Fifteen thousand years ago, southwestern France had a much drier and colder climate than it does now. The flora and fauna were thus quite different from what they are today. The landscape, which resembled a steppe or a tundra, had very few trees, and herds of hooved mammals roamed across vast stretches of territory. Several methods, described below, allow researchers to reconstruct the ancient climate and the natural resources that would have been available to late Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers.