Temporary exhibition

20th of june - 15th of november 2016

Les Grands Sites de France:
Remarkable landscapes and sustainable tourism.

2014 - 2015

The caves come out of the shadows

Cavers and cave science

Since its inception, at the end of the 19th century, caving has maintained a close relationship with the natural sciences. In French it's actually known as "speleology", making it surely the only sport whose name includes the concept of knowledge of the environment in which it is practised. This exhibition pays homage to cavers' constant curiosity and excellent observational skills. These explorers of the shadow world discover, scour and observe caves, unusual environments where memories of past events take on physical form.

Through their descriptions, their measurements, their topographical surveys and inventories, cavers contribute to research on the way in which the subterranean environment works. From a historical viewpoint, the exhibition will also look at the development of new investigative methods: studies of groundwater flow, cave climate, corrosion and deposition, accurate mapping of shapes and deposits, palaeontological and archaeological research, etc. It will highlight how the natural archives conserved in caves demonstrate the processes that formed limestone terrain and enable us to recreate long-lost environments.

The exhibition will join the dots between the visits to the Aven d'Orgnac and the Cité de la Préhistoire.

Les partenaires

  • Le laboratoire Environnements, dynamiques et territoires de la montagne (EDYTEM), Université de Savoie, spécialisé en géomorphologie karstique
  • Le Fonds Choppy de la bibliothèque de l’université de Savoie
  • L’Institut suisse de spéléologie et de karstologie (ISSKA)
  • L’association de spéléologues photographes « LaSalle 3D »
  • La Fédération française de spéléologie : commission scientifique et Musée de la spéléologie
  • L’association française de karstologie (AFK)
  • L’Union internationale de spéléologie (UIS)
  • L’équipe scientifique de la grotte Chauvet et de nombreux spéléologues.