In the last campaign carried out, Ice Age levels have been reached, around 20,000 years before the present.
Advances in archaeological research carried out in the Paleolithic shelter of La Capilla, located on Mount Los Ásperos, in Santomera, show the presence of Neanderthals. In the last campaign carried out, Ice Age levels have been reached, around 20,000 years before the present, with fossil findings of large mammals consumed by humans.
Thus concludes the second campaign of archaeological intervention of the project framed in ‘Santomera Milenaria: enhancement of archaeological and ethnographic heritage’, developed by the Santomera Heritage Association and the town council. Specialists such as Ignacio Martín Lerma, a professor of Prehistory at the UMU, João Zilhão, a paeloanthropologist at the University of Barcelona and a specialist in Neanderthals, and emeritus professor Michael Walker, a professor of Paleoanthropology at the UMU, all of them agreeing on the potential and deposit interest.
The Shelter of the Chapel was discovered in the Archaeological Prospecting campaign that took place in 2018, documenting then several chronological phases in relation to the materials that appeared on the surface, these phases go from the Middle Paleolithic (100,000-40,000 before present) with the presence of Neanderthals to this day where some current shepherds have used it as a rest area or refuge.
It is a south-facing space that visually controls several communication routes (Rambla Salada, La Cañada Perdida or the A7 Corridor) that have been used since ancient times by both wildlife and transhumant shepherds in more recent times. To these conditions is added the biological richness that had to occur in the area as well as the proximity of the main source of supply of raw materials such as flint that represented Rambla Salada.
In these two campaigns, Ice Age levels have been reached, around 20,000 years before present, with fossil findings of large mammals such as the horse (Equus ferus) or deer (Cervus Elaphus) consumed by humans. In addition, thousands of lithic pieces belonging to different human activities have appeared, among which lithic carving in all its phases and hunting stand out, and where several directing fossils are found that specify in their archaeological context the chronology of these Paleolithic phases.
It is related to the dimensions of the shelter of one of the richest lithic sites in our region (with thousands of pieces to catalogue), which promises to be a milestone in the study of the Paleolithic in the south of the peninsula.
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