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  • The engraved pebble from Étiolles
  • A major discovery
  • The background to the discovery

In the summer of 2000, nearly 30 years after excavations began, archaeologists discovered an engraved pebble at Étiolles. The first find of its kind, this pebble is very important to the study of the last groups of Magdalenians who came to the region.

Since 1995, researchers had been excavating the levels of habitats in locus 2, three of which were very close in terms of stratigraphy. Located around one hearth, they shared an identical organisation of the space. It appeared that the occupations had occurred over a relatively short period of time, possibly with the same group returning to settle on the still visible traces of its previous stays.

The engraved stone is from the hearth at D71-1, the most recent habitat. The hearth consists of a deep firepit dug in the silt, surrounded by two circles of stones. Several limestone slabs forming the external border of the hearth covered remains, and it was under one of these slabs that the engraved stone was found. The fine lines of the engraving were covered in sediment, therefore the engravings were only identified when the pebble was cleaned.