Cartailhac, Émile

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A French prehistorian sometimes called one of the founders of archaeology in France. He edited the journal "Matéreaux pour l'histoire primitive et naturelle de l'homme" and wrote books on French and Mediterranean prehistory including "La Caverne de Font-de-Gaume" (1910; "The Cave of Font-de-Gaume") with Henri Breuil. He is best remembered for his long refusal to accept the authenticity of cave art denouncing such archaeologists as Marcellino de Sautuola. After visiting the Spanish site of Altamira with the Abbé Breuil Cartailhac changed his opinion and in 1902 published an article subtitled "Mea culpa d'un sceptique" in which he admitted the antiquity of the cave paintings. He then helped to convince many scholars that cave paintings were indeed genuine and the earliest manifestations of art in the world.