As discoveries made in the sand pits of the Grenelle plain and in Paris' 13th arrondissement have revealed, the Paris site was visited as early as the Paleolithic era.

However, no trace of any culture prior to the Neolithic has been found in situ.

Thanks to excavations at the Louvre and Bercy, as well as a number of discoveries made during dredging operations in the Seine, the nature and size of the Neolithic habitations has been particularly well demonstrated.

We now know that populations of farmers and animal breeders settled in the alluvial plain starting in 4,500 BCE. They probably lived in small villages consisting of houses made of wood and clay that were regularly dismantled, moved and rebuilt as necessary.

Archaeological vestiges testify to a number of human habitations in Paris during the Bronze and Iron Ages,. The principal discoveries were made in the riverbed of the Seine or on its banks, showing the vital role played by the river.