After coming back home and getting back into the swing of things, the idea that only three weeks ago I was part of a group engaging in an archaeological dig almost seems like a dream. Yet, I know that the experience was very real and I enjoyed every minute of it.
In addition to this experience we visited numerous caves such as Grotte du Mas d’Azil (Cave of Mas d’Azil) and observed the Magdalenian era artifacts in the Musée national de Préhistoire (National Museum of Prehistory), and as a result I learned a lot more about this prehistoric era and what life must have been like during this time period. The people in this era were nothing like the stumbling, bumbling image most people have of cavepeople. They were resilient; creating cave art in close, constricted areas despite not being able to see what they were drawing, carving and painting. Also, the figures that they chose to draw meant a lot to the lives of the people as one theory suggests that the animals that were drawn were representations of gods that the people believed in. Their creations whether cave art or carvings were highly detailed and artistic and the presentation of this art was breathtaking.
While the open – air site had more flint tools and burnt bone fragments, the discovery of these items was just as exciting and fulfilling as well when one realizes that their hard work allows for an artifact to be found. Add in the fact that we were surrounded by the beauty of Pyrenees, from the looming mountains to the rolling hills, and it just made the entire experience worth it.