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Living in caves is fun
By Christophe GILLIOT

1     Humans have always lived in caves. Before man could build shelters, natural caves served as protection against the elements, enemies, and wild animals. Some of the most famous natural caves, the Lascaux Caves in southwestern France, are famous for their prehistoric paintings.
2     Throughout French history and especially during Roman colonization, men exploited quarries of soft rock to extract stones that they used in the construction of different types of buildings. In many areas of France, men dug smaller caves into the soft rock and turned them into homes, also called troglodytes, especially in the Loire Valley between the village of Gennes and the town of Saumur.
3     Living in caves was very practical for many reasons. First, it allowed farmers to exploit more land because not only did the farmer live underground, but his stables and barns were underground as well. The fields were above these buildings. Second, farmers could make money by selling the extracted stones. Third, caves provided shelter in case of danger. In France, Vikings' raids were common and extremely feared by local populations who took shelter in these caves.

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