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Authors: Jean M. Auel

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The Shelters of Stone

BOOK: The Shelters of Stone
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This eBook version of
contains bonus content not found in the printed version.

A Sneak Preview from
Read an exciting preview from Jean M. Auel’s
The Land of Painted Caves
, on sale in hardcover in Spring 2011.

Series Sampler
Read excerpts from each of the novels in the
Earth’s Children

Q&A with Jean M. Auel
In this special Q&A, Jean M. Auel discusses her bestselling
Earth’s Children

A Bantam Book

Crown hardcover edition published June 2002

Published by
Bantam Dell
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York

EARTH’S CHILDREN is a trademark of Jean M. Auel

All rights reserved
Copyright © 2002 by Jean M. Auel
Map and illustrations copyright © by Radica Prato
Inset map copyright © Palacios after Auel

Excerpt from The Land of Painted Caves copyright 2010 by Jean M. Auel.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2002000995
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.
For information address: Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, NY

Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

eISBN: 978-0-307-76764-6

This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming book The Land of Painted Caves. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.


who knows more about what’s to come than almost anyone
except his mother,

and for CHRISTY,
the mother of his boys,

three of the best,
with love


The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Valley of Horses
The Mammoth Hunters
The Plains of Passage

Hailed as “the publishing event of the decade”
THE SHELTERS OF STONE is the fifth in the bestselling Earth’s Children
series, following:

“Our nomination for the year’s great escape.”


“Imaginative, exciting.”

—The New York Times Book Review

“A powerful story … Auel is a highly imaginative writer. She humanizes prehistory and gives it immediacy and clarity.”

—The New York Times Book Review

“Auel may be creating one of the most believable characters in English fiction—one to rank with Sherlock Holmes, Scarlett O’Hara, and a handful of others.”


“A compelling, pulse-quickening tale of adventure, love, and survival during a period of human history that has seldom been drawn upon by other fiction writers.”

—Chicago Tribune Book World

“Storytelling in the grand tradition.… From the violent panorama of spring on the steppes to musicians jamming on a mammoth-bone marimba, Auel’s books are a stunning example of world building.”


“Pure entertainment at its sublime, wholly exhilarating best.”

—Los Angeles Times

“Thrilling … This magical book is rich in details of all kinds … but it is the depth of the characters’ emotional lives … that gives the novel such a stranglehold.”


Publishers Weekly

Novels by Jean M. Auel


And the latest novel in the
Earth’s Children



am more grateful than I can say for the assistance of many people who have helped me to learn about the ancient world of the people who lived when glaciers advanced far south of today’s margins and covered a quarter of the earth’s surface. However, there are some details which I have chosen to use, particularly with regard to certain theories and the timing of certain sites and events, which may not be accepted by the majority of the professional community at this time. Some may be oversights but others were chosen deliberately, usually because it felt more accurate to this subjective novelist who must write about people with an understanding of human nature and logical motivation for their actions.

Most especially, I want to thank Dr. Jean-Philippe Rigaud, whom I met on my first research trip to Europe at his archeological excavation named
in southwest France, once a hunting camp on a hillside that overlooked a broad grassy plain and the migrating Ice Age animals it supported. Though I was just an unknown American novelist, he took the time to explain some of the discoveries of that site, and he helped to arrange a visit to Lascaux Cave. I was brought to tears when I saw that sanctuary of prehistoric splendor painted by those early modern humans of Upper Paleolithic Europe, the Cro Magnons—work that can still stand against the finest of today.

Later, when we met again at La Micoque, a very early Neanderthal site, I began to get more of a sense of the unique time at the beginning of our prehistory when the first anatomically modern humans arrived in Europe and encountered the Neanderthals who had been living there since long before the last Ice Age. Because I wanted to understand the process that is used to learn about our ancient ancestors, my husband and I worked for a short time at Dr. Rigaud’s more recent excavation,
Grotte Seize.
He also gave me many insights into the rich and expansive living site, which today is named
Laugerie Haute,
but that I have called the Ninth Cave of the Zelandomi.

Dr. Rigaud has been of help throughout the series, but I appreciate his assistance with this book in particular. Before I started writing
The Shelters of Stone,
I took all the information I had gathered about the region and the way it was then and wrote the entire background setting in terms of the story, giving the sites my own names and describing the landscape so that when I needed the information it was easily available in my own words. I have asked many scientists and other specialists uncountable questions, but I never asked anyone to check my work before it was published. I have always taken full responsibility for the choices I made in selecting the details that were used in my books, for the way I decided to use them, and the imagination I added to them—and I still do. But because the setting for this novel is so well known, not only to archeologists and other professionals, but to the many people who have visited the region, I needed to be sure that my background details were as accurate as I could make them, so I did something I had never done before. I asked Dr. Rigaud, who knows the region and understands the archeology, to check over those many, many pages of background material for obvious errors. I didn’t fully realize what a huge job I had asked of him, and I thank him profoundly for his time and efforts. He paid me the compliment of saying that the information was reasonably accurate, but he also told me some things I didn’t know or hadn’t understood, which I was able to correct and incorporate. Any mistakes remaining are entirely mine.

I am deeply grateful to another French archeologist, Dr.
Jean Clottes, whom I met through his colleague, Dr. Rigaud. In Montignac, at the celebration for the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of Lascaux Cave, he was kind enough to translate for me in quiet tones the gist of some of the presentations given in French at the conference that was held in conjunction with the Lascaux event. Over the years since then we have met on both sides of the Atlantic, and I cannot thank him enough for his kindness and exceptional generosity with his time and assistance. He has guided me through many painted and engraved caves, especially in the region near the Pyrenees Mountains. Besides the fabulous caves on Count Begouen’s property, I was particularly impressed with Gar-gas, which has so much more than the handprints for which it is so well known. I also appreciated more than I can say my second visit deep into Niaux Cave with him, which lasted about six hours and was a wonderful revelation partly because by then I had learned much more about the painted caves than I knew the first time. Though these places are not yet included in the story, the many discussions with him about concepts and ideas, especially regarding the reasons that the Cro Magnons may have had for decorating their caves and living sites, have been enlightening.

I made my first visit to the cave of Niaux in the foothills of the Pyrenees in 1982, for which I must thank Dr. Jean-Michel Belamy. I was indelibly impressed with Niaux, the animals painted on the walls of the Black Salon, the children’s footprints, the beautifully painted horses deep inside the extensive cavern beyond the small lake, and much more. I was moved beyond words, for Dr. Belamy’s more recent gift of the exceptional first edition of the first book about the cave of Niaux.

I feel gratitude beyond measure to Count Robert Begouen, who has protected and preserved the remarkable caves on his land, LEnlene, Tue d’Audoubert, and Trois Frères, and established a unique museum for the artifacts that have been so carefully excavated from them. I was overwhelmed with the two caves I saw, and am deeply grateful to him, and Dr. Clottes, for guiding my visits.

I also want to thank Dr. David Lewis-Williams, a gentle
man with strong œnvictions, whose work with the Bushmen in Africa and the remarkable rock paintings of their ancestors has engendered profound and fascinating ideas and several books, one co-written with Dr. Clottes,
The Shamans of Prehistory,
which suggests that the ancient French cave painters may have had similar reasons for decorating the rock walls of their caves.

Thanks are also owed to Dr. Roy Larick for his helpfulness and especially for unlocking the protective metal door and showing me the beautiful horse head carved in deep relief on the wall in the lower cave at Commarque.

I am also grateful to Dr. Paul Bahn for helping me to understand some of the conference presentations at the Lascaux anniversary meeting by translating them for me. Through his efforts, I had the honor of meeting three of the men who as boys discovered the beautiful cave of Lascaux in the 1940‧s. The site brought me to tears when I saw its white walls filled with such remarkable polychrome paintings, I can only imagine the impression it must have made on the four boys who followed a dog into a hole and saw the cave for the first time since its entrance collapsed 15,000 years ago. Dr. Bahn has been of great assistance to me, both through discussions and his books about the intriguing prehistoric era that are the subject of this series of novels.

BOOK: The Shelters of Stone
7.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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