Recent archaeological investigations carried out in La Garma Cave, Cantabria (Spain), have allowed for the detailed documentation of the remains of a Paleolithic hut built 16,800 years ago. It is one of the best-preserved prehistoric dwellings in the world.

The work was made possible thanks to the support of the PALARQ Foundation and the project of the International Institute of Prehistoric Research of Cantabria.

The hut was an oval space of about 5 square meters delimited by stones and stalagmites. It had a structure of sticks and hides leaning against the cave’s ledge.

In the center, there was a hearth where various daily activities took place, such as the manufacturing of stone, antler, and bone tools, as well as the processing of hunting pieces.

Over 4,600 objects have been cataloged, including deer, horse, and bison bones, 600 flint pieces, and antler and bone tools. Seashells and uniquely decorated bones were also found.

The excellent state of preservation of this Magdalenian habitat required two years of interdisciplinary work, applying innovative non-invasive techniques such as 3D mapping, soil analysis, and radiocarbon dating.

The discovery is highly relevant for understanding the lifestyle of hunter-gatherer groups in the Middle Paleolithic in the northern Iberian Peninsula.

La Garma is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Cantabria, including, in addition to the hut remains, significant sets of rock art, a long stratigraphic sequence of the last 400,000 years, and various later archaeological contexts.

Researchers continue to work at the site with the support of various institutions to preserve this exceptional historical testimony and gain a better understanding of past societies. A reproduction of this structure will be installed soon in the exhibition facility at the Rock Art Center created by the Government of Cantabria in the town of Puente Viesgo.


Sources

University of Cantabria | Cueva de la Garma (Official Site)


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