The University of Arizona
Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

El Miron Cave and the (super 14) C chronology of Cantabrian Spain.

Lawrence Guy Straus, Manuel Gonzalez Morales


Excavations since 1996 in the large El Miron Cave in the Cantabrian Cordillera of northern Spain have revealed a cultural sequence of late Mousterian, early Upper Paleolithic, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, and Medieval occupations. These components have been dated by 51 generally coherent radiocarbon determinations, all run by the Geochron labs, in association with the Lawrence Livermore labs for AMS. This series is one of the largest for a single prehistoric site in Iberia or even Europe. The series is consistent with the record from Cantabrian Spain and provides new detail on the age of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, on the various phases of the Magdalenian culture, on the appearance of the Neolithic in the Atlantic zone of Spain, and on the origins of the socioeconomic complexity in the metal ages. The stratigraphic relationship of (super 14) C-dated levels to a roof-fall block and adjacent cave walls (both with engravings) provides rare terminus post and ante quem ages for execution of the rupestral art in El Miron during the early to mid Magdalenian. The (super 14) C record has also been instrumental in revealing the existence of depositional hiati during the early Holocene.


Stone Age;lithostratigraphy;Paleolithic;Cantabria Spain;El Miron Cave;middle Paleolithic;Mousterian;lower Holocene;caves;accelerator mass spectra;Spain;Iberian Peninsula;mass spectra;spectra;Southern Europe;archaeological sites;Holocene;Pleistocene;upper Pleistocene;Europe;sediments;Cenozoic;charcoal;Quaternary;C 14;carbon;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;absolute age

Full Text: