The museum was created in 1996 by the village of La Chapelle-aux-Saints in Correze (19) and presents:
- The discoverers, the Bouyssonie brothers,
- The exceptional discovery
- This man who has been decreased for so long but in fact is more clever than we thought because he could bury his deads.
The difference between our ancestors and the neanderthal men is clearly explained thanks to a comparison between Neanderthal and Sapiens Sapiens.
The sensation of La Chapelle aux Saints
It was in La Chapelle aux Saints, in the department of Correze in the South West of France, that three brothers named Bouyssonie discovered on the 3rd of August in 1908 the first entire skeleton of a Neanderthal man and one of the first burial sites ever found.
After its discovery, the skeleton was analyzed by Marcellin Boule, professor of paleontology at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He published a study which then became famous: the man from La Chapelle aux Saints is the missing link between ape and man! Subsequently, he was depicted in an archaic form.
In 1984, Professor Jean Louis Heim studied the skull again and proved that the first conclusions were not correct. In fact, the Neandertal man looks more like a man than an ape, he walked more upright than what was first thought and he was very well able to speak.
Today, the man from La Chapelle aux Saints is an international reference in the field of archeology, anthropology and human evolution.
The Museum of Neanderthal Man
In 1996, a museum has been created presenting the history of the discovery, human evolution and the Neanderthal man.
Since then, the museum actively promotes and develops a cultural program dedicated to visitors of all ages: guided tours, Stone Age workshops for schools and families, conferences, the European Prehistoric Weapon Championship and the “Great Weekend of the Prehistory” with a book fair.
This unique book fair is dedicated to books about Prehistory, which takes place on the first weekend of August and is a great occasion to gather people who are passionate about Prehistory. It’s one of few occasions to meet cartoonists, fiction writers and scientists all in one place.
The public appreciates to discuss the various topics with the authors and listen to talks and presentations. In 2013, the Literary Award “Prix Prehistoire Jean Pierre VILLE” was created in order to encourage writers and promote prehistory.
The museum was built by the village of la Chapelle aux Saints, but is now also partly supported by the European
Council, the French State, the region, the local territories and the tourist offices. In 2012, the museum has won two regional awards for tourism and cultural associations.