AN archaeological team has discovered an open air Neanderthal camp site in Alicante Province dating back around 120,000 years.

Researchers from Alicante and Valencia universities along with colleagues from Bilbao and Montpellier, France, have confirmed the find in Los Aljezares Natural Park.

The excavations were carried out last summer.

Most discoveries over the last 150 years in Spain and Portugal relating to the Middle Paleolithic age when Neanderthals lived, have been in caves.

Very little information has been uncovered over outdoor behavioural and settlement patterns revolving around camps.

University of Valencia professor, Aleix Eixea, said: “This is one of the few examples of this kind in the Iberian Peninsula and the only one in the Valencian region in which two archaeological levels have been documented in their original position.”

“The results obtained in this study show that the site served as a crossing point for the Neanderthal populations between the coast and the interior of the Iberian Peninsula within a wide territorial network,“ added Eixea.

“Different groups would meet to stock up on stone tools and weapons as well as trading animals they hunted down like deer and horses.”

Geological studies at Los Aljezares show a very different climate and landscape over 150,000 years ago with dating carried out by Alicante University’s professor of Earth Sciences and Environment, Jaime Cuevas.

Boffins
CUEVAS AND EIXEA(Alicante University image)

“It was a warmer and more humid climate than we had now and the area of the Vinapolo basin was characterised by flat areas with a network of lagoons, rather than the series of ravines today,” said Cuevas.

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