On the occasion of this site about sculpted Magdalenian shelters, we would like to pay tribute to three individuals and their outstanding contributions.
Philippe Plailly (1952–2008) photographer and filmmaker
Philippe Plailly died quite unexpectedly in the Vézère Valley while filming the final sequences for his documentary Les Grands maîtres de la Préhistoire : le génie magdalenien. He encouraged and highlighted the Roc-aux-Sorciers site and the research that was being carried out. He was fascinated with this exceptional site from his very first visit, and tirelessly enriched and documented the research by accompanying the scientific team throughout many campaigns. His work helped popularise this little-known site.
His work on prehistory was only one aspect of the scientific work of this passionate and eclectic photographer and filmmaker.
Alain Roussot (1937–2013) prehistorian
Alain Roussot arrived at Périgueux the year that Lascaux was discovered. He was one of the few prehistorians who became interested in the study of sculpted shelters, and especially that of Cap Blanc, where he carried out field research. Very knowledgeable about the entire prehistoric period and its historiography, having drawn up surveys with Abbé Breuil, Abbé Glory, etc., Roussot was always happy to provide a document to deepen a subject and to help researchers, young and old, to advance in their thinking. Always welcoming, he came to meet with us during our field campaigns in sculpted shelters and attentively and happily followed new techniques and new sources that we offered him. He accepted our proposals or discussed them, and sometimes even, when he was convinced, defended them to sceptics.
His knowledge of prehistory places him among the greats as an essential source.
René Castanet (1923––2013) prehistorian
For decades, René Castanet, whose family is connected to the famous Castanet de Sergeac Shelter, operated a small museum of exceptional pieces. Mayor of his community for nearly fifty years, this restorer, who had taken over from his father, passed on his passion to his descendents, who offer tours of the celebrated site of Castel-Merle.