Fossil hunting in Dordogne and Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Why I started collecting fossils ...

I always enjoyed visiting France, even from a very young age. I used to love the excitement of trotting off to the local high street branch of Thomsons, to change up your grubby UK Sterling pocket money in exchange for those beatiful crisp brand new French Franc bank notes, which had that ‘freshly printed inky aroma’ about them! But more to the point, I also knew that I would get to go down some amazing caves and afterwards we would normally get to exit through the gift shop, as you always do, and that I would also get to fleece my parents (I still seem to be quite good at doing it) of their hard earned cash, so that I could buy beautiful semi-precious gemstones and ancient fossils (neither of which normally came from France)! Not that I really knew any difference at the time. It was a hobby and interest that one of my friends also shared, so we collected together. I then left England for Scotland at the age of 17 and my collection went into storage (parents loft). Over the years, with my collection still in storage and being out of sight out of mind, interest slowly dwindled and my modest collection was all boxed up and much more important hobbies and interests developed, such as ladies, who came and went!

How I got back into fossil collecting again ...

Having moved to France and living in the limestone rich region of Périgord Blanc in central Dordogne, one day I spotted an ammonite in one of our limestone walls and roughly around the same time my mother also found a very large type shell in another piece of limestone laying around in one of our barns. I am certainly no expert on the subject, but from the research that I have done, I believe it to be a type of ‘Bivalve’ fossil. Photos of these fisrt two fossil finds from Dordogne are shown bellow. I showed both of these fossils to our very nosey inquisitive daughter, who was about 4 or 5 years old at the time and she was fascinated. As such I then retreived my modest collection from storage and spent an evening showing her the various types of fossils that I had bought my parents had bought. From there on she begun hunting for fossils in all of our walls! She wanted to remove stones from the outbuildings, or, wherever she spotted a fossil in the wall! Not really good, so we have been taking her out to search for fossil hunting locations, which in turn turned me into a fossil hunter as well as a collector!

Our collection so far ...

First of all I would like to say that we (mostly GG and myself), don't really get a chance to get out very often to go fossil hunting in Dordogne, so for now this page is a going to be a bit of a work in progress! Here follows some photos along with a description of some of our better fossil finds to date.

Fossils found in the garden!

Sometimes we have driven for many miles and spent many hours searching for fossil sites in the Dordogne, yet some our best finds have been here right on our own doorstep... In our very own garden!

PLEASE NOTE PHOTO IS CURRENTLY PENDING UPLOAD. Ammonite - Although the fossil was found in a limestone wall at the property, the limestone was probably imported from a quarry located somewhere in the Périgord Blanc region. That said, given the property is over 400 years old, I doubt very much that it was transported from many miles away.

PLEASE NOTE PHOTO IS CURRENTLY PENDING UPLOAD. A type of Bivalve (I think) - My mother actually found this fossil in a stone pile, which had been left in the barn by the previous owners. Potentially this could have came from anywhere in Dordogne.

Rouffignac

Granny and grandad had come to visit Dordogne again visit us all again. Everybody fancied a nice day out, but we wanted to keep it fairly local, so we all decided upon visiting the Grotte de Rouffignac. Here you will find many limestone outcrops beside where you park, so access and getting started hunting is as easy as getting out of your vehicle! The outcrops are being slowly eroded away by natural weathering processes. So there are plenty of spoils already on the floor for you to investigate, without needing to hack away into the natural limestone outcrop - which I am actually against. Anyway, after getting out of the car, the very first piece of stone that I picked up from the floor went on to reveal this ...

PLEASE NOTE PHOTO IS CURRENTLY PENDING UPLOAD. A pretty little fossil of a shell that we found. It looks very similar to a small scallop shell. I painted the shell with a hint of water colour paint and then proceeded to varnish it to help it to stand out (we were not really concerned about any kind of value). This just so happened to be the very first piece of stone that I picked up, which had fallen from the limestone outcrops, beside the entrance to the cave.

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The Gîte

Gîte Lau Pito Meizou is a self catering rural holiday gîte. The gîte is located in the heart of the Dordogne, in the picturesque Périgord Blanc countryside. The gîtes central location provides easy access to Périgueux and the top tourist attractions in Dordogne. The gîte features an exclusive, secluded and secure swimming pool, with pool barrier and child safety entry gate. A shaded terrace and BBQ for dining ‘al fresco’. Its own private secluded garden and convenient parking beside the gîte …

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  • Gîte Lau Pito Meizou
    La Farge
    St-Antoine-d’Auberoche
    24330
    Bassillac et Auberoche
    Dordogne (Périgord Blanc)
    France