The Museum of Prehistory presents a rich overview of prehistory in Touraine, with an emphasis on what made the Grand-Pressigny region so unique during the prehistoric period and on what explains its renown since the 19th century.
The Museum honours the famous Le Grand-Pressigny flint, looking at its geological, technical, economic and social aspects. The cellars are dedicated to this flint, displaying both its petrographic characteristics and the intelligence of man, who, as of the Middle Palaeolithic period, with Neanderthal man, was able to understand and use its distinctive features.
Pride of place is given to the Pressignien phenomenon of the end of the third millennium, characterised by the production of thousands of very long flint blades and their abundant and wide-ranging distribution across Europe. The stone-cutting methods, the scale of production and the influence of the Pressignien stone-cutting workshops are placed in their economic and social context of the end of the Neolithic period, when metal replaced stone in weapon and tool making.
The gallery presents the successive cultures in Touraine since the Middle Palaeolithic period, around 100,000 years ago, until the disappearance of flint in favour of bronze, around 1,000 to 2,000 years BC. The display puts the emphasis on the evolution of the materials used, changes in dwellings or in burial practices, and social and economic evolutions from the Palaeolithic until the Bronze Age. Original objects are put back in the context of a wider civilisation thanks to elaborate iconography and castings illustrating the significant moments in human evolution.
The new building presents an illustrated history of the château and various approaches to the practice of archaeology and that discipline’s big questions. Archaeological methods, legislation, and the big issues regarding the origins of man, of art and of technical progress are evoked by iconographic documents, texts and audio-visual sequences.