QR Vic-le-Comte – Enval 0
A major prehistoric site in Auvergne
Located at the confluence of the streams of Pignols and Laps, the hamlet of Enval stands on a steep, rocky slope that dominates the valley in the north. It is an arkose cliff that forms thick, mostly hard strata where differential erosion has created corbels that provide natural shelters. In 1929, a site was discovered in one such shelter dating back to the end of the Palaeolithic period. In it was unearthed an abundance of exceptional items. Further discoveries have since confirmed how important a site Enval is when it comes to learning about the Magdalenian period.
More recently, humans have adapted the particular features of this kind of rock, excavating cavities in the softer strata, which are naturally protected by the harder sandstone that forms the ceiling. Used as dwellings or for farming or winegrowing, most of these « caves » were enclosed with stone façades, making the hamlet look like a uniform, terraced village. While many of these habitats built into the rock have not retained their original purpose, there are some still occupied today, a unique feature of the region.
A picturesque village with a long history, the streets and houses of Enval attest to its wine-growing past.
1. The Durif shelter
2. A troglodyte village
3. A cliff dwelling
4. A typical village in the Limagne hills
5. Enval château
6. The Enval valley