What are commonly called cavemen were the early European populations of the Pleistocene. Their remains were first discovered in 1868 inside a cave at a site in France, called Cro-Magnon, that was dated to approximately 30,000 years ago.
What became known as Cro-Magnons were not the first human inhabitants of Europe. At the time of their arrival, the continent had already been occupied by Neanderthal groups for around 250,000 years. Many artifacts related to each group are found inside caves because those sites tend not to be disturbed by animals and weather. Many Cro-Magnons left paintings on the walls of caves, which has furthered the association of early humans with cave-dwelling lifestyles.