One of the key-sites of our C1-project is the world-famous Cueva Ardales in Andalusia. The site made headlines earlier this year with the discovery of Neanderthal art. Now the C1 team was excited to revisit the cave for the final excavation campaign. We met up with our Spanish colleagues from the University of Cádiz and revisited Zone 3 of the cave, which had already been the focus of our last two trips to Andalucía.
The last two years in Zone 3 were spent working in an area directly underneath a panel of red dots. Neanderthal presence had been documented here and in other areas of the cave, and in light of the new dates, we shifted the project’s focus to these Middle Paleolithic layers. Here, we worked side by side identifying sediments while battling low light conditions and the daily strenuous climb back to the surface. Other team members were back at the lab washing and sorting sediment and entering our results into the database.
Proud of our team’s accomplishments, we were sad to leave Andalucía. With the sites now closed, we are ready to explore the mysteries of our finds and contribute our discoveries to the ongoing discussion on Neanderthal culture.
Text: Taylor Otto
Taylor Otto is a PhD-student in the C1-project. She is working on Late Glacial land use in the western Mediterranean and is engaged in the public communication of science at the Neanderthal Museum.
|The samples taken from Ardales cave
Source: (Hoffmann et al., 2018, Science 359/6378 pp912-915).
|Working in Zone 3
Photo: Trine Kellberg Nielsen