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Two SE Spanish middle palaeolithic sites with Neanderthal remains: Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo and Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Murcia province)

M. J. Walker, F.S.A. * and J. Gibert **

with collaborating scientists:
F. Sánchez López (1), A.V. Lombardi (2), I. Serrano (3), A. Eastham (4), F. Ribot (5), A. Arribas (6), A. Cuenca (7), J-A. Sánchez Cabeza (8), J. García Orellana (9), L. Gibert (10), S. Albadalejo (11) and J.A. Andreu (12)


This article presents preliminary findings from excavations at two recently-discovered cave sites in Murcia (SE. Spain) with Neanderthal hominid skeletal remains, middle palaeolithic tools, and early Upper Pleistocene faunal remains. The sites are in contrasting environments, the shaft of Sima de las Palomas being near the coast whereas the Cueva Negra rock-shelter is in the hinterland. The origins and development of the field research project are outlined with special reference to strategical and methodological considerations.

Cueva Negra has afforded half-a-dozen adult Neanderthal teeth and the shaft of a forearm bone. Sima de las Palomas suffered damage from nineteenth-century mining that exposed an 18-metre-high column of breccia in a natural shaft, and geophysical determinations suggest that it spans a period from roughly 125,000 to 50,000 BP. Adult and juvenile Neanderthal teeth and bones have been excavated at the top of the column and many others have been found sifting mine rubble both outside the cavern and on the floor inside, some of which have characteristics that are more in keeping with pre-Neanderthal morphology.


Área de Antropología Física
Departamento de Biología Animal
Facultad de Biología
Universidad de Murcia
30100 MURCIA
Murcia
Spain
Email:
walker@fcu.um.es


Institut Paleontoḷgic Dr. M. Crusafont
Diputació de Barcelona
Carrer de l'Escola Industrial 23
08201 SABADELL
Barcelona
Spain
Fax: 00 34 93 727 6641


1 Institut Paleontoḷgic Dr. M. Crusafont, Diputació de Barcelona, Carrer de l'Escola Industrial 23, 08201 SABADELL, Barcelona, Spain

2 2602 Wilmington Road, NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania PA 16105, U.S.A. (Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University Dental School)
Email: vlombardi@pathway.net

3 Área de Antropología Física, Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain

4 Cleddau Laboratory for Archaeozoological Analysis, Dolau, Dwrbach, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales, SA65 9RN, United Kingdom

5 Institut Paleontoḷgic Dr. M. Crusafont, Diputació de Barcelona, Carrer de l'Escola Industrial 23, 08201 SABADELL, Barcelona, Spain

6 Instituto Tecnológico GeoMinero de España, Calle Ríos Rosas 23, Madrid, Spain

7 Laboratorio de Carreteras, Servicio Territorial de Carreteras, Carretera de Madrid s/n, Alicante, Spain

8 Departament de Física, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Email: ja.sanchez@cc.uab.es

9 Departament de Física, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain

10 Institut Paleontoḷgic Dr. M. Crusafont, Diputació de Barcelona, Carrer de l'Escola Industrial 23, 08201 SABADELL, Barcelona, Spain

11 Institut Paleontoḷgic Dr. M. Crusafont, Diputació de Barcelona, Carrer de l'Escola Industrial 23, 08201 SABADELL, Barcelona, Spain

12 Área de Antropología Física, Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain


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Last updated: Wed Dec 23 1998