Third excavation campaign at the Acheulean site of Albalá

The CENIEH codirects the third campaign at this site in the locality of Poblete, where what are probably the oldest archaeological remains in the province of Ciudad Real have been found

This summer, from August 11th to 23rd, the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) has codirected the third excavation campaign at Albalá, a site in the locality of Poblete, on the banks of the River Guadiana, where around 1,000 archaeological remains have been found, among Acheulean lithic industry and fossil fauna, probably the oldest discovered to date in the province of Ciudad Real.

As Alfonso Benito Calvo, codirector of this excavation with Ignacio de la Torre, a professor at UCL (University College London), says “although we think these are the oldest archaeological remains found in this region, we are awaiting the numerical datings to confirm this”.

From these remains, a lot of information can be obtained about Paleolithic human occupations in the center of the Iberian Peninsula. Indeed, De la Torre, of UCL, states that “the appearance of two new archaeological levels has been of special importance in this campaign, as this demonstrates that human occupation in this zone was not a once-off, but took place repeatedly”.

The research team, which also includes Rafael Mora of the CEPAP-UAB, Davinia Moreno and Theodoros Karampaglidis of the CENIEH, Carmen Martín Ramos and Xin Ding from UCL and Laura Sánchez from the University of California Berkeley, considers that, just as in earlier years, the excavation has been a success and this underlines the need to continue excavating at Albalá in later years to study these two new levels of occupation.

Institutional support

The 2019 campaign, in which 25 persons from nearly all the autonomous regions of Spain, and other countries such as Australia, China the USA, Mexico, South Africa  and Tanzania, participated, has been financed by the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha. Moreover, it has enjoyed the support of the Ayuntamiento de Poblete, whose mayor, Luis Alberto Lara, has declared his interest in the project and envisages establishing financial aids which will foster this kind of initiative.