Université de Bordeaux
LabEx LaScArBxCluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence

The ArTaPOC Project, or the contribution of 3D to the integrated study of decorated caves

Porteur du projet : Jacques JAUBERT (UMR PACEA)


Partenaires :

UMR IRAMAT-CRP2A

UPS SHS-3D

I2M (TREFLE et GCE)

EDyTeM Université de Savoie

UMR ArScAn Ethnologie Préhistorique Univ. Paris Ouest Nanterre

UMR TRACES et Université Toulouse 2 - Le Mirail

CNP (Centre national de Préhistoire, Périgueux, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication)

Date : sept. 2012 – déc. 2014 (AAP n°2)

Financement : 26 223 €

Mots clés : SIG tridimensionnel, taphonomie des parois ornées




Grotte de Cussac (Le Buisson-de-Cadoin, Dordogne). Exemples de panneaux ornés de gravures d'âge Gravettien (env. 29000 calBP). En haut à gauche, panneau du Bouquetin (zone plafonnante gravée surmontant un sol maculé d'empruntes animales et humaines). En haut à droite, gravure de mammouth (panneau du Bouquetin). En bas à gauche, croquis de lecture (V. Feruglio et coll.) de quelque silhouettes animales du Grand Panneau, bisons, chevaux et animal indéterminé. En bas à droite, étranges représentations humaines du panneau de l'Empreinte. Photo N. Aujoulat, V. Feruglio et coll. / PCR Cussac.


The Cussac cave (Dordogne), a decorated cave (engraved) with burials from the Upper Palaeolithic period (Gravettian, 34,000 to 25,000 years before the present day), was discovered in 2000. This is a cave rich in the remains of frequentation by bears and humans, preserved over a distance of around 1.6km.


It was only in 2009 that research, mainly financed by the French Ministry of Culture, could begin at Cussac through a PCR (Programme Collectif de Recherche) combining around fifty researchers directed by Jacques Jaubert (first three-year programme 2010-2012, a second, 2013-2015 currently underway).


The ArTaPOC project, registered within the framework of LabEx (Sept. 2012 – Dec. 2014), constitutes a specific section of the vast research programme bringing together research on the Cussac cave. Benefiting from a veritable methodological “laboratory” on characterisation techniques for the site, the ArTaPOC project is mainly attached to the study of the artistic and parietal heritage of the decorated cave, through an integrated study using the tri-dimensional tool (3D).


For the first time, the 3D tool is in fact being used from the start of the project, to proceed with recording the parietal art and to represent, using the same medium, the processes of alteration of the decorated wall and their impact regarding conservation. The records and the 3D mesh of the walls are shared between those involved in the project in an online database. The project therefore consists of developing a three-dimensional module to provide the opportunity for an integrated, multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary study of parietal art and the wall through time. In this context, the 3D tool becomes a tool that brings together all those who are studying the wall: geologists, archaeotechnologists, prehistorians, anthropologists, archaeozoologists, biologists, and specialists in parietal art.


The project has two sections:

-       an engravings ornamentation section (using recordings of the decorated wall obtained with the 3D recording tool)

-       a geoarchaeological section – taphonomy of the decorated cave (records of the land, cartography, analyses/characterisation)


The processes of erosion of the surface of the walls and their impact on the conservation of the works are therefore studied at the same time, which gives the project all its originality and an innovative dimension.


The first results of the 3D “records of the decorated wall tool”, notably including the experimental site of the Panneau, called the Triptych, were presented during the 5th “Virtual Retrospect” Symposium on 27-29 November 2013 at the Archéopôle d’Aquitaine, université Bordeaux 3.

Grotte de Cussac (Le Buisson-de-Cadoin, Dordogne). Taphonomie d'une paroi ornée gravée: l'exemple du panneau du Triptyque. À gauche, vue partielle du volet de gauche de la paroi ornée. La partie basse de la paroi est affectée de dégradation sédimentaire. Au centre, en haut, gravures de motifs isolés, lignes sinueuses / "serpentiformes", en bas, tête d'animal à grandes oreilles et motif gravé. À droite, gravure d'animal hybride associant un arrière-train et une encornure de bison sur une tête de cheval. C'est ce panneau du Triptyque qui a fait l'objet de la première approche interdisciplinaire expérimentale de paroi gravée à Cussac. Photo N. Aujoulat, V. Feruglio et coll. / PCR Cussac.


Grotte de Cussac (Le Buisson-de-Cadoin, Dordogne). Panneau du Triptyque. Traitement infographique et numérique à partir de l'outil 3D en vue de l'étude taphonomique de la paroi gravée. Travail sous Meshlab, logiciel adapté à l'étude de cas (B. Dutailly, C. Ferrier, V. Feruglio, S. Konik, C. Bourdier et coll. / PCR Cussac).

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