Sur les chemins de la préhistoire, l’abbé Breuil du Périgord à l’Afrique du Sud
Sous la direction de Noël Coye
He is something of a character out of a cartoon strip. His cassock over his big shoes, his eternal cigarette hanging from his lips and his assistant -a British spinster true to Agatha Christie’s finest books - all contribute to make Henri Breuil (1877-1961) a priest worthy of interest. We must add to this of course his contribution to the knowledge of prehistory: for decades he roamed the world, from the grotto of Niaux to the one in Altamira (Spain), from the Romanelli cave(Italy) to the rupestrian frescoes in South Africa. While doing so he defended the cause of stratigraphy, incited all towards healthy discussions (on the Aurignacian period in particular) and lent credibility to the discipline: in 1929, the chair of paleonthology at the Collège de France was created just for him. The book is pleasantly illustrated (old photos, enhanced with water colors) and is the catalogue of a retrospective exhibition that is presently at L’Isle-Adam, the municipality this remarkable priest adopted.
• Sur les chemins de la préhistoire, l’abbé Breuil du Périgord à l’Afrique du Sud,(On the traces of prehistory, the abbot of Breuil from Périgord to South Africa), work directed by Noël Coye, Somogy, 2006, ISBN : 2-85056-945-5, 38 €.
Review published in the newsletter #10 - from 29 June 2006 to 5 July 2006