History of the discovery of the cave
The upper level of the Pech Merle cave, showing no evidence of human presence in prehistoric times, was explored at the beginning of the 20th C.
The prehistoric galleries of the lower level were discovered in 1922 by three children from the village of Cabrerets. The study of the paintings and engravings was immediately undertaken by Father Amédée Lemozi, the priest of Cabrerets, who was a prehistorian.
The cave has been open to the public since 1926. It was classified as a Historic Monument in 1952. Since 1973, it has been the property of the Commune of Cabrerets, which manages it and organises the visits. In 1981, the Prehistory Museum was set up close to the entrance to the cave, and with it forms the Pech Merle Prehistory Centre.