<!–^~^31|left|First form of French Art: over 12,000 years old!^~^–>The first humans found in France, known as Homo Erectus, are believed to have lived around 950,000 B.C.

They evolved slowly, through four glaciations, discovered fire in the process (around 400,000 B.C.) to become Homo Sapiens. One of them, Cro-Magnon man, found in Dordogne (South West of France) in 1868 used to live circa 25,000. His physionomy differed only slightly from ours.

<!–^~^32|right|Fact:There are over 4,000 Dolmen (prehistoric sepultures) in France^~^–>At the end of the ice age, around 10,000 B.C., Neanderthal men evolved slowly towards the more settled Neolithic civilizations (4,000-2,500 B.C.). People began to cultivate crops and settle herds, villages started to appear (many villages of today still occupy the same locations as those started then).

The Celts, emerging from Central Europe, settled in Germany and Gaul as early as 2500 B.C. They started to work with iron to make tools and weapons, and lived in well organized societies until 125 B.C., when the Roman Empire began its in the South of France.


Where to see Prehistoric France?

Mostly in Brittanny and in the Southwest of France.
We recommend:
The French film:
The Quest for Fire


950,000- 80,000 B.C. (400,000 B.C. Discovery of Fire)
Homo Erectus

80,000-30,000 B.C.

Homo Sapiens
Cro Magnon Man

Neolithic Revolution

2,500-50 B.C.
Celtic Domination in Gaul

Also See:



Middle Ages


Grand SiËcle

Revolution Era

Napoleonic Era

19th Century

20th Century