The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel

  This eBook version of THE SHELTERS OF STONE contains bonus content not found in the printed version.

  A Sneak Preview from THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES

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

  EARTH’S CHILDREN® Series Sampler

  Read excerpts from each of the novels in the Earth’s Children® series.

  Q&A with Jean M. Auel

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


  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,

  and for FORREST, SKYLAR, and SLADE,

  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® series



  I 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 Flageolet 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 Fre
nch 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 Gargas, 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.

  I feel great warmth and gratitude to Dr. Jan Jelinek for continued discussions about the Upper Paleolithic Era. His insights about the people who lived during the time when anatomically modern humans arrived and settled in Europe and met the Neanderthals who were living there are always valuable. I also want to thank him for his assistance to the Czech publishers in their translations of the previous books in this series.

  I read the books of Dr. Alexander Marshack, who pioneered the technique of examining carved artifacts under a microscope, long before I met him and I appreciate the efforts he has made into the understanding of Cro Magnons and Neanderthals, and the papers he sends me. I have been impressed with his cogent and thoughtful theories based on his careful studies, and continue to read his work for his penetrating and intelligent perceptions about the people who lived during the last Ice Age.

  During the three months I lived near Les Eyzies de Tayac in southwest France doing research for this book, I visited Font-de-Guame Cave many times. I owe special thanks to Paulette Daubisse, who was the director and in charge of the people who guided the visitors to that beautifully painted ancient cave, for her kindness, and particularly for giving me a special private tour. She lived with that very singular site for many years, and knew it as though it were her own home. She showed me many formations and paintings that are not usually presented to the casual visitor—it would make the tours far too long—and I am more grateful than she can know for the unique insights that were revealed.

  I also want to thank M. Renaud Bombard of Presse de la Cité, my French publisher, for his willingness to help me find whatever I needed, whenever I was in France doing research. Whether it was a place to make copies of a large manuscript not too far from where I was staying with someone there who could speak English so I could explain what I needed, or a good hotel in the region during the off-season when most hotels were closed, or a fabulous restaurant in the Loire valley where we could celebrate the anniversary of dear friends, or late reservations in a popular resort area on the Mediterranean which happened to be on the way to a site I wanted to see. Whatever it was, M. Bombard always managed to make it happen, and I am truly grateful.

  In order to write this book, I had to learn about more than archeology and paleoanthropology and there are several other people who were of great assistance. A sincere thank-you to Dr. Ronald Naito, doctor of internal medicine in Portland, Oregon, and my personal physician for many years, who was willing to call me after his office hours and answer my questions about the symptoms and progression of certain illnesses and injuries. I also want to thank Dr. Brett Bolhofher, doctor of orthopaedic medicine in St. Petersburg, Florida, for his information about bone trauma and injuries, but even more for putting my son’s shattered hip and pelvis back together after his automobile accident. Thanks also to Joseph J. Pica, orthopaedic surgery and trauma, and physician assistant to Dr. Bolhofher, for his cogent explanation of internal injuries, and his excellent care of my son. I also appreciated the discussion with Rick Frye, volunteer emergency paramedic in Washington State, about what to do first in medical emergencies.

  Thanks also to Dr. John Kallas, Portland, Oregon, expert in the collection of wild foods, who continually experiments with processing and cooking them, for sharing his extensive knowledge not only of wild plant foods, but also of clams, mussels and vegetables from the sea. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of edible seaweed.

  And special thanks to Lenette Stroebel of Prineville, Oregon, who has been breeding back from wild horses to the original Tarpan, and turning up some interesting characteristics. For example, they have hooves so hard they don’t need horseshoes even on rocky ground, they have a stand-up mane, and they have markings similar to the horses painted on some cave walls, such as the dark legs and tail, and sometimes stripes on the flanks. And they have a beautiful gray color called gruya. She not only allowed me to see the horses, but she told me a great deal about them, and then sent a wonderful series of photographs of one of her mares giving birth, which gave me the basis for the birth of Whinney’s foal.

  I am grateful to Claudine Fisher, professor of French at Portland State University and Honorary French Counsel for Oregon, for French translations of research material and correspondence, and for advice and insights about this and other manuscripts, and additional things French.

  To early readers, Karen Auel-Feuer, Kendall Auel, Cathy Humble, Deanna Sterett, Claudine Fisher and Ray Auel, who hurriedly read a first finished draft and offered some good constructive suggestions, thank you.

  I am deeply indebted to Betty Prashker, my sharp, smart and savvy editor. Her suggestions are always helpful and her insights invaluable.

  Thanks beyond measure t
o my literary agent, Jean Naggar, who flew here to read the first finished draft, and along with her husband, Serge Naggar, made some suggestions, but told me it worked. She has been there from the beginning, performing miracles with this series. Thanks also to Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, who is working with Jean to perform further miracles especially with foreign rights.

  With great regret, I offer gratitude in memoriam, to David Abrams, professor of anthropology and archeology in Sacramento, California. In 1982, David and his research assistant and future wife, Diane Kelly, took Ray and me on my first research trip to Europe—France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Ukraine (dien Russia)—to visit for the first time some of the sites where the books in the Earth’s Children® series took place, some 30,000 years ago. I was able to get a sense of the localities, which helped me tremendously. We became friends with David and Diane, and saw each other several times over the years, both here and in Europe. It was a shock to learn that he was so ill—he was too young to go—but he held on with perseverance for much longer than anyone predicted, always keeping a wonderfully positive attitude. I miss him.

  I must thank another dear friend, in memoriam, Richard Ausman, who helped me to write these books by designing comfortable places where I could live and work. “OZ” had a special genius for creating beautiful and efficient homes, but more than that, he had been a good friend to both Ray and me for years. He thought they had caught the cancer in time, and married Paula hoping for many more years with her and her children, but it was not to be. I feel great sadness that he is no longer with us.

  There are many others I probably should thank for insights and assistance, but this is too long already, so I will end with the one who counts the most. I am grateful to Ray, for his love, support and encouragement, for helping to provide the time and space for me to work in spite of my strange hours, and for being there.

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