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I'm looking at Neolithic use of dyes in France. I've come across references to woad being used in Neolithic times in Adaouste, Bouches-du-Rhône, and in Audoste, Bouches-du-Rhône. Are these the same place? Google Maps doesn't recognise either name, and I've not found any other maps that enable me to compare their locations, nor any mention of them together in a reference.

Maybe someone from the region could help? If you could also point me to a Google Maps location for each, that would be great.

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  • moovitapp.com/index/en/… might help a bit
    – nohillside
    Dec 31 '20 at 10:25
  • From persee.fr/doc/quate_1142-2904_1997_num_8_2_1571 Adaouste seems to be the name of the cave, which is in the locality of Jouques. researchgate.net/profile/Emmanuel_Desclaux/publication/… gives a detailed map of its location.
    – jcaron
    Dec 31 '20 at 12:48
  • The cave is here: karsteau.org/karsteau/recherche/entree/… It is also known as Grotte de la Davouste, Grotte des Lyonnais, Baume des Lyonnais. Other than a number of copies of basically the same text about the dye which state they have been found in the Audoste Cave, I can't seem to find any reference to that cave, it's probably a transcription error which then got copy-pasted in many places.
    – jcaron
    Dec 31 '20 at 13:16
  • @jcaron thanks. I found those repeated texts about the dye in Audoste too. I suspect you're right. For anyone else interested in dyes, I've discovered that the authoritative references appear to be Prehistoric Textiles: The Development Of Cloth In The Neolithic And Bronze Ages With Special Reference To The Aegean by Elizabeth Barber 1992, and the report it cites by Jules Cotte and Charles Cotte, 1916/18. From the title, La caverne de l'Adaouste: troisième annexe, le pastel dans l'antiquité is probably the relevant part, but it's paywalled so I can't tell. Dec 31 '20 at 13:41
  • A friend (not a TSE user) writes - I agree with jcaron. All the sources I found which say "Audoste" look like Wikipedia scrapes, and none of them gives an exact location. (Full disclosure - I'm a Wikipedia editor, and yes errors do creep in and do get copied everywhere.) >> Continued
    – Willeke
    Dec 31 '20 at 16:33
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It is hard to proof a negative but the lack of sources does point very strongly that they are one and the same.

@jcaron wrote:

The cave is here It is also known as Grotte de la Davouste, Grotte des Lyonnais, Baume des Lyonnais. Other than a number of copies of basically the same text about the dye which state they have been found in the Audoste Cave, I can't seem to find any reference to that cave, it's probably a transcription error which then got copy-pasted in many places.

As my friend said, in the comment I posted on the question:

Although it's possible that there were two nearby caves with similar names, it seems very unlikely that all the palaentologists think they were the same one - someone would surely have commented on the remarkable double discovery in nearby locations!

And:

My money says "Adaouste" (a name which feels "less French" to me than the alternative; but it could be Occitan).

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