October 19, 2012

Large Neolithic-Chalcolithic settlement found in Antequera (Andalusia)

Burial in flexed position
Pileta de Prehistoria reports[es] on the discovery of a large settlement occupying some 150 hectares in Arroyo Saladillo (Antequera) from the transitional Neolithic-Chalcolithic period (centuries around 3000 BCE). 

The site was previously known but the archaeological research prior to the public works on the high speed rail branch Antequera-Granada have evidenced that it was much larger than believed, occupying an almost circular area, delimited with a ditch or moat, with a diameter of 1.4 Km (less than one mile across), what results in an occupation of 150 Ha., of which only a fraction has been excavated so far. 

In this research zone of 700x40m. as many as 139 silos for cereal storage have been documented, some with carbonized remains, others (four) recycled as tombs, other four newly excavated burials and also four burials of megalithic type (dolmen).

Among the materials recovered are loom weights, tuyeres (sign of incipient metallurgy), marble and shell bracelets, three idols made in shale, pottery decorated with red ochre (a material also used in burials) and imported double edged axes. 

Economically speaking, agriculture, pastoralism, hunting and fishing all seem to have been important but maybe with some dominance of pastoralism (it is a mountain area).

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