Fourth excavation campaign at the Acheulean site of Albalá

El CENIEH codirige la cuarta campaña llevada a cabo en este yacimiento situado en la localidad de Poblete, donde probablemente se encuentran los restos arqueológicos más antiguos de la provincia de Ciudad Real

The fourth excavation campaign at Albalá, a site in the locality of Poblete, on the banks of the Guadiana River, and which can be considered the most ancient remains in the province of Ciudad Real, has continued to furnish abundant Middle Pleistocene lithic industry and faunal remains of species extinct in the zone, such as elephants.

Overall, a very high density of material has been recorded at the Albalá site, characterized by around 3000 handaxes and cleavers of great size, and a notable number of refits have been identified: that is, pieces which were united before the knapping process, whose proximity today indicates that the site has been well preserved.

“These findings will offer valuable clues to the recurrent human occupation of this region of the Guadiana valley at the end of the Middle Pleistocene”, comments Ignacio de la Torre, a researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and codirector of this excavation, together with the CENIEH researcher Alfonso Benito Calvo.

During this 2021 campaign, work took place on excavating two new archaeological levels discovered in 2019. Cores have also been extracted in the surroundings of the main excavation to determine the limits of the site, as well as to study the detailed stratigraphy and geomorphological aspects of this Guadiana fluvial terrace. “The purpose of these geological studies is to better understand how the Albalá site was formed”, says Benito-Calvo.

An international team

The participants in this fourth campaign, financed by the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha and with the support of the Ayuntamiento de Poblete, were researchers from the CENIEH and the University of California Berkeley, in addition to a team of 15 volunteers from Spain, Tanzania and Greece.