Category: Spain

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Beyond the Pillars of Hercules – Excavating an Iron Age seat of power

A new discovery deep in the Guadiana Valley of the Iberian Peninsula is revealing the secrets of a little-known and intriguing Iron Age civilisation. Sebastián Celestino Pérez and Esther Rodríguez González tell CWA about the latest finds from a political powerhouse: the kingdom of Tartessos. In the 5th century BC, the Greek historian and geographer […]

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FILM REVIEW: Finding Altamira

Paul Bahn sifts fact from fiction in the silverscreen telling of an extraordinary discovery. Rarely does a true archaeological story become the basis of a movie. Yet this is what we have with Finding Altamira. It recounts the discovery in 1879 of Ice Age art on a cave ceiling at Altamira, provoking intense and acrimonious […]

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Travel: Las Eretas

Jules Stewart travels to the little-known site of an early Iron Age community in the Navarre region of northern Spain. Las Eretas was never meant to be on the beaten path. On the contrary, its inhabitants were determined to distance themselves as far as possible from hostile neighbours. Visitors should therefore not be discouraged by […]

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Toothy Roman Tumour

Archaeologists examining the 1,600 year-old remains of a woman from Roman Spain have made a unique – if grisly – discovery: a calcified ovarian tumour containing four teeth and a piece of bone. Known as a ‘teratoma’, the spherical mass measured 4.3cm (1.7in) in diameter and was found in the right-hand part of the 30-40 […]

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No Neanderthal Neighbours?

Neanderthals might have died out 15,000 years earlier than previously thought, meaning that they could not have interacted or interbred with modern humans, new analysis suggests. For 20 years it had been thought that pockets of Neanderthals survived in southern Iberia until c.36,000 years ago. As Homo sapiens arrived in the northern part of the […]

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Not Slow Progress

Prehistoric snail shells contain a wealth of information about what the climate was like thousands of years ago, newly-published research says. Chemical analysis led by Dr André Carlo Colonese, Dept of Archaeology, University of York, examined the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of the shells of Pomatias elegans, recovered from Mediterranean caves and ranging in […]

Recycling ideas

Recycling is no modern concept: our ancestors were putting old tools to new uses 13,000 years ago, archaeologists in Spain have discovered. In the first study of its kind, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, researchers examined the unusually high number of re-worked burnt tools found at Molí del Salt in Tarragona. Manuel Vaquero, […]

Moll's Salt site in Tarragon,Cataluña, Spain. Credit: M. Vaquero et al.

Recycling in the Palaeolithic

Recycling is no modern concept: our ancestors were adept at putting old tools to new uses 13,000 years ago, archaeologists in Spain, have discovered.  In the first study of its kind, and published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the archaeologists were able to take advantage of the unusually high number of re-worked burnt tools […]

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Re-dating Ice Age art

Do the outlines of hands in Spain’s El Castillo cave belong to Homo sapiens or to their earlier Neanderthal cousins?

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Ancient masters

Europe’s oldest known cave art could be the work of Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago, say archaeologists. The abstract red circles and stencilled handprints decorating the walls of El Castillo cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Spain, were discovered over a century ago, but until recently the paintings’ age had not been […]

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Europe’s oldest Neolithic bow

The excavations at La Draga in Spain – which is among the earliest known agricultural settlements on the northern Iberian Peninsula – have uncovered the oldest complete Neolithic bow to have been found in Europe. Dated by its context to c.5400-5200 BC and made of yew wood, the bow was found by Autonomous University of […]

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