La Chaire a Calvin

La Chaire-à-Calvin
La frise de chevaux de la Chaire à Calvin
Location Mouthiers-sur-Boëme, Charente, France

La Chaire a Calvin is a rock shelter near the village of Mouthiers-sur-Boëme in the Département of Charente, situated in the valley of the Gersac stream. The shelter is on a cliff which faces south east. The rock face of this rock-shelter has a sculpted frieze dated to the Magdalenian period; approximately 15000 years BP.

This site was studied by Pierre David from 1924 onwards, who discovered the frieze in 1926. It was further studied by Bouvier in the 1960s.

This site contains the remains of rhinoceros, red deer, beaver, wolf, Saiga Antelope, tarpan, reindeer and aurochs, as well as fox, hare and indeterminate birds.[1] The remains of Saiga Antelope were the most numerous animal remains discovered.[1] The only human remains discovered are a single molar.

The frieze includes depictions of an aurochs without its head, a pregnant tarpan, and a mating scene of tarpans. Some traces of orange-red paint were found when the frieze was discovered.

Artifacts found include bone needles, squared bone spear head; a shellfish necklace and some pearls. Stone artifacts include bladelets, chisels and scrapers.

John Calvin, a Presbyterian reformer, preached on a rock platform near this shelter when he was living in Angouleme in 1520.


  1. 1 2 David, P. (1947) La Chaire a Calvin (Commune de Mouthiers-sur-Boëme), Le bulletin de la Société préhistorique française, 44(1-2) p. 31-32.

Coordinates: 45°33′19″N 0°06′57″E / 45.5553°N 0.1158°E / 45.5553; 0.1158

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