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"The Red Lady of El Mirón". Lower Magdalenian life and death in Oldest Dryas Cantabrian Spain: an overview

Abstract: Abstract: This synthesis article summarizes the multidisciplinary evidence and interpretations of the first substantial human burial of Magdalenian age to be discovered on the Iberian Peninsula. A robust, relatively tall, apparently healthy, probably female adult was buried at the rear of the living area in El Miron Cave in the Cantabrian Cordillera of Spain about 18,700 calendar years ago. She had lived in the cold, open environment of Oldest Dryas, with a subsistence based on hunting mainly ibex and red deer, fishing salmon and some gathering of plants, including some starchy seeds and mushrooms. The technology of her group included the manufacture and use of stone tools and weapon elements made on both excellent-quality non local flint and local non-flints, as well as antler projectile tips and bone needles. Her burial may have been marked by rock engravings suggestive of a female personage, by red ochre staining of a large block adjacent to her skeleton, and by engravings on the adjacent cave wall, and the burial layer itself was intensely stained with red ochre rich in specular hematite specially obtained from an apparently non-local source. The ochre may constitute the only demonstrable “grave offering”. The grave was partially disturbed by a carnivore of wolf size after the corpse had decomposed. Then, it is hypothesized that the skeleton was covered over again and (re-) stained by humans after they (or the carnivore) had removed the cranium and most of the large long bones.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Autoría: Straus L.G., González Morales M.R., Carretero J.M., Marín-Arroyo A.B.,

 Fuente: Journal of Archaeological Science 60 (2015) 134-137

Editorial: Academic Press

 Año de publicación: 2015

Nº de páginas: 4

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.02.034

ISSN: 0305-4403,1095-9238

Url de la publicación: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.02.034