A carving believed to be about 12,000 years old has been discovered in south-western France.
The prehistoric find by archaeologists excavating a site in the south-western Angoulême district, north of Bordeaux, has been described as “exceptional”.
Markings appear on both sides of the sandstone, the National Archaeological Research Institute (Inrap) said.
It was found during work at an “ancient hunting site” near Angoulême station.
The Palaeolithic stone plate, which is said to be about 25cm long, 18cm wide and 3cm thick, “combines geometric and figurative motifs”, Inrap said.
According to the institute, the most visible engraving is that of a headless horse, which covers at least half of the stone’s surface on one side.
“Legs and hooves are very realistic,” Inrap said on its website (in French), adding: “Two other animals, smaller, are also slightly incised.”