French scholar and archaeologist best known for his work on the Palaeolithic. Initially he was a magistrate working in the south of France but he gave up law to study palaeontology and from there to examine cave deposits containing the remains of early human communities. From 1863 onwards he worked in collaboration with his British friend Henry Christy, the two of them carrying out the first systematic studies of French caves in the Dordogne, including Laugerie‐Haute, Le Moustier, and La Madelaine. Realizing that several different phases were represented in these sites they divided the excavated material into a series of stages: an early group with two subdivisions based on associations with cave bear and later with woolly mammoth and rhinoceros bones; and a late phase with two subdivisions characterized by associations with reindeer bones and later aurochs. These two main phases have become the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic respectively. They also discovered mobiliary art in a proper archaeological context, so helping the arguments in favour of the cave art of France being truly ancient.
E. T. Hamy, 1872, Édouard Lartet: sa vie et ses travaux. Brussels
Subjects: Archaeology — Science and Mathematics.