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Édouard Lartet

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Title: Édouard Lartet  
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Subject: Discovery of human antiquity, Swimming Reindeer, Combe Grenal, Édouard Piette, Paleontology/On this day/April 15
Collection: 1801 Births, 1871 Deaths, French Paleontologists, Members of the Société Ramond
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Édouard Lartet

Édouard Lartet
Born 15 April 1801
Castelnau-Barbarens, France
Died 28 January 1871
Séissan, France
Occupation Paleontologist
Pierced rod from Magdalenian Former collection of Laret – Muséum of Toulouse

Édouard Lartet (15 April 1801 – 28 January 1871) was a French paleontologist.[1]


Lartet was born near Castelnau-Barbarens, département of fossil Mammalia encouraged Lartet in excavations which led in 1834 to his first discovery of fossil remains in the neighborhood of Auch. Thenceforward he devoted his whole time to a systematic examination of the French caves, his first publication on the subject being The Antiquity of Man in Western Europe (1860), followed in 1861 by New Researches on the Coexistence of Man and of the Great Fossil Mammifers characteristic of the Last Geological Period. In this paper he made public the results of his discoveries in the cave of Aurignac, where evidence existed of the contemporaneous existence of man and extinct mammals.[1]

In his work in the Périgord district Lartet had the financial and personal help of Henry Christy.[2] The account of their joint researches appeared in a paper descriptive of the Dordogne caves and contents, published in Revue archéologique (1864). The important discoveries in the Abri de la Madeleine and elsewhere were published by Lartet and Christy under the title Reliquiae Aquitanicae, the first part appearing in 1865. Christy died before the completion of the work, but Lartet continued it until his breakdown in health in 1870. Many artefacts from their excavations are now kept in the local museum in Toulouse, as well as the British Museum in London.[3] His son Louis Lartet followed in his father's footsteps.

The most modest and one of the most illustrious of the founders of modern palaeontology, Lartet's work had previously been publicly recognized by his nomination as an officer of the Légion d'honneur; and in 1848 he had had the offer of a political post. In 1857 he had been elected a foreign member of the Geological Society of London, and a few weeks before his death he had been made professor of palaeontology at the museum of the Jardin des Plantes. He died at Séissan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c  
  2. ^ The Swimming Reindeer, British Museum Objects in Focus, accessed 3 August 2010, ISBN 978-0-7141-2821-4
  3. ^ British Museum Collection [2]
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