Le Mas-d’Azil, 15 March 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The French national institute for archaeological conservation (INRAP) announced on 14 March that a new archaeological dig is to be opened alongside the refurbishment of the the Mas-d’Azil grotto, a site that has had historic monument status since 1942.
The prehistoric grotto, located in the Arize valley in the Pyrenees, was the site of the prehistoric Azilian culture (10,000 – 7,500 BC). The “Grand projet” of preserving the grotto began on 24 October 2011 with the closure of the site in order to entirely renovate and improve the route taken by visitors around the cave. Archaeologists are supervising the repairs and will ask for excavations at precise locations.
The Mas-d’Azil website states that the site will be reopened to the general public in summer 2012, and will end again in October 2012. Repairs will then take place until May 2013.