dating from about 25,000 BP are displayed along with faunal remains from excavations at Gratadis. One of the most striking exhibits is a red hand silhouette painted on a stone slab, dating from the EpiPaleolithic period (ca.10,000-8000 BP). The hand is similar to others known from Upper Paleolithic cave sites in the Mediterranean region. Given its great age, the painting appears remarkably fresh.

[Fig.1: Painted hand from EpiPaleolithic (Musée Archéologique de St. Raphaël; photo: Athena Review).]

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