Le Paléolab, Centre d’initiation à l’archéologie et à la préhistoire (FR)

The association Friends of Baux was founded in 1920 at Les Baux de Pce. Goals are among others to protect cultural heritage, raise awareness, get people interested in archaeology and in prehistoric skills. In 1996, the Paléolab, was founded, centre for introduction into archaeology and prehistory.

Open from

Here, an educational programme is offered based on the achievements of experimental archaeology. Also, introductory courses into archaeology and its methodology are given. Internships into archaeology are on offer as well. Demonstrations and workshops are executed to make people understand time depth and the chronology of prehistory. The activities are aimed at showing practical aspects of daily life of the Palaeolithic to the Chalcolithic: flint knapping, conducting fire without matches, the modelling of ceramics, agriculture, food, construction of test houses, rock art, the work of the bone and fibre.

A number of reconstructions of huts and dwellings illustrate the changing patterns of human life, one of them being a Neolithic house built in 2001, following a rectangular plan of 3.8 meters wide, 4.2 meters long and 3.5 meters in height. This experience is unique in the Provence and is designed to find techniques used and to test materials and assess the time needed to complete the various phases of construction.

In the longer term, we will test how long the interior will stand and learn more about the durability of materials used. The (re)constructions are drawn from archaeological evidence and supplemented by ethnographic knowledge.

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