The University of Arizona

AMS Dating of Human Bone from Cova de la Pastora: New Evidence of Ritual Continuity in the Prehistory of Eastern Spain

Sarah B McClure, Oreto Garcia Puchol, Brendan J ulleton


We present the results of 10 AMS radiocarbon dates for Cova de la Pastora (Alcoi, Alicante), a burial cave attributed to the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic in eastern Spain. The direct dating of 10 human mandibles from Cova de la Pastora indicates that the cave was used as a burial place from the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic to the Bronze Age. These dates reveal a continuity of ritual use not previously identified at the site. This case also serves to highlight the utility of revisiting historic excavations and museum collections with modern techniques to shed new light on the prehistoric human record.

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