Primeval ladies and gentlemen

What secrets do prehistoric burial grounds hold, and which of our assumptions about human societies of that time can they refute? A visually impressive co-produced documentary will take the viewer to world-famous as well as hitherto unknown, uniquely accessible sites across Europe…

Through an exploration of palaeolithic burial grounds, the co-produced documentary of the French director Pauline Coste brings viewers an unexpected picture of human life 25,000 years ago, which is miles away from the ideas we harbour about human societies of that time. Central is the examination of the Lady of Cavillon, in whose grave so much wealth was found that scientists long considered the skeleton to be that of a man, as they were reluctant to believe that such honours could have been bestowed on a woman. The level of craftsmanship displayed in the jewellery found next to the body of the Lady of Cavillon also disproves our notion of the people of that time as primitive savages wrestling barehanded with sabre-toothed animals. Details of objects found at burial sites in France, Italy, Czech Republic (Dolní Věstonice), and Russia will be examined in this film, using cutting-edge technology, studying their everyday functions, in order for the mosaic of discoveries and findings to gradually reveal a picture of the life of people for whom – in addition to craftsmanship – solidarity, tolerance, and to some extent equality, were obviously familiar concepts. The discoveries show that what is sometimes called human construct was in fact human nature, tens of thousands of years ago already.


  • Pauline Coste, scriptwriter and director