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Balzi rossi, the man of Cro-Magnon

A stone’s throw from the frontier, a 25,000-year leap into the past: traces of Cro-Magnon and mammoth ivory

Reddish rocks sheer over a clear sea, with big caves lived in tens of thousands of years ago by our Palaeolithic Cro-Magnon progenitor, give the name to one of the most fascinating places on the Western Riviera: Balzi Rossi.

One of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean for the exceptionality of the place and for the finds made in the caves, preserved in the Prehistory Museum: sculptures in stone and many stone utensils that accompanied daily life like blades and arrow-tips.

Traces have been found that go back to prehistoric man of 250,000 years ago down to Gravettian man.

The Caviglione cave is unique to the world: experts have found the remains of a triple Palaeolithic burial, datable to around 25,000 years ago. The three people were buried with a rich outfit made up of mammoth ivory, shells and deer’s teeth. Only in the Czech Republic has a similar find been made. Inside the cave there is the famous wall incision of a wild horse that has become the symbol of Balzi Rossi, and of which a cast has been made, to be seen in the museum.

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