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Mâcon is located at the confluence of the Saône and Doubs rivers. It lies on a plateau created by erosion in soft sedimentary rocks, which are easier to erode than hard rocks such as limestone or granite. The city is built on limestone bedrock that has been eroded over millennia to form a network of grottos (caves) underneath it, most notably the caves used for wine storage; these caves have also served as quarries since Roman times. The area around Mâcon has been settled since pre-historic times: evidence includes an extensive prehistoric cave painting site known as L'abri du Cras, discovered in 1959 along with numerous flint tools and bone fragments from Neanderthal man dating back 50 000 years ago. The first historical mention was by Julius Caesar who described it in his Commentaries on the Gallic War (Book 1 Chapter 12). In 843 King Charles II made Mâcon a fortified place overlooking his southern frontier.