|Location:||Commune de Soyons, Ardéche. 5km from Valence. Hwy A7 (E15), exit 14 or 15 Valence, to the city centre,, follow signs to Guilherand/Granges on the other side of the river Rhone. Turn left (south) in Guilherand/Granges, 5km to Soyons.|
APR to JUN Wed-Sun 14-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19.
SEP to 15-OCT Wed-Sun 14-18.
Last visit 1 hour before closure.
Museum: Adults 30 FF, Children 20 FF
Museum and excavation: Adults 35 FF, Children 25 FF
Monsieur le Conservateur, Grottes Préhistoriques de Soyons, Place de la Déesse SOlO, F-07130 Soyons. Tel: +33-475-608886, Fax: +33-475-608112
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1870||excavation by Lepic and De Lubac.|
|1965||excavation in réseau Double-Borne by JL Brochier and E. Brochier.|
|1972||excavation in l'Abri Moula.|
|1987||museum opened to the public.|
|1989||excavation in réseau Ursus by G. Dal-Pra, G. Crouzet, and F. Reynaud.|
|1989||Trou du Renard opened to the public.|
|1999||Grotte de Néron opened to the public.|
The Grottes préhistoriques de Soyons are numerous caves at the southern end of the village. They are located in the cliff of the Serre de Guercy.
Six of those grottes, Grotte de Néron, Les Enfants, Trou du Mouton (Sheeps hole), Trou Roland, la Madeleine, and Trou du Renard (fox hole), were excavated in 1870 by Lepic and De Lubac. Nearly 100 years later, in 1965, JL Brochier and E. Brochier excavated réseau Double-Borne. Now multiple excavations followed.
During paleolithic times, the grottes of the Serre de Guercy were home to neanderthals for numerous times. Inbetween the cave was used by animals, especially carnivores like bears, cave lions, and hyena. Later, in neolithic times, cro magnon people followed the Neanderthals. They used this place to slaughter a hunted Mammoth. And at the end of the neolithic, the place was even used as a burial place.
In the center of Soyons is the location of an interesting museum. In four rooms the history of this area from the stone age to the Medieval times are shown. The exhibits include remains of mammoths, cave lions, bears, and hyenas. A nearby excavation site is also part of the exhibitions. It shows continuous remains of the last 150.000 years.