The last campaign in Atapuerca discovers signs of Neolithic populations

The last campaign in Atapuerca discovers signs of Neolithic populations

BURGOS, July 21 () –

The Minister of Culture, Gonzalo Santónja, has valued the successes of the last excavation campaign in the sites of the Sierra de Atapuerca, which continues to offer “singular finds that cover an enormous breadth of epochs in the history of mankind”.

Santonja has carried out these assessments at the close of the excavations in the Sierra de Atapuerca, where together with his co-directors, Juan Luis Arsuaga, José María Bermúdez de Castro and Eudald Carbonell, he has presented the main findings discovered in this campaign, which began on June 17.

One more year, we must congratulate ourselves on the good results obtained in this new excavation campaign, stated the counselorgiving as an example the findings at the Portalón site, in Cueva Mayor, where indications of a Neolithic habitation area have been obtained”.

In this way, he has congratulated the more than 300 researchers who have participated in the excavation of the depositsas well as in the subsequent washing of sediments on the banks of the Arlanzón river, as it passes through Ibeas de Juarros.


The main findings have been made in The Gate of Cueva Mayorwhere progress has been made in an area of ​​activity focused on the making of dozens of fires/hearths for, for example, food processing or heat treatment of flint when carving it.

In addition, bone tools have been found such as awls and needles, some ornamental elements such as seashell beads, as well as abundant ceramic fragments, some finely decorated, and stone tools such as small flint blades, hammers, mills, or polished axes.

The findings have also been very positive in the Sima del Elefante, where a carved quartz river ridge has been recovered. This means that one of the tools possibly used by this individual or any other of his group has been located a short distance from the hominin remains.

This result is very interesting, especially if one takes into account that There is still a significant thickness of sediment left from the ceiling of level TE7 where Pink and the carved quartz ridge appeared.

During the presentation of the findings, they recalled that since 1978, the Atapuerca Research Team (EIA) has worked and investigated in these deposits without interruption.

For yet another year, this team has stayed at the Gil de Siloé Residence, in the capital of Burgos, thanks to the collaboration of the Junta de Castilla y León.

This year, the participants in the excavations belong mainly to the research centers included in the Atapuerca Project: National Center for Research on Human Evolution of Burgos (CENIEH), University of Burgos (UBU), Rovira i Virgili University (URV), Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES), Mixed Center Complutense University of Madrid – Carlos III Health Institute of Evolution and Human Behavior (UCM – ISCIII), University Al Calá de Henares (UAH) and University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR).

It is worth noting the participation of several students from University College London and the National Museum of Georgia (Republic of Georgia), thanks to the agreements signed by the Atapuerca Foundation with the two institutions.

Following the guidelines of previous years, The Atapuerca Foundation and the Atapuerca Research Team have worked together on aspects related to security and administrative and documentary organization.

During the campaign, most of the members of the Atapuerca Foundation carry out organizational, logistical and communication tasks, as well as other dissemination tasks related to the excavations.

For its part, the Junta de Castilla y León supports each excavation campaign with annual funding of 160,000 euros, both for research and dissemination carried out by the University of Burgos and the Atapuerca Foundation.

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Written by Editor TLN

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