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The Prehistory Route

The history of early humans

Do you fancy following in the footsteps of people who lived in the Menton Rivera & Merveilles area over a million years ago? From the coast to the Mercantour foothills, nowhere else in the world tells the story of early humans the way it’s told here. Caves, cave art, outdoor museum: Prehistory is very much alive and kicking!

Regional Prehistory Museum

in Menton, meeting early humans

Prepare for a trip back in time to meet Homo erectus! The four neoclassical caryatids at the entrance set the scene for us. As soon as we step inside, we have fun moving through human historical milestones from one room to the next. The highlight of the tour: the incredible animal bone collection at Vallonnet Cave, one of Europe’s oldest prehistoric sites! The kids loved it. The underwater archaeology exhibition on the second floor thrilled the more adventurous among us. Next time we’re definitely signing up for the introductory classes.

Unique

An 8 year old discovered Vallonnet Cave and its prehistoric treasures in 1958. Something to get budding archaeologists excited!

The Valley of Wonders,

Europe’s biggest outdoor museum

One of the biggest rock engravings sites in Europe peaks at an altitude of 2872m: the Valley of Wonders! Early man carved their signs and beliefs around Mont Bego 5000 years ago: 50,000 prehistoric engravings in a natural sanctuary deep in Mercantour National Park. Red and ochre slabs polished by glaciers stand next to lakes and rocky peaks. The Valley of Wonders is magical and secret: a sprawling land ripe for discovery! Visit between spring and autumn. Join a Park guided tour to get the most from the experience.

Early humans’ caves and shelters

in the hilltop villages

Abri Pendimoun in Castellar, at the foot of Roc d’Orméa, was a shelter for Neolithic people. Flint, polished stone axes, pottery fragments and human bones are just signs of life unearthed during excavations. The site isn’t open to visitors but, good news, there’s a free permanent Abri Pendimoun exhibition at Palais Lascaris in Castellar. A great excuse to take a break in Castellar, a real mountain village at the foot of the Alps!

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