Ichnological, archaeological and palaeontological investigations undertaken since 1985 in the cave of Montespan-Ganties, famous for its animal sculptures, at least one of which represents a bear, have yielded a new interprétation of the presence of man in the cave and his possible relations with the cave bear. The thin level ofhuman occupancy in the Galerie Casteret-Godin is on a level marked by the presence ofthe cave bear, characterized by bones, more or less scatte-red, and scratch marks on the walls. The stays and the activities of palaeolithic man occurred in a cave that is heavily stamped by the cave bear, which occupied it during winter. However, no évidence of utilization or manipulation of bones has been observed in the cave, neither close to the sculptures and engravings, nor in the deeper parts of the cave. Other discoveries show that the Galerie Casteret-Godin, where the sculptures are situated, was visited during the Chalcolithic. These stays were made probably because ofthe clay, of good quality in this part of the cave, and its extraction could explain part ofthe destruction of the palaeolithic sculptures.
Pyrénées, Speleology, Magdalenian, Palaeolithic art, Ursus spelaeus, Ichnology.