Léon Laval was the son of two teachers. He graduated from the École Normale in Périgueux, after which he also became a teacher. He held a number of teaching positions in the Dordogne and finally, at the beginning of the 1920s, took a permanent position in Montignac-sur-Vézère. A lover of literature, theatre and music, he maintained close ties with various writers and published literary and musical reviews in several national newspapers. He was also interested in archaeology, which he practiced in the field, and to which he devoted himself after taking early retirement in 1934. As one of the first people alerted by the four discoverers of Lascaux, Léon Laval is associated with the first years of the cave's exploration. His archaeological expertise and eminence led him to an appointment as correspondent to the CNRS and representative of France's Monuments Historique until 1948, the date when the cave was opened to the public.

LAVAL (François). – Mon père, l’homme de Lascaux, Périgueux, Pilote 24, 2006, 231 p., ill.