From the Mousterian to the Bronze Age: The El Miron Cave Project (Cantabria, Spain), 1996-2018

Author(s): Lawrence Straus; Manuel Gonzalez-Morales

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

El Miron Cave has a long, rich cultural sequence dated by 92 radiocarbon assays >46,000-c.500 BP. This large, strategically located site contains traces of Mousterian, Gravettian, Azilian, Mesolithic and historic uses and evidence of more significant occupations of diverse duration, intensity and function throughout the Solutrean, Magdalenian, Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze ages. A short-term hunting camp during the LGM, the cave held major, repeated, multi-purpose residences in Oldest Dryas. At 18.8cal.kya, a healthy, middle-age woman died, was ritually buried with non-local ocher, and her burial marked by an engraved block. DNA from this human, from salmon and red deer confirm that Cantabrian Spain was a refugium during the LGM from which these species recolonized northern Europe in the Late Glacial. During the Upper Paleolithic humans fished salmon and hunted red deer in the valley below and ibex on the steep, rocky slopes around the cave. Magdalenian levels contain portable art and osseous artifacts that include both regionally distinctive types and items indicating social/trade contacts with SW France, as do exotic flints. El Miron has the oldest evidence of Neolithic adaptations in N.Atlantic Spain (wheat, ceramics, domesticated animals) at 6.5cal.kya. It was also a Copper and Bronze Age "hamlet" and stable.

Cite this Record

From the Mousterian to the Bronze Age: The El Miron Cave Project (Cantabria, Spain), 1996-2018. Lawrence Straus, Manuel Gonzalez-Morales. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449685)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22991