|Rape seed oil growing in La Dordogne|
|Awesome medieval village of Sarlat|
The valley of La Vezere dates back even further with prehistoric archaeological sites yielding fossils of Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal Man. I know those who believe in a young earth will have arguments to refute the ages of these sites, but they claim to be inhabited for 400,000 years. We visited some of these sites, including a reconstruction of some of the most sophisticated cave paintings in the world copied onto a new cave constructed so the drawings can be viewed by the public while the original drawings are preserved in a controlled atmosphere. It was freaky to think of the ancient artists living in that same site thousands of years ago. They developed tools, art, and even a burial ritual for their dead.
|The famous drawings of Lascaux attributed to Cro-Magnon man|
|La Roque Saint Christopher - Troglodyte Fortress and City|
They were a secure defence point for the area. We are aware of current tensions and threats, but this has reminded me that violence and war have been a part of human history for a long time. Here it was Viking raiding parties, later Normans and others.
It became the last stand for the Huguenotes who were French Protestants. Persecuted and even massacred by the Catholics, they fled for their lives and this became a fortress for many hundreds.
|Sue among some of their cranes|
This and a village we visited on our way to the Loire Valley have made me grateful for the peace and relative tolerance we enjoy in New Zealand.
More on that village and the Loire Valley next time.