The 2019 campaign will take place from September 9th to 30th at this Paleolithic site situated in the province of Ciudad Real, codirected by the CENIEH researcher Manuel Santonja, who leads the Consolidated Research Unit no. 182 of Castilla y León
The Junta de Castilla La Mancha has authorized the team from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), making up the Consolidated Research Unit no. 182 of Castilla-León, to undertake a new excavation project, the third, which will take place from September 9th to 30th, at El Sotillo, a Lower and Middle Paleolithic site situated in the province of Ciudad Real (Spain).
The campaigns carried out in 2017 and 2018 have confirmed that this is a complex site which incorporates stages of occupation of different chronologies from the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, “[a] circumstance which is common for Paleolithic sites in caves, but very unusual for open-air ones”, explains Santonja, an archaeologist at the CENIEH who is directing this project jointly with Alfredo Pérez González and Javier Baena.
In the deposits accumulated at El Sotillo, two Acheulean occupations have been recognized, the earlier dated to around 350,000 years ago, with a second one 200,000 years old. Later, with an age of close to 60,000 years, there is a record of the presence of new human groups, who developed a Mousterian technology, typical of the Middle Paleolithic.
“Therefore, this is an especially unusual site, as it offers rich and representative concentrations of artefacts knapped over a very long period of time, which will give us valuable information for interpreting the ancient Paleolithic in the Iberian Peninsula”, adds Santonja.
This year's campaign, financed by the Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deportes of Castilla La Mancha, will avail of the participation of researchers from the CENIEH, from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the University of Adelaide (Australia).